The Appalachian State volleyball team has been selected as an automatic qualifier to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
The Mountaineers were one of seven teams announced as automatic qualifiers for the tournament.
The NIVC was originally played from 1989-1995. With the support of those founders, the current NIVC will feature automatic qualifiers who are the teams with the best conference finishes that were not selected for the NCAA Tournament. NIVC officials will select the remainder of the field based on-court performance throughout this season.
The remainder of the field of 32 teams will be announced on Nov. 25. Round 1 of the tournament will take place on Nov. 29 or Nov. 30, with Round 2 taking place Dec. 1 or Dec. 2. Round 3 will occur on Dec. 5-7, followed by the semifinals on Dec. 7-9 and the championship on Dec. 11. All contests will take place on campus sites. Official dates and times will be announced at a later date.
App State is coming off of one of the best seasons in school history, posting a 22-8 record and winning the Sun Belt East Division with a 13-3 mark. The Mountaineers earned the second seed at the Sun Belt Tournament and made the finals, falling to top seed Texas State.
After their stellar performance at the 2018 Sheraton Le Meridien Fall Frenzy Invite this past weekend, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Swimming Team finds themselves ranked 19th in the National Championship Rankings according to CollegeSwimming.com.
This ranking comes after the men broke a total of seven school records and placed fourth overall against their competition. The records broken included: the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:24.43), 400-yard freestyle relay (3:07.63), 200-yard medley relay (1:34.04), 100-yard backstroke (52.21), 200-yard backstroke (1:50.59), 50-yard freestyle (21.11), and 100-yard freestyle (46.67).
Up next, junior Jacob Queen (Hickory, N.C.), heads to Greensboro, N.C., where he will be swimming the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley at the 2018 USA Swimming Winter National Championships.
Additionally, the women's squad had a record-breaking weekend and rank 35th.
For the second time this season, Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas has been named the Sun Belt Conference's Offensive Player of the Week.
Thomas accounted for four touchdowns and 309 total yards Saturday in a 45-17 home win against Georgia State. He completed 20 of his 24 passes for 282 yards with three touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown.
The touchdown throws were a 39-yard pass to Corey Sutton, a 10-yard pass to Henry Pearson and a 21-yard pass to Dominique Heath.
Thomas was also recognized as the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week after he completed all 14 of his pass attempts for 295 yards and totaled four touchdowns (three passing) in a 45-9 win at Charlotte on Sept. 8.
For the season, he has 16 passing touchdowns, seven rushing touchdowns and just four interceptions to go along with 1,674 passing yards and 384 rushing yards. He leads the Sun Belt and ranks among the top 25 quarterbacks nationally in season-long QBR (No. 6 at 83.7), passing efficiency (No. 15 at 161.4), yards per pass attempt (No. 15 at 8.67) and yards per completion (No. 24 at 13.29). He's second in the league in touchdown passes and point responsibility per game.
Behind Sherry Johnson’s 24 points, the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team defeated the visiting Belmont Abbey JV squad 86-32 on Sunday night at the Tarlton Complex.
The Red Hawks (3-1) pulled ahead 25-8 at the end of the quarter led by six points apiece from Johnson, Milequa Eason and Zharia Brown.
A balanced scoring attack, including ninth points from Johnson, eight points from Brown and seven points each from Eason and Ivy Eller, helped Catawba Valley take a 43-16 lead by halftime.
After battling through some early foul trouble in the first half, Johnson returned with a force in the second half, scoring 15 points and helping CVCC outscore Belmont Abbey 43-16 in the third and fourth quarters en route to the home win.
Johnson also tallied eight rebounds, three assists, six steals and a block in the contest, which was her second-straight with at least 20 points scored.
Brown recorded a double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Hawks, Eller scored a season-high 13 points and Rainey finished with 10 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The CVCC women’s basketball team has a lengthy layoff before it returns to action again. The Red Hawks play their next game on Wednesday, Dec. 5 on the road against USC Salkehatchie at 5 p.m.
The next home game for the Catawba Valley women’s basketball team is Saturday, Dec. 8 against Fayetteville Tech at 1 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's and Women's Swimming Teams wrapped up their competition at the 2018 Sheraton Le Meridien Fall Frenzy at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center on Sunday night. The Men's team wrapped up the weekend in fourth place with 760 points, while the Women's team ended the weekend in seventh place with 343.5 points. Overall, the team broke 14 school records, with eighteen record-breaking swims.
The men were led by sophomore Spencer Ashby (Spartanburg, S.C.) who broke the school record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.67 (eleventh place) and junior Jacob Queen (Hickory, N.C.), who broke the school record in the 200-yard backstroke, with a time of 1:50.59 (fifth place). The men ended the night by breaking the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team consisting of Queen, Ashby, junior Dillon Carey (Denver, N.C.) and junior Seth Hurst (Clover, S.C.) finished in fourth place with a time of 3:07.63. Other top finishers for the men included freshman Jacob Greene (Lewisville, N.C.) in the 200-yard backstroke (seventh place, 1:54.41).
