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Originally published: 2014-04-05 13:40:58
Last modified: 2014-04-05 16:24:47

Spring practice is over following spring game

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Spring football practice is officially over after Appalachian State's spring game, which was played Friday at Kidd Brewer Stadium in front of a sparse crowd.

The game featured a complex scoring system designed to award points to both the offense and defense for doing more than just scoring touchdowns and field goals. The result was a 75-74 win for the offense, which received points for touchdowns, field goals, and bonus points for run plays over 15 yards, pass plays over 20 yards and first downs.

The defense got points for three-and-outs, turnovers, stopping drives, sacks and tackles-for-a loss.

"I didn't know about the scoring format, but I kind of liked it," head coach Scott Satterfield said. "It worked out to be good --75-74 is pretty even. It's something for the fans to kind of look at. We had a lot of recruits in today and a lot in for tomorrow for our junior day, so they got to see a pretty competitive game. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the spring and I'm looking forward to working with these guys."

Fans that did attend saw Appalachian State's offense had two plays that each totaled 51 yards. Starting quarterback Kameron Bryant found Simms McElfresh for a 51-yard touchdown pass, and a J.P. Caruso 51-yard catch-and-run completion to Tacoi Sumler set up a 34-yard field goal by Zach Matics.

Sumler led the Mountaineers with four receptions for 128 yards. He broke several tackles during his 51-yard play, while running up the left sideline of the field.

Appalachian State's defense also scored on a 51-yard touchdown on a fumble return by Dustin Anderson.

App State's other touchdown was a Logan Hallock 3-yard scoring pass to Dante Jones that capped a 65-yard drive.

Satterfield was particularly happy with the spring that McElfresh had. McElfresh has filled much of the leadership role of the Mountaineers' receiving corps left by graduated Andrew Peacock and Tony Washington, according to Satterfield.

"The most consistent receiver has been Simms McElfresh," Satterfield said. "He has had a great spring -- the best he's been since he's been there. He's been in that leadership role in that locker room, which is what we need. With Peacock and Washington gone, he's taken over that."

McElfresh had four catches for 88 yards. Bobo Beathard also had four catches for 48 yards. No less than 11 players had at least one catch Friday night.

"He has just made plays. Just play after play," Satterfield said of McElfresh. "Malachi (Jones) and Bobo were the other two who have played a little bit. Tacoi is one of the older guys in that room, and he's come around and has had a pretty good spring. He missed the last three days, but tonight he showed what he can do."

Appalachian State's offense rolled up 593 yards overall. Marcus Cox gained 121 yards on 15 carries, and Eric Davidson had 57 yards on 15 carries.

Bryant completed 13-of-26 passes for 165 yards. Caruso, who graduated high school a semester early to enroll at App State and participate in spring workouts, completed 8-of-15 passes for 110 yards, and Hallock connected on 7-of-9 passes for 109 yards.

The defense had seven sacks. Nose tackle Tyson Fernandez finished with 11 tackles and had a sack. Levi Duffield and Osvaldo Sombo each finished with 10 tackles.

Keenan Gilbert and Doug Middleton each had nine tackles and John Law had eight.

"We had a great spring. I think we wanted to have a lot of energy this spring and have kind of a chaotic practice all spring long, which we did. We turned the music up loud so nobody could hear the coaches so the players have to go out and compete and communicate within themselves on the field and then we do the coaching in the classroom, which we did. We wanted to have a lot of energy and play hard and we accomplished that."