Sports (283)

Behind a slew of big plays in all three phases of the game, Appalachian State University football earned a workman-like 31-13 homecoming victory over Wyoming on Saturday at water-logged Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Appalachian State (3-1) got all the scoring it would need in the first 4:55 of the ballgame, as it took a 14-0 lead on Marcus Cox’s (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) 59-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and Latrell Gibbs’ (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) 91-yard interception return seven snaps later.

However, the Mountaineers’ biggest play of the game likely came on a six-yard run by their kicker with less than 30 seconds to go in the first half.

Despite the Mountaineers’ early 14-0 advantage, Wyoming dominated the action for much of the first half, holding the ball for 21:58 and cutting App State’s lead to 14-7 on a two-yard touchdown run by Brian Hill early in the second period.

The Cowboys were threatening to tie the ballgame late in the second quarter when they took over deep in Appalachian territory after an interception. However, on fourth-and-one from the Mountaineers’ 20 yard line, linebacker Osvaldo Sombo (Matthews, N.C./Butler) recovered a fumble by Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman to stall the scoring threat.

Thanks primarily to a 38-yard pass from Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) to Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C./Byrnes), Appalachian State drove 54 yards in three plays to the Wyoming 24-yard line but appeared to settle for a field goal when Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow) lined up for a field goal on fourth-and-five with 24 seconds to go in the half.

However, after a timeout, Appalachian rolled the dice and came away with perhaps its biggest play of the season to date.

Still lined up for a field goal, holder Bentlee Critcher (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) took the snap and rolled right. He was stopped in the backfield by two Wyoming defenders but as he was going to the ground, he tossed an option pitch to Matics, who picked up six yards for the first down on the perfectly executed fake field goal.

On the very next play, the gamble paid dividends, as Lamb threw a beautiful pass to Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown that gave the Mountaineers a commanding 21-7 halftime lead.

After a taxing first half, it was all Appalachian State after the break. The Mountaineers stretched their advantage to 28-7 on Lamb’s nine-yard touchdown run on its first possession of the second half and made it 31-7 on Matics’ career-long 51-yard field goal with 3:06 to go in the ballgame. Wyoming (0-5) scored the final points of the game on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Coffman to Josh Tapscott with 44 seconds remaining but botched the snap on the extra-point attempt to account for the final margin.

While Appalachian controlled the scoreboard from the outset, Wyoming held the statistical advantage throughout the afternoon. The Cowboys outgained the Mountaineers, 373-314, including a 155-65 advantage through the air, but the most glaring edges came in time of possession (37:54-22:06) and total plays (70-46). App State ran fewer than 50 plays in a contest for the first time since it had just 44 snaps in its 16-15 victory over Furman on Oct. 12, 2002 (the famous “Miracle on the Mountain” game).

However, the Mountaineers made the most of their 46 snaps, averaging 6.8 yards per play (compared to 5.3 for Wyoming) and picked up 10 yards or more seven times.

As has been the case for much of the last two-plus seasons, Cox led the way for Appalachian State, rushing for a season-high 178 yards on just 15 carries (11.9 avg.). The 100-yard effort was his seventh-straight and 18th in 28 career games. In the process, the junior became the sixth student-athlete in school history to reach the 3,000-yard rushing plateau, upping his career total to 3,154 yards.

Appalachian State’s defense also proved to be opportunistic with three takeaways, four sacks (for 43 yards) and 10 tackles for loss (for 58 yards). The defense’s big-play proficiency overcame a 208-yard effort on the ground by Hill, who became the first player to rush for 200 yards against the Mountaineers since Chattanooga’s Eldra Buckley went for 210 yards all the way back on Oct. 29, 2005.

Linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) led the way defensively with 13 tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for loss and a sack. Gibbs had five stops to go along with his 91-yard interception return, which was the fifth-longest in school history and the first INT return for a touchdown by a Mountaineer since Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) had a 52-yard return for a score against Campbell on Sept. 6 of last season. Gibbs’ interception was his fourth in four games this season.

Appalachian State opens Sun Belt Conference play next Saturday when it travels Atlanta to face Georgia State (1-3). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.

