Mike Kellar has been named the new head football coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University today.
Kellar had spent the past four seasons as head coach of California University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as the team’s offensive coordinator for five years before serving as the offensive coordinator/associate head coach for offense in 2011. In four years as head coach, Kellar has led the Vulcans to a 31-12 overall record as they are members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Kellar has beaten Lenoir-Rhyne before. Prior to Cal U, he was the head coach at Concord where he went 14-8 in two seasons there from 2009-2010, including a 52-49 win over L-R in 2009 in West Virginia and a 20-17 win over the Bears in Hickory in 2010.
North Wilkes: 79
St. Stephens: 64
North Wilkes: 58
St. Stephens: 64
Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) was unfazed on a big stage at No. 7 North Carolina and scored a career-high 21 points. Unfortunately, Appalachian State University men’s basketball fell 94-70 on Monday night.
The Mountaineers (2-9) closed out their non-conference schedule on the road at the Tar Heels (10-3). Appalachian State conceded 31 points off of 19 total turnovers to their counterparts, while UNC shot 23-for-27 from the foul line in the 24-point victory.
Shabazz led the Apps with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point land and a ferocious one-handed slam in traffic. With 18 points in the first half, Shabazz had matched his career high in just 20 minutes of play.
Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) and Michael Obacha (Edo State, Nigeria/High Point Christian) also finished in double figures for App State with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Eaves shot 5-of-13 from the floor, while Obacha was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Shabazz opened up the game on a high note - hitting one of his four threes on the night, however, the Tar Heels would engineer a 13-0 run to get both momentum and their 18,336 North Carolina faithful into it early with three dunks in the opening five minutes.
App State would hang tough in the first half and attemp to stave off that large run that North Carolina constructed early in the half. Down by 13 points at 32-19, the Mountaineers would go on a much needed 7-1 run to close to within just seven points at 33-26. The Black and Gold got back-to-back buckets from Shabazz and Eaves to close the gap.
An 8-0 run, however, from the Tar Heels would put UNC back in front by 15 points at 41-26. App State would close the gap a little bit and head into the break down by 11 at 49-38.
Within minutes into the second half, the Tar Heels had increased their lead to 19 points just before the first media timeout of the half. The North Carolina lead be cut to just 13, but would grow to as many as 27 the rest of the way.
Appalachian State had outrebounded North Carolina in the first half 18-16, but were dominated on the glass in the second half with the Tar Heels gaining a 31-13 advantage.
The Mountaineers will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 31 when they travel to Louisiana for the first of two games to begin Sun Belt Conference play at UL Monroe. Tipoff against the Warhawks is set for 3 p.m. EST.
A second-half surge with a team-centric performance led the Appalachian State University women’s basketball team (3-6) to another impressive win defeating Furman, 92-78, in the Holmes Center on Sunday afternoon.
App State Starters: #3 Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania), #10 Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth), #23 KeKe Cooper (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman), #34 Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys), #42 Mia Marshall (Lilburn, Ga./Lilburn)
Furman Starters: #12 Kelsey Ellis, #20 Whitney Bunn, #21 Holli Watkins, #24 Cierra Carter, #44 Tiara Wood
For the second-straight game, five players scored in double figures with Jones (21) and Story (20) both tallying career highs, while Cooper, Basset-Smith and Marshall all chipped in with 12 points. The 92 points is the highest since a 99-71 win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 2, 2010.
Six of the nine players that scored shot at least 50 percent or higher from the field, while the duo of Jones and Story shot 15-for-25 (60 percent) from the floor and dished out nine assists. Jones was also one rebound shy of her first double-double with a career-high nine boards, and Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) notched her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
Appalachian assisted on 17 of its 35 field goals and turned the ball over just 15 times. The pace was perfect for Appalachian’s high-paced offense with 84 possessions, scoring on 52.4 percent of its possessions and averaged 1.095 points per possession.
Both teams came out scorching to start the contest shooting at least over 50 percent, including Furman going 4-for-7 from deep in an up-and-down contest in the first quarter. The Paladins came out to a 10-3 run over the first 1:56 of the game. Trailing 14-7 with 6:18 left in the first period, Appalachian used a 13-0 run over the following 2:43 to take its first lead of the game, 20-14, that was capped off by a Bassett-Smith layup.
However, Furman scored 10 of the next 14 points to tie the game thanks to a 3-pointer before the horn sounded. Story played a hand in 16 (9 points, 3 assists) of the team’s 24 points.
