ASU belts Chattanooga 34-17
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Jackson lost a fumble that allowed the Mocs to score a touchdown, and tossed an interception that led to a Mocs field goal. But the junior recovered from those mistakes to lead the Mountaineers to a 34-17 victory over Chattanooga in front of 13,726 fans at Finley Stadium.
Several quarterbacks, namely Richie Williams, Armanti Edwards and DeAndre Presley, had memorable performances at this same site. Jackson overcame a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to allow the Mountaineers (2-2, 1-1 SoCon) to beat the Mocs for the 25th time in the last 27 games the teams have played. Head coach Jerry Moore improved to 22-2 against the Mocs (1-3, 0-1) all-time.
Appalachian State was able to shake off a 52-28 loss to The Citadel one week earlier by scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter against the Mocs. Jackson threw for two touchdowns in the fourth, and the Mountaineers got a defensive touchdown to finish off the Mocs.
"I think that's what makes everything so climactic tonight," Mountaineers head coach Jerry Moore said. "You didn't know what we were after last week. Then you get down 10 points on turnovers and you just think 'What's going to happen? What are they really made of?' I think they're on the track to show what they're made of."
Jackson sealed the Mocs' fate with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Sean Price, who finished with 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Jackson was under heavy pressure at the time, and his pass looked to be up for grabs after his hand was hit by a Mocs defensive lineman.
Price darted across the field and beat two Chattanooga defenders to the ball. He raced into the end zone untouched, giving the Mountaineers a 20-10 lead with 7:34 left in the game.
"Oh my goodness. I guess I'm living right because the defender hit my hand and the ball went straight into the air," Jackson said. "I was just looking at it and was like 'Oh my goodness.' I could just hear coach Moore saying 'Oh no' on the sideline."
Jackson added an exclamation point to the fourth with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Price one play after the Mountaineers' Brandon Grier recovered a fumble on a Chattanooga pass completion.
It would not be Grier's lone forced turnover. Grier stopped a fourth-quarter Chattanooga drive by returning a Jacob Huesman pass 70 yards for a touchdown with 3:30 left in the game. That put the Mountaineers in front 34-10 with 3:30 left in the game.
Greir said he would eat well after the game, courtesy of injured running back Rod Chisholm.
"Going into halftime, Rod Chisholm said 'If you get a pick-six, I'll get you dinner,'" Grier said. "Once I got it, he was the first person on the sideline coming to carry me off because I was so tired."
Backup Chattanooga quarterback Terrell Robinson led the Mocs down to the ASU 2-yard line before tossing a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the game.
Jackson, after his slow start, completed 19-of-30 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
Appalachian State's offense overcame both first-half turnovers to salvage a 10-10 tie. The Mountaineers got a 24-yard field goal from Drew Stewart after driving to the Chattanooga 7-yard line. Appalachian State tied the game when Jackson found Steven Miller for a 35-yard yard touchdown pass with 32 seconds left in the first half. The Mountaineers outgained Chattanooga 208-71 yards in the first half, but had just a 10-10 tie to show for it. ASU eventually rolled up 401 yards in total offense compared to 270 for Chattanooga.
"We wanted to get it tied up before halftime," Jackson said. "We knew we had time to score and that's what we wanted to do. It gave us a little spark for the second half."
"Our defense played well all night," Moore said. "(Chattanooga's) got some skilled people."
Miller finished with 94 yards rushing on 22 carries. Keon Williams had 47 yards on 12 carries for the Mocs.
"We gave them two short fields and the first 10 points," Moore said. "That's not to diminish anything that they've done. They're a really good football team."
Appalachian State 34, Chattanooga 17
ASU 0 10 0 24 - 34
UTC 10 0 0 7 - 17
UTC - Anthony 7 pass from Huesman (Pollard kick)
UTC - Pollard FG 32
ASU - Stewart FG 24
ASU - Miller 35 pass from Jackson (Stewart kick)
ASU - Stewart FG 38
ASU - Price 36 pass from Jackson (Stewart kick)
ASU - Price 14 pass from Jackson (Stewart kick)
ASU - Grier 70 fumble return (Stewart kick)
UTC - Shafaat 2 pass from Robinson (Pollard kick)
First downs 21 15
By rushing 10 7
By passing 10 7
By penalty 1 1
Rushes-yards 40-133 32-87
Avg per rush 3.3 2.7
Yards gained 146 115
Yards lost 13 28
Passing yards 268 183
Passes 19-30-1 20-35-2
Avg per att 8.9 5.2
Avg per comp 14.1 9.1
Total plays-yards 70-401 270
Avg per play 5.7 4.0
Penalties-yards 6-33 6-54
Punts-avg 4-48.0 7-42.7
Net avg 43.0 39.9
Inside 20 2 2
Touchbacks 1 0
Fair catch 1 0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1
Third down conv 5-15 8-16
Fourth down conv 2-3 0-0
Time of possession 30:16 29:44
Appalachian State individuals
Rushing: Miller 22-94, Jackson 11-27, Frazier 6-11, Fergerson 1-1.
Passing: Jackson 19-30-1 268.
Receiving: Price 10-130, Peacock 5-44, Washington 2-29, Miller 1-35, Jones 1-30.
Rushing: Williams 12-47, Robinson 5-25, Huesman 9-16, Green 2-5, Jackson 3-(-2), Team 1-(-4).
Passing: Huesman 16-28-2 140, Robinson 4-7-0 43.
Receiving: Shafaat 5-58, Anthony 5-48, Moore 2-32, Hudson 2-15, James 2-7, Green 2-4, Jackson 1-10, Belew 1-9.