NOTES: A steady, and sometimes heavy, rain fell throughout the game as part of a deluge that had dumped 15-plus inches of rain on the High Country over the past 10 days ... Appalachian State moved to 39-13-2 all-time in homecoming games played at Kidd Brewer Stadium but snapped a two-game skid in homecoming contests ... the Mountaineers scored on their first offensive play for the third time in their last 11 games ... Cox’s seven-straight 100-yard rushing games are two shy of the school record of nine-straight compiled by John Settle in 1986 ... his 18-career 100-yard rushing efforts are tied for fourth in program history with Armanti Edwards (2006-09) ... Settle holds the school record with 22 rushing games in his career (1983-86) ... Appalachian won for the ninth time in 10 games and claimed its fifth-straight home victory ... the game was App State’s first-ever non-conference home game versus an NCAA Division I FBS opponent ... the win was the Mountaineers’ first-ever over an opponent from the Mountain West Conference.

Appalachian State University women’s cross country placed three runners in the top 10 and turned in a team score of 47 to take first place out of a 13-team field at the USC Upstate Invitational on Saturday morning.

“I’m very proud of the effort that the girls put forth this morning,” said head coach Michael Curcio. We were able to win this meet without our top runner (Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C/Chapel Hill)). With her out, a couple of seniors in Brittany Williams (Simpsonville, S.C./Maudlin) and Shelby Howell (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) stepped up in a big way and so did freshman standout, Ann Sekutowski (Waukesha, Wis./Kettle Moraine).”

The Mountaineers improved upon a third-place finish in this event last year and as mentioned above, did it without top runner and three-time Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Week, Van Ord. The team’s effort was spearheaded by redshirt sophomore Natalie Kile (Canton, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic) who crossed the finish line in fourth with time of 18:42.12 amongst a field of 124.

Close behind Kile were both Williams in seventh (18:51.64) and the freshman Sekutowski in ninth (18:55.55). App State’s effort was rounded out by Howell in 13th (19:07.28) and Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex) right behind her in 14th (19:10.32).

In the team standings, the rest of the top five was made up by High Point (48), Florida Gulf Coast (79), Liberty (82), and Western Carolina (131).

Appalachian State is off for two weeks before the Wake Forest Open on Friday, Oct. 16, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Kernersville, N.C.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:35

App State Men's Cross Country Finishes Second

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Appalachian State University men’s cross country took second place at the USC Upstate Invite on Saturday morning and was once again led by Michael Ellis (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor), who finished in fourth place out of 115 competitors.

“The men were led by Michael (Ellis) again,” said head coach Michael Curcio. “After him was Kyle McFoy (Newark, Del./The Tatnall School) who is starting to round into shape and that’s good to see with how important he is to the team. Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga) continued to perform well and he was pushed along by both Chris Anderson (Greensboro, N.C./UNC-Charlotte/Westchester Country Day) and Evan Laratta (Angiers, N.C./LaSalle/Quince Orchard).”

The Mountaineers finished in fourth place in this event last season and the redshirt sophomore Ellis was out to change that this time around. The three-time Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Week was the top male to finish for App State for the third time in as many events and did so with a time of 25:40.89.

After Ellis was McFoy in seventh (26:03.02) and the final three Apps to score also finished in the top 16. Those three included Vandenberg in 12th (26:19.83), Anderson in 13th (26:22.85) and Laratta in 16th (26:27.61).

The only team to beat Appalachian State (52 points) was High Point (28) while the three through five spots were occupied by Liberty (75), USC Upstate (118) and Florida Gulf Coast (136).

The Mountaineers are off for two weeks before the Wake Forest Open on Friday, Oct. 16, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Kernersville, N.C.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:26

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Falls to Queens

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Team (6-3, 3-2) suffered a 1-0 loss to Queens (4-5-1, 2-2) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match on the road.

The Royals scored the lone goal of the contest in the 57th minute when Charlotte Ring (Scherwin, GERMANY) tapped in a misplay by the Bears’ goalkeeper. The goal was Ring’s third of the season.

Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite holding a 15-6 advantage in shots taken. Queens’ goalkeeper, Tori Danchak (Coral Springs, Fla.), earned the shutout in goal after stopping seven shots on the afternoon.