The second quarter belong to a hot-shooting Furman squad that hit another four trifectas and shot 53.8 percent to App State’s 40 percent shooting clip. With the game tied at 32-apiece, Furman outscored the hosts, 13-5 over the final 6:44 of the first half to go ahead by eight, 45-37. App State held a 19-12 edge in rebounding at the break.
It was all App State in the second half, coming out in the third quarter playing dominant ball on both sides of the court. Appalachian used a 14-0 over the first five minutes to go in front 51-45 while forcing Furman to miss nine-consecutive shots during a 5:20 scoring drought. The Mountaineers never trailed again the rest of the way, taking a six-point advantage, 64-58, into the fourth quarter thanks to six straight points from Story.
With 6:34 left in the game Furman sliced the deficit to one possession, 71-68. But the Apps responded with a 6-0 spurt that gave Appalachian a commanding 77-68 lead.
Furman never threatened the Apps during the rest of the game while the Apps’ largest lead of 14 would come at the final buzzer, giving App State its third victory over a team from the 2014-15 postseason and confidence going into conference play.
To put the Apps’ dominant second half into more perspective, Appalachian outscored the Paladins 55-33, held Furman (6-6) to 28.1 percent shooting from the field and 23.1 percent shooting from outside the arc. Offensively, the Apps shot 54.5 percent thanks in large part to The Black and Gold shootinf 11-for-18 from the field in the third period
App State also shot 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) from the charity stripe while shooting just five free throws (2-for-5) in the first stanza.
The Mountaineers will have the week off for the holidays before starting Sun Belt play at UL Monroe on Thursday, Dec. 31.
- App State posted a 45-27 edge in the rebounding battle. It’s the third-straight game the Mountaineers have outrebounded their opponents by more than 10 boards. It’s also the fifth-straight contest App State has had a player in double-figure rebounding.
- It’s the first time since the 2011-12 season The Black and Gold has had two games where at least five players in double figures (Nov. 21, 2011 W; 89-65 vs. ETSU; Mar. 5, 2012 W: 79-73 vs. UNC Wilmington)
- The Apps had two 20-point scorers for the first time since last season’s 76-70 win over ETSU on Nov. 19 (Maryah Sydnor- 25 points; Katie Mallow 21 points)
- Story had a game-high plus-26 in 20 minutes of action in the plus/minus category while Bassett-Smith (21) and Jones (16) followed suit.
- Jones shot out of her season slump shooting an efficient 7-for-13 from the field while converting on 6-of-8 from the free throw line.
Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow) kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired to lift Appalachian State University football to a historic 31-29 win over Ohio in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on Saturday evening at the Cramton Bowl.
Appalachian State (11-2) trailed 24-7 going into the fourth quarter but outscored Ohio (8-5), 24-5, in the final 13:52 of the game to become the first 11-win team in Sun Belt Conference history. Appalachian also set a new record for victories by a team in its first season as a full-fledged member of NCAA Division I FBS (previously Division I-A) after transitioning from Division I FCS (previously I-AA) and the first team to win a bowl game in its initial season as a full-fledged FBS squad.
All of those feats seemed unlikely when the Mountaineers entered the final period facing a 17-point deficit but they quickly turned the tables, scoring three touchdowns in a 1:56 span and taking a 28-24 advantage barely three minutes into the quarter.
After App State’s three-touchdown flurry, it was Ohio’s turn to rally, which it did with a safety and a 21-yard field goal with 1:47 to go to retake a 29-28 lead.
However, sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) calmly led the Mountaineers on a nine-play, 73-yard drive over the final 107 seconds that culminated with Matics’ 23-yard game-winner. Lamb accounted for 51 of the 73 yards on the game-winning drive, including a 32-yard run that moved Appalachian from its own 41 yard line all the way to the OU 27 with a minute left on the clock.
With Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula), who rushed for 162 yards on 24 carries, sidelined with a lower-body injury for the final series, freshman Jalin Moore (Shelby, N.C./Shelby) got the ball on three of the next four plays and picked up 21 yards to move the Mountaineers to the six yard line.
App State took a timeout with two seconds left to set up Matics for the role of hero. The fifth-year senior, who was the nation’s second-most accurate kicker during the regular season but missed from 39 and 42 yards in the first quarter, drilled the 23-yard game-winner, setting off a wild celebration among the Mountaineers and an estimated 7,000 Black-and-Gold faithful that easily outnumbered Ohio fans in attendance.
