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Originally published: 2012-11-10 20:50:51
Last modified: 2012-11-10 22:30:56

Mountaineers beat Furman 33-28

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

If Furman had to live by its own offense Saturday, the Paladins would have gone down rather meekly to Appalachian State. Then again, Furman rarely goes down meekly to anybody.
Appalachian State clinched a share of the Southern Conference championship with a 33-28 victory in front of 28,986 fans, many of whom stormed the field after ASU safety’s Troy Sanders’ interception of a Reese Hannon pass as time expired. Furman (3-7, 2-5 SoCon) was trying to complete a 99-yard drive with 1:57 left in the game, but saw its final push end on a fourth down at the ASU 42-yard line.
“This week, we came in focused on playing fast and playing physical,” said ASU cornerback Demetrius McCray, who had one of the Mountaineers’ two interceptions Saturday. “That’s basically what we did today. We played fast and we played physical and we finished this thing off.”
Appalachian State (8-3, 6-2) has to wait and see how the results of games in the FCS turn out before truly knowing what its playoff stature will be. The Mountaineers’ regular season is complete, but  they share their SoCon championship with Georgia Southern and Wofford.
Georgia Southern (8-2) finished its Southern Conference season with a 6-2 record, but lost 31-28 to Appalachian State. Wofford (8-2) is also 6-2 in the SoCon, and has a 38-28 victory over Appalachian State.
There was some irony involved in Furman’s final drive since the Paladins’ offense provided just one touchdown all game. Furman’s defense and special teams made enough scoring plays to make up the difference. Furman’s defense scored two touchdowns on fumbles and another on a kickoff return.
It still wasn’t enough.
Appalachian State got four field goals from Sam Martin, and a 61-yard punt that Sanders downed at the Paladins’ 1-yard line.
Furman did not give up. The Paladins faced a third-and-five from its 6-yard line when Hannon found All-American Colin Anderson for a 22-yard gain.
It seemed to energize the Paladins, who converted a fourth-and-15 from their own 37 with a 26-yard pass play to Ryan Culbreath. But Furman’s drive stalled after three straight incomplete passes and a game-ending interception by Sanders.
Martin provided field goals of 27, 49, 19 and 32 yards, the final coming after a Jamal Jackson 7-yard touchdown was called back because of holding. The Appalachian State offense also got an 8-yard touchdown run from Steven Miller in the first quarter, and two touchdown plays from Andrew Peacock.
His first was an 18-yard option pass to Drew Bailey after it looked like Peacock would run a reverse. Peacock, a former prep quarterback at Durham Jordan High, gave the Mountaineers a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.
“We’ve been repping that play all week,” Peacock said. “I didn’t know if it would get called or not, but it did get called and I figured we were going to work it.”
Peacock’s second touchdown was a bit more conventional. He caught a Jackson pass and dove over the goal line, just getting the ball over the pylon before going out of bounds. That touchdown put Appalachian State in front 27-14 with 24 seconds before halftime.
The Mountaineers gained 282 yards in total offense in taking a 27-24 halftime lead.
Peacock finished with nine catches for 108 yards in the first half, and with 11 catches for 130 yards. Sean Price added 10 receptions for 115 yards.
“They make my job easy,” Jackson said. “Just put the ball in their hands. A lot of teams try to keep everything in front of them. They did a good job of making people miss.”
Jackson completed 32-of-46 passes for 332 yards and no interceptions. He was sacked five times.
Miller was the workhorse for the Mountaineers’ running game. The senior gained 173 yards on 25 carries, and lost just three rushing yards all game. The Mountaineers rolled up 488 yards in total offense
Furman did not nearly meet Appalachian State’s offense in the first half, but it didn’t have to. The Paladins used defense and special teams to stay close to the Mountaineers. Miller scored on an 8-yard touchdown run, which was set up by a Patrick Blalock fumble recovery at the Paladins’ 25.
Furman struck back with a 100-yard kickoff return from Jerodis Williams.
Furman also scored with 8:26 left in the second quarter when Gary Wilkins recovered a Jackson fumble in the end zone.

Jackson was sacked on the play, and fumbled the ball backwards.

The Paladins added another defensive touchdown when Carl Rider returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown with 9:10 left in the third quarter.

Hannon completed 19-of-36 passes for 203 yards and two interceptions. McCray said the Mountaineers wanted to make the freshman quarterback as uncomfortable as possible.
“We knew he was a freshman, so we wanted to rattle him and get him off his comfort spots,” McCray said. “We tried to blitz him a little bit and get somebody in his face, so he won’t be comfortable back there in the pocket.”