The Bears’ goalkeeper, junior Andrea Leano (San Diego, Calif.), took the loss. Freshman goalkeeper Logan Sterling (Colfax, N.C.) made two saves for Lenoir-Rhyne as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Mars Hill in a South Atlantic Conference match on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:17

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Easily Handle Carson-Newman

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (4-1, 2-0), ranked No. 22 in NCAA Division II, opened the home portion of its schedule with a rousing, 52-17 victory over Carson-Newman (3-2, 1-2) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at wet and windy Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior B-Back Michael Patrick (Atlanta, Ga.) and slotback Kristaan Ivory (Los Angeles, Calif.) both scored three touchdowns as the Bears increased their winning streak in conference regular season games to 22.

Patrick rushed for a career-high 177 yards and three scores including a 30-yard scamper as time ran out in the first half to give the Bears a 16-3 advantage at intermission.

Carson-Newman couldn’t get within 13 points the rest of the way as the Bears answered every call. Patrick added touchdown runs of five and 31 yards in the second half, respectively, as Lenoir-Rhyne rushed for 434 yards on the day.

The Eagles’ quarterback De’Andre Thomas (Milledgeville, Ga.) scored from three yards out midway through the third quarter but the Bears pulled away with three straight touchdowns to turn the contest into a rout.

Ivory returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score and finished with 187 all-purpose yards while sophomore quarterback Evin Sims (Greenwood, S.C.) added 100 yards on the ground and a score in the victory.

On defense, the Bears recorded a pair of sacks while junior linebacker Tanner Robinson (Melbourne, Fla.) finished with a game-high 16 tackles. Lenoir-Rhyne also limited Carson-Newman to just 274 yards of total offense.

Carson-Newman’s Damian Baker (Columbus, Miss.) also rushed for 100 yards and Xavier McFadden (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Brandon Staton (Barnwell, S.C.) added 11 tackles each in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne hosts the University of Faith next Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium.

Hickory Motor Speedway has announced the schedule for Sunday's NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Series.

MTP Tire 150 featuring 150 Laps for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modifieds, 30 Laps for the Street Stocks and a special 50 Laps for the Wrench Rags Renegades.

Gates open at 2 Racing begins at 4.

Tickets are just $16.00 for Adults $14.00 Seniors and Teens and 12 and under are free.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:02

Appalachian State Volleyball Sweeps UL Monroe

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Appalachian State University volleyball extended its winning streak to seven games and also kept its Sun Belt Conference record perfect with a 3-0 rout at UL Monroe on Friday night.

“We played well tonight. ULM is a good team and plays very well at home, so we knew we needed to execute our game on our side,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “Grabbing wins on the road is important and it was good to get one against a team that was with us in the standings. Now its time to celebrate this win on the bus to Lafayette and then focus on tomorrow’s match against UL Lafayette. Coming back to Boone with two road wins will be big.”

The Mountaineers (11-4, 4-0) used an 8-3 run to open up the first set and eventually won the set 25-18. With App State leading 10-8, an Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) started the run with a kill. Kills from Jess Keller (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) and Emily Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) combined with Warhawk errors generated an 18-11 lead for the Mountaineers.

Much like the opening set, both teams matched points until a 3-0 run from the Warhawks propelled them to a 12-10 lead midway through. Following an Appalachian timeout, the Apps battled back to tie it at 14-14. After ULM matched Appalachian at 16-16, back-to-back kills from Keller gave the Mountaineers a slim 18-16 advantage.

The Warhawks would only get to within one point, twice, the rest of the way. At 19-18, App State finished off the set by going on a 6-2 run that was highlighted by three kills from Gregory and one from Cassidy Stephenson (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard).

The third set was total domination from the Mountaineers. With just a slim lead at 10-9, the Black and Gold went on an incredible 15-3 run to end the set 25-12 and the match 3-0. Corrigan finished with seven kills in the set, including three-straight kills to increase a 14-10 lead to 17-10.

Corrigan, Keller and Gregory all tied with 12 kills to lead the Mountaineers, while Stephenson tallied six. Setting up those kills was the App State assist leader, Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy). Brown, a four-time Sun Belt Setter of the Week winner, collected 33 assists on the night.

Defensively, Brown led with 16 digs and recorded her eighth double-double of the season. Meghan Mahoney (Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley) also recorded double-digit digs with 10. Corrigan nearly completed a double-double finishing with eight.