Appalachian dominated the action for most of the first half but the two missed field goals and a pair of costly turnovers in the waning minutes before halftime sent the Mountaineers to the locker room with a 17-7 deficit.
The Mountaineers held a commanding 188-33 advantage in total yardage through a quarter-and-a-half but, due mainly to the two errant field-goal attempts, led just 7-0. Despite Ohio putting together a 45-yard drive that it capped with a 36-yard field goal, it still appeared that the Mountaineers would take the advantage into the locker room when they led 7-3 with 1:31 to go in the opening half.
However, the tide turned in the final 91 seconds of the half. On the first offensive play after Ohio’s field goal, OU linebacker Quentin Poling picked off Lamb and returned the interception 20 yards for a touchdown to give the Bobcats a 10-7 lead.
Things went from bad to worse five plays later when Lamb mishandled a snap and it was recovered by OU’s Tony Porter at the App State 23 yard line. Two plays after the miscue, Ohio running back A.J. Ouellette rumbled in from seven yards out and, in the span of just 1:11, the Mountaineers’ 7-0 lead had turned into a 17-7 halftime deficit.
The Mountaineers’ turnover parade continued in the third quarter when Ike Lewis (Simpsonville, S.C./Hillcrest) caught a short pass on a speed sweep but as he tried to turn the corner on the edge, had the ball stripped right out of his hands by OU linebacker Jovon Johnson. Johnson took the ball 45 yards to paydirt to extend the Bobcats’ lead to 24-7 with 8:06 left in the third quarter and set up the wild final period.
Appalachian State’s comeback began in earnest late in the third quarter when it started what would turn out to be an 11-play, 97-yard touchdown drive. The series was aided by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Ohio defensive back Toran Davis, who clocked wideout Dante Jones (Raleigh, N.C./Southeast Raleigh) several steps after Jones was overthrown by Lamb on a third-and-seven play from the App State 44 yard line. Six plays later, Lamb found junior tight end Barrett Burns (Woodstock, Ga./Etowah) for a 17-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to 24-14.
Just two plays into Ohio’s ensuing possession, sophomore Latrell Gibbs (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) recorded his seventh interception of the year and returned it 11 yards to the OU 26. On the very next snap, Cox ran nearly untouched right up the middle for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 24-21 and get awaken the partisan Mountaineer crowd.
Once again, it only took Ohio two plays to give the ball right back to the Mountaineers, as Bobcat quarterback J.D. Sprague was picked off by Mondo Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West) at the OU 46.
Cox nearly scored on the very first play after the turnover again but was pushed out of bounds at the 10 yard line after a 36-yard run. Three plays later, Lamb and Burns hooked up again, this time from five yards out, to cap the amazing run of 21 points in 1:56 and give Appalachian a 28-24 lead.
Cox was named the Camellia Bowl’s Bart Starr MVP thanks to his 162-yard effort. In the process, the junior became only the fourth student-athlete in Appalachian State history to rush for 4,000 yards in a career, upping his career total to 4,088 yards with a season left to play. Cox also matched a school record with the 22nd 100-yard rushing performance of his 36-game career.
Despite a shaky middle portion of the game, Lamb finished 176 yards of total offense (124 passing, 51 rushing) and accounted for three of the Mountaineers’ four touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). His two touchdown passes gave him 31 for the season, which broke the school record of 30, set by Armanti Edwards in 2008.
Burns caught both of Lamb’s touchdown passes, giving him eight touchdown receptions for the season, which matched Daniel Bettis’ school record for tight ends set in 2005.
Gibbs headlined Appalachian State’s extraordinary defensive effort with seven tackles and three pass breakups to go along with his game-changing interception in the fourth quarter.
Outside linebacker Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) led the Mountaineers with10 tackles while inside linebacker Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) added nine stops and a sack.
In all, Appalachian State outgained Ohio, 427-272, including a 303-107 edge on the ground.