 

Appalachian State 33, Furman 28

Furman           7 7 14 0 – 28

Appalachian State 10 17 3 3 – 33

Scoring summary

First quarter

ASU-Martin FG 27

ASU-Miller 8 run (Martin kick)

FUR-Williams 100 kickoff return (Early kick)

Second quarter

ASU-Bailey 7 pass from Peacock (Martin kick)

FUR-Wilkins 0 fumble recovery (Early kick)

ASU-Martin FG 47

ASU-Peacock 18 pass from Jackson (Martin kick)

Third quarter

FUR-Snellings 10 pass from Hannon (Early kick)

FUR-Rider 27 fumble recovery (Early kick)

ASU-Martin FG 19

Fourth quarter

ASU-Martin FG 32

 

            Furman           ASU

First downs    16        27

  By rushing    3          10

  By passing   12        15

  By penalty   1          2

Rushes-yards 26-97  36-149

  Avg. rush      3.7       4.1

  Yards gained 113      196     

  Yards lost     16        47

Passing yards 203      339

Passes 19-37-2           33-47-0

  Avg. per att. 5.5       7.2

  Avg. per comp         10.7     10.3

  Sacks by-yards        5-37    1-6

Total plays-yards      300      488

Avg. per play 4.8       5.9

Punts-avg       7-41.3 4-50.5

  Net avg         38.4     46.8

  Inside 20       3          2

  Fair catch      6          2

Penalties-yards          7-55    4.23

Fumbles-lost  1-1      2-2

Third down conv.      5-14    6-15

Fourth down conv.    1-2      0-1

Time of poss. 27:08   32:58

 

Furman individuals

Rushing: Williams 14-59, McCloud 8-46, Hannon 3-(-3), Anderson 1-(5).

Passing: Hannon 19-36-2 203, Team 0-1-0 0.

Receiving: Williams 7-37, Anderson 4-59, Culbreath 3-51, Robinson 3-35, Snellings 2-21.

 

Appalachian State individuals

Rushing: Miller 25-170, Washington 1-14, Chisholm 2-5, Peacock 3-(-1), Jackson 5-(-39).

Passing: Jackson 32-46-0 332.

Receiving: Peacock 11-130, Price 10-115, Washington 6-37, Bailey 2-28, Miller 2-16, Jones 2-13.


 

Appalachian State 33, Furman 28

Furman           7 7 14 0 – 28

Appalachian State 10 17 3 3 – 33

Scoring summary

First quarter

ASU-Martin FG 27

ASU-Miller 8 run (Martin kick)

FUR-Williams 100 kickoff return (Early kick)

Second quarter

ASU-Bailey 7 pass from Peacock (Martin kick)

FUR-Wilkins 0 fumble recovery (Early kick)

ASU-Martin FG 47

ASU-Peacock 18 pass from Jackson (Martin kick)

Third quarter

FUR-Snellings 10 pass from Hannon (Early kick)

FUR-Rider 27 fumble recovery (Early kick)

ASU-Martin FG 19

Fourth quarter

ASU-Martin FG 32

 

            Furman           ASU

First downs    16        27

  By rushing    3          10

  By passing   12        15

  By penalty   1          2

Rushes-yards 26-97  36-149

  Avg. rush      3.7       4.1

  Yards gained 113      196     

  Yards lost     16        47

Passing yards 203      339

Passes 19-37-2           33-47-0

  Avg. per att. 5.5       7.2

  Avg. per comp         10.7     10.3

  Sacks by-yards        5-37    1-6

Total plays-yards      300      488

Avg. per play 4.8       5.9

Punts-avg       7-41.3 4-50.5

  Net avg         38.4     46.8

  Inside 20       3          2

  Fair catch      6          2

Penalties-yards          7-55    4.23

Fumbles-lost  1-1      2-2

Third down conv.      5-14    6-15

Fourth down conv.    1-2      0-1

Time of poss. 27:08   32:58

 

Furman individuals

Rushing: Williams 14-59, McCloud 8-46, Hannon 3-(-3), Anderson 1-(5).

Passing: Hannon 19-36-2 203, Team 0-1-0 0.

Receiving: Williams 7-37, Anderson 4-59, Culbreath 3-51, Robinson 3-35, Snellings 2-21.

 

Appalachian State individuals

Rushing: Miller 25-170, Washington 1-14, Chisholm 2-5, Peacock 3-(-1), Jackson 5-(-39).

Passing: Jackson 32-46-0 332.

Receiving: Peacock 11-130, Price 10-115, Washington 6-37, Bailey 2-28, Miller 2-16, Jones 2-13.