As a team, the Mountaineers finished with a hitting percentage of .340 as compared to the Warhawks at .133. In the third set, the Apps had a .382 hitting percentage and a 91% sideout percentage.

The Mountaineers will return to the court on Saturday evening when they face-off against UL Lafayette. First serve from Lafayette, La. is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:00

Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Sweeps Tusculum

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (8-4, 7-1) made it seven consecutive wins with a 3-0 sweep over Tusculum (6-5, 4-4) Friday night in a South Atlantic Conference match at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

The Bears defeated the Pioneers by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-12 and remained tied for first place in the league standings with Carson-Newman and Wingate.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore outside hitter Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) finished with a team-high 11 kills to go along with 14 digs while junior defensive specialist Jillian Born (Wilmington, N.C.) added 21 digs as the Bears also improved to 4-0 at home this year.

Senior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.) notched another double-double – 21 assists and 11 digs – as the Bears raced to a 13-0 advantage in the third set in its third straight sweep at home.

For Tusculum, Sabrina Schleuger (Louisville, Ky.) finished with 11 kills and Hannah Berling (Middletown, Ohio) added 32 assists and 11 digs despite the loss. The Pioneers also hit just .090 for the match.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns to action on Tuesday night against Catawba on the road in a South Atlantic Conference match in Salisbury, N.C., beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University field hockey cut the deficit with No. 7 Wake Forest to one, 2-1, just over 13 minutes into the first half. However, the Demon Deacons converted on five second-half goals en route to the 7-1 decision.

“Wake Forest is a top team for a reason and they displayed it in the second half,” said head coach Meghan Dawson. “They had good movement in the circle, capitalized on their opportunities and worked hard the entire game.”

The Mountaineers fell to 2-8 on the season while Wake now sits at 9-2 overall and pushed its win streak to four straight. The visitors held the advantage in shots, 21-6, and penalty corners, 8-4, but App State had the upper hand in saves, 9-2.

Dawson continued, “This match showed our girls that we can do good things while playing against a really good team, but that we need to keep pushing it every day at practice. It was tough to see two different halves of field hockey, but it’s a learning experience. The potential for us is there, we just need to finish it and play a full 70 minutes.”

Wake Forest put the pressure on right away with scores in both the second and ninth minutes, both of which came off the stick of Krysta Wangerin. The hosts didn’t go away quietly, though, and answered in the 14th minute. The goal came on a penalty corner attempt from Jordan Van Cleave (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), her third of the season, and she was assisted by Savanna Sheridan (Hertford, N.C./First Colonial) (third of the season).

In the second period, the Demon Deacons’ goals came in the 39th, 42nd, 47th, 56th, and 57th minutes.

In goal, Cristina Ceppi (Vienna, Va./James Madison) tallied eight saves and she got some help from Marissa O’Brien (Yorktown, Va./Tabb) who notched her fourth defensive save of the year. Caroline Phillips (Delmar, Del./Delmar) had two shots while Abby Carls (Chesterfield, Va./Trinity Episcospal), Rebecca McLean Wilmington, N.C./Cape Fear Academy), Sheridan, and Van Cleave each had one apiece.

Appalachian State will host St. Louis on Saturday, Oct. 10 beginning at 1 p.m.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association presented special awards at its just completed eight regional meetings across the state.

Interim commissioner Que Tucker of the NCHSAA and associate commissioner Rick Strunk, on behalf of the Association, presented both the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards and the Special Person awards to recipients in each region.

The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards are given per region and go to a person with at least 10 years experience in education and athletics who is still active in the field and has regularly gone "above and beyond" the call of duty at both the local and the state level. The Special Person award is similar but may go to a contributor to the NCHSAA who is not directly in coaching or education.

The award winners included in region 7 was, the Charlie Adams Distinguished Service winner, Jim Woodruff, athletic director, St. Stephens— Jim has had a long and distinguished career in athletics. He was a teacher, coach and athletic director at Bunker Hill High School in Catawba County for 28 years, including a 20-year stint as men’s basketball coach. He taught and coached at St. Stephens from 1979 to ’84, then went to Bunker Hill. After a one-year retirement from Bunker, Jim has since been working at St. Stephens.

He is a native of West Jefferson and graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

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