NOTES: With its 11th victory of the season, Appalachian State broke a tie with Middle Tennessee (10-3 in 2009) and Arkansas State (10-3 in 2011 and 2012) for the winningest season in Sun Belt history … Appalachian also broke a tie with Marshall (10-3 in 1997) for the winningest season by a team in its first season as a full-fledged FBS member … App State is one of only four squads to even make a bowl game in its first full-fledged FBS campaign — Nevada lost to Bowling Green in the 1992 Las Vegas Bowl (35-34), Marshall lost to Ole Miss in the 1997 Motor City Bowl (34-31 in 1997) and Georgia Southern makes its bowl debut on Thursday night against Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl … Appalachian State committed nine turnovers over its final three games of the season (two vs. UL Lafayette, four at South Alabama and three vs. Ohio) but managed to win all three contests … the Mountaineers moved to 17-2 in their last three games … Appalachian moved to 29-23 all-time in postseason games and snapped a three-game postseason losing streak … App State won for the seventh-straight time when playing in the state of Alabama … Appalachian’s final record of 11-2 is its best since it finished 13-2 and won its third-straight FCS national championship in 2007.
Appalachian State University wrestling won a pair of matches on the road versus Clarion and Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. The Mountaineers (6-2, 1-0 SoCon defeated Clarion, 31-6, and then went on to beat Buffalo, 19-12.
The Apps started quickly against the Golden Eagles and were up 8-0 after wins at 125 pounds and 133 pounds. Vito Pasone won by technical fall over Travis Jones, 18-3. Jacob Grigg followed by winning a 10-5 decision over Roshaun Cooley.
Clarion got on the scoreboard in the 141-pound match when Micheal Longo dropped a 5-3 decision to Brock Zacherl. The Mountaineers would then pick up steam and win the next five weight classes to put the match out of reach.
Matt Zovistoski and Angel Najar won decisions at 149 pounds and 157 pounds, respectively. Forrest Przybysz, the reigning Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week, dominated the 165-pound match, winning by technical fall, 17-4, over Troy Braddock. Nick Kee would then earn bonus points in his match, notching a major decision over Michael Pavasko. At 184 pounds, Taylor Jackson won a 6-0 decision over Dominic Rigous to give App a 26-3 lead.
Dustin Conti got the Golden Eagles another three points when he edged Randall Diabe in a 2-0 decision. Denzel Dejournette wrapped up the win for the Mountaineers with an 11-2 major decision over Zach DeLuca.
The second match up of the day against Buffalo started at 174 pounds. Kee was able to get the Apps off to another good start with a 3-2 decision. The Bull would win the next two matches by decision over Marcus Johnson and Diabe to take a 6-3 lead.
Dejournette earned his second major decision of the day over Jake Gunning in the heavyweight match. With score at 7-6 in favor of App, the Mountaineers again dropped back-to-back decisions at 125 pounds and 133 pounds. Pasone fell 11-7 to Kyle Akins before Grigg dropped a 5-1 decision to Bryan Lantry.
The Mountaineers would rally and win all four of the remaining matches. Longo got the rally started with a 4-0 win over Brandon Lapi. Zovistoski was then able to top Sean Peacock with a 5-3 decision win to push the Apps into the lead, 13-12. Najar kept the momentum going with a decision over Addrian Ferrarie. In the final match of the day, Przybysz continued to wrestle well and sealed the victory with a 7-3 decision win over Tyler Rill.
The Mountaineers are next in action for the annual Southern Scuffle hosted by Chattanooga University on New Year’s Day.
App State 31, Clarion 6
125: Vito Pasone (APP) tech fall. over Travis Jones (CU) 18-3 at 1:47
133: Jacob Grigg (APP) dec. over Roshaun Cooley (CU) 10-5
141: Brock Zacherl (CU) dec. over Mike Longo (APP) 5-3
149: Matthew Zovistoski (APP) 7-2 dec. over Brodie Zacherl (CU) 7-2
157: Angel Najar (APP) dec. over Jake Keller (CU) 10-4
165: Forrest Przybysz (APP) tech fall over Troy Braddock (CU) 17-4 at 3:00
174: Nick Kee (APP) maj. dec. over Michael Pavasko (CU) 15-4
184: Taylor Jackson (APP) dec. over Dominic Rigous (CU) 6-0
197: Dustin Conti (CU) dec. over Randall Diabe (APP) 2-0
285: Denzel Dejournette (APP) maj. dec. over Zach DeLuca (CU) 11-2
App State 19, Buffalo 12
174: Nick Kee (APP) dec. over Muhamed McBryde (UB) 3-2
184: Joe Ariola (UB) dec. over Marcus Johnson (APP) 10-3
197: James Benjamin (UB) dec. over Randall Diabe (APP) 16-11
285: Denzel Dejournette (APP) maj. Dec. over Jake Gunning 15-6
125: Kyle Akins (UB) dec. over Vito Pasone (APP) 11-7
133: Bryan Lantry (UB) dec. over Jacob Grigg (APP) 5-1
141: Michael Longo (APP) dec. over Brandon Lapi (UB) 4-0
149: Matt Zovistoski (APP) dec. over Sean Peacock (UB) 5-3
157: Angel Najar (APP) dec. over Addrian Ferrarie (UB) 8-3
165: Forrest Przybysz (APP) dec. over Tyler Rill (UB) 7-3
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s and Women’s Swimming Teams broke several school records Saturday at the Spartan Invitational at the Doyle Aquatic Center. The University of Tampa is serving as the host institution.