On the women's side, freshman Kimberly Scheiber (Pliezenhausen, Germany) broke the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:22.29 (tenth place). To end the evening, the ladies' 400-yard freestyle relay team, consisting of freshman Elizabeth Bowman (Thomasville, N.C.), sophomore Lauren Rutherford (Bel Air, Md.), junior Jessica Myers (York, S.C.), and Scheiber, broke the school record with a time of 3:36.30, good enough for eleventh place.
Next up, the Lenoir-Rhyne Swimming Team will be represented by Jacob Queen, who will be swimming the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke, at the 2018 USA Swimming Winter National Championship held in Greensboro, N.C., from Nov. 28 – Dec. 1.
2018 Sheraton Le Meridien Fall Frenzy
Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
Host: Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte 2357.5
George Washington University 1750.5
University of North Carolina Asheville 915.5
Wingate University 891
Bellarmine University 646
Gardner-Webb University 445
Lenoir-Rhyne University 343.5
Mars Hill University 277
Catawba College 222
Converse College 186
King University 117
Chowan University 108
Lees-McRae College 29
Pfeiffer University 2
Queens University of Charlotte 1944
George Washington University 1596
Wingate University 1053.5
Lenoir-Rhyne University 760
Bellarmine University 588.5
Mars Hill University 576
Gardner-Webb University 574
King University 370
Catawba College 291
Lees-McRae College 241
Chowan University 149
St. Andrews University 69
Second seed Appalachian State volleyball fell to top seed Texas State 3-0 in the Sun Belt Tournament finals on Sunday afternoon.
The Mountaineers drop to 22-8 overall, while Texas State improves to 25-6 and earns the Sun Belt automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Kara Spicer paced the Black and Gold offensive attack with 10 kills. Victoria Wilform added eight and Emma Longley chipped in with seven.
Becky Porter posted her second double-double of the tournament with 29 assists and 12 digs. Emma Reilly tallied a team-high 19 digs in the contest.
The Black and Gold came out strong and won seven of the first eight points to open a 7-1 lead in the first set. Texas State chipped away at the lead used a 5-1 spurt to pull within 13-9. The Mountaineers pushed their lead back to 17-12, but a late 7-0 run by the Bobcats gave them a 23-21 advantage. Trailing 24-22, App State got kills from Spicer and Wilform to fend off two set points and tie the score at 24-24. Spicer registered another kill to fight off another set point and knot the score at 25-25. Texas State rallied to win the final two points and grab the opening set 27-25.
In Set 2, App State jumped in front 5-4 early on a kill from Longley. From there, Texas State went on a 12-2 run to build a commanding 16-7 lead, en route to a 25-12 second set victory.
In Set 3, Wilform pulled the Black and Gold within one point at 6-5. But the Bobcats answered with seven consecutive points to open a 13-5 edge. The Mountaineers came back with four straight points to pull within 13-9, but could get no closer the rest of the way, dropping the frame 25-18.
App State hit .153 in the contest and registered 33 kill. Texas State finished with 43 kills and hit .330.
For their efforts in the tournament, both Longley and Porter were named to the All-Tournament Team. Longley tallied 25 kills (3.6 k/s) in two matches on the weekend and hit .286. Porter posted double-doubles in both matches on the weekend, with 86 total assists (12.3 a/s) and 31 total digs (4.4 d/s).
The Mountaineers are 22-8 overall and hope to earn one of the 32 at large bids to the national tournament. The selection show will be held Sunday, Nov. 25.
In the school’s first State Championship appearance in Men’s Soccer, the Clinton Dark Horses looked smooth and calm, despite falling behind in the second half against the defending 2A State Champions from Newton-Conover.
Clinton had the better of the possession in the first half, and had the first real scoring opportunity of the day when Jared Aguilar got in on the keeper one-on-one, but it was parried away in the 20th minute. Aguilar again got loose behind the Red Devil’s defense two minutes later, earning a corner kick which was headed just wide of the target.
After a scoreless first half, it was Newton-Conover that got on the board first. Dribbling along well outside the box on the left side, Jason Agreda stunned everyone when he turned loose a shot that skimmed low along the ground, finding the right side of the net in the 43rdminute to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.
After springing Aguilar on the first two Clinton opportunities and seeing his team fall behind, Parker Norris went to work for the Dark Horses. Clinton played a ball into the right side of the box and Peter Darden chipped it over the keeper, clanging it off the bar where it fell to the waiting Norris who pounded it into the net to tie the score at 1 with 22:58 to go.
Just over five minutes later, the Dark Horses earned a corner kick, one of their eight in the match, and Reid Taylor bent an out-swinging ball right onto the waiting right foot of Norris who promptly deposited it into the bottom right corner of the net through traffic to lift Clinton to a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute. Norris was named the game’s MVP with the two goals.
Newton-Conover finished the season at 22-4-1, they were 12-1-1 in the South Fork 2A where they were the conference champions. The Red Devils appeared in the State Championship for the fourth time in school history and the second consecutive year.
Clinton wrapped up their