ASU holds off Catamounts 38-27
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
CULLOWHEE – Logan Hallock was a long way from West Wilkes High School.
The former Black Hawk spent most of his career with Appalachian State either being the holder for place kickers in 2011, playing some receiver or serving as the backup quarterback to Jamal Jackson.
Hallock got his chance to lead the Appalachian State offense Saturday against Western Carolina and made the most of the opportunity. Hallock completed his first 13 first-half passes after Jackson went down to a knee injury, and led the Mountaineers to a 38-27 victory in front of 13,279 at Whitmire Stadium.
Appalachian State (6-3, 4-2 SoCon) stayed within shouting distance of the Southern Conference championship race. Western Carolina slipped to 1-7, 0-6, and has not beaten a Division I team in its last 23 tries.
Jackson injured his left knee in the second quarter on a quarterback keeper. He was cleared to return to the game by the second half, but Hallock made sure it wasn't necessary.
Hallock, who completed his first 20 passes before just missing Sean Price on a third down in the fourth quarter, finished his day completing 20-of-21 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
Hallock's completion percentage of .952 set a team record. Richie Williams completed an NCAA record 28 straight passes in a 2004 win over Furman. His 40-of-45 performance, also against Furman in 2004, is an NCAA record for a minimum of 40 completions.
“I've always been a Logan Hallock fan,” Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore said. “There was never any question about him being prepared.”
Hallock tossed a 36-yard pass to Price that set up a 4-yard Steven Miller touchdown run, and then found Price in the back corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left in the first half that gave the Mountaineers a 24-7 lead.
Price finished with 10 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.
“Everything was moving fast for me,” Hallock said. “Coach Moore and coach (Scott) Satterfield did a great job getting me prepared during the week watching film and getting me reps in practices. Then it's all about going out there and executing.”
Hallock was 17-of-17 for 208 yards and a touchdown in the first three quarters against a Western defense, which is last in the SoCon in scoring defense and total defense, that struggled against both quarterbacks. Jackson was 3-for-4 with 64 yards, but didn't have to pass all that much since Miller gained 103 yards rushing in the first quarter, and 130 in the first half.
Miller did his part to make Hallock's life easier by gaining 245 yards on 34 carries. That gave Miller 1,077 yards for the season.
He fell 22-yards shy of the ASU single-game rushing record of 267 yards set by Richie Melchor against Chattanooga in 1989.
“I thought I had at least 100, but lower than 150,” Miller said. “I give all the credit to my linemen, of course, and I'm truly blessed.”
Appalachian State made moving the football easy in the first half. Tony Washington caught a 32-yard touchdown from Jackson, and a 28-yard Sam Martin field goal gave the Mountaineers a 10-0 first quarter lead. Miler's 4-yard touchdown run gave the Mountaineers a 17-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first half.
Western Carolina's offense did not start so well. The Catamounts had four straight three-and-outs before Troy Mitchell found Deja Alexander for a 74-yard touchdown pass. Price put the Mountaineers up by 17 with his TD catch just before halftime.
Mitchell added a 27-yard TD run on Western Carolina's first drive of the third quarter. Washington answered with a 17-yard run with 3:58 left in the third quarter, and Hallock found Drew Bailey for a 17-yard TD that put the Mountaineers up 38-13 in the fourth quarter.
Western Carolina made things interesting in the fourth quarter when Mitchell got hot. Western running back Michael Johnson scored on a 1-yard touchdown and Mitchell converted the ensuing two-point conversion that pulled Western to 38-21. Mitchell scored on a 40-yard run on the Catamounts' next possession to pull Western to 38-27 with 8:52 left in the game.
The Cats had two final chances after getting the ball at their own 22-yard line, and again at their own 7-yard line. The first drive ended in a Patrick Blalock interception, and then second ended with an incomplete Mitchell pass.
Mitchell ran for 91 yards on 17 carries, but lost 48 yards on seven sacks. ASU linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough had three of the Mountaineers' sacks for 25 yards in losses. Appalachian State had a balanced offense of 315 yards rushing and 294 passing for 579 in total offense.
Appalachian State 38, Western Carolina 27
Appalachian State 10 14 7 7 – 38
Western Carolina 0 7 6 14 – 27
ASU-Washington 32 pass from Jackson (Martin kick)
ASU-Martin FG 28
ASU-Miller 4 run (Martin kick)
WCU-Alexander 74 pass from Mitchell (Sigmon kick)
ASU-Price 18 pass from Hallock (Martin kick)
WCU-Mitchell 27 run (Kick failed)
ASU-Washington 17 run (Martin kick)
ASU-Bailey 16 pass from Hallock (Martin kick)
WCU-Johnson 1 run (Mitchell run)
WCU-Mitchell 40 run (Pass failed)
First downs 28 14
By rushing 14 6
By passing 13 6
By penalty 1 2
Rushes-yards 54-285 34-149
Avg. rush 5.3 4.4
Yards gained 315 198
Yards lost 30 49
Passing yards 294 167
Passes 23-25-0 13-22-1
Avg. att. 11.8 7.6
Avg comp. 12.8 12.8
Sacked by-yards 3-12 7-48
Total plays-yards 79-579 56-316
Avg per play 7.3 5.6
Punts-avg. 4-41.5 6-43.3
Net avg. 40.8 43.3
Inside 20 2 0
Touchbacks 0 0
Fair catch 2 1
Penalties-yards 10-77 3-26
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Third-down conv. 8-15 3-11
Fourth down conv. 0-1 1-2
Time of possession 36:51 23:09
Appalachian State individuals:
Rushing: Miller 34-245, Hallock 10-17, Washington 2-13, Chisholm 6-9, Jackson 2-1.
Passing: Hallock 20-21-0 230, Jackson 3-4 64.
Receiving: Price 10-142, Peacock 7-68, Washington 4-57, Bailey 1-16, Miller 1-11.
Western Caroliina individuals:
Rushing: Mitchell 17-91, Ramsey 11-41, Johnson 5-17, Vaughn 1-0.
Passing: Mitchell 13-22-1 167.
Receiving: Robinson 3-19, Ramsey 3-6, Alexander 2-82, Mitchell 2-30, Vaughn 2-12, Orr 1-18.