The Bears are competing against Tampa, Florida Southern, Rollins and Lynn.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Noah McRea (Hickory, N.C.) finished second in the men’s 400-yard individual medley with a team-record 4:02.39, which was good enough to qualify provisionally as a “B” cut to the NCAA Division II Championships. McRea also broke the school record in the men’s 100-yard backstroke (52.95) while finishing seventh overall.
Freshman Jacob Sink (Advance, N.C.) set a new program mark in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke (58.59) for the Bears. Sink finished seventh in the event.
On the women’s side, Lenoir-Rhyne senior Leah Watts (Hickory, N.C.) established a new school mark in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:01.13 while placing eighth overall.
The women’s 800-yard freestyle relay – consisting of Watts, freshman Alyx Koert (Naples, Fla.), sophomore Julia Dieffenwierth (Venice, Fla.) and freshman Samantha Geyer (Brunswick, Ohio) – finished with a school-record 7:56.19 for the Bears.
The third and final day of the invitational takes place on Sunday.
The Carson-Newman Men’s Basketball Team (5-6, 1-4) picked up its first South Atlantic Conference victory of the year, 94-89, over Lenoir-Rhyne (8-2, 4-2) Saturday afternoon at the Holt Fieldhouse.
Five players scored in double figures for the Eagles – led by Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn.) with 21 points – as Carson-Newman shot 64 percent (34-of-53) for the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led by senior guard Keenan Palmore (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with a team-high 29 points while senior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) added 17 points and hit five treys and the Bears finished with 13 three-pointers despite the loss.
Carson-Newman's Sawyer Williams (Owenton, Ky.) scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while Charles Clark (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) finished with 19 points and hit the game-winning free throws as the Eagles held a 36-25 advantage on the boards.
The Eagles iced the game with six free throws in the final 38 seconds and hit 21 from the charity stripe for the contest.
Sophomore guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) chipped in with 16 points and hit four treys for the Bears, who suffered their first road loss of the year.
Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Belmont Abbey in a non-conference game on Saturday, January 2, beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The Carson-Newman Women’s Basketball Team (8-3, 2-3) defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (2-7, 1-4), 68-48, in a South Atlantic Conference game Saturday afternoon at the Holt Fieldhouse.
Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) led all scorers with 20 points including four treys for the Lady Eagles, who limited the Bears to just 31 percent (18-of-58) shooting for the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which lost its second straight contest, was led by senior guard Jasmine Stafford (Memphis, Tenn.) with 11 points but was the only player for the Bears to reach double figures.
Carson-Newman held a 32-23 edge at halftime then put the game away in the third period. The Eagles outscored the Bears by a 19-7 margin in the third stanza and held Lenoir-Rhyne without a field goal for nearly nine minutes.
The Eagles’ Jai Jai McLaughlin (Knoxville, Tenn.) also scored in double figures, finishing with 13 points, as Carson-Newman also forced Lenoir-Rhyne into 15 turnovers.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior forward Morgan Cooper (Virginia Beach, Va.) and senior center Shelly Harper (Cincinnati, Ohio) added nine and eight points, respectively, in the losing effort.
Lenoir-Rhyne next hosts Catawba in a South Atlantic Conference game, Saturday, January 2, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
The Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team defeated Elite Skills 82-70 at home Saturday.
JaQueaz Jackson led the Red Hawks with 16 points. Cornelius Johnson added 13 points and both Mon'Darius Black and Kenny Lemon each had 10.
CVCC improves to 10-4 overall, 3-0 in conference play. The Red Hawks will be back in action Sunday, January 3 hosting Bryant Stratton College at 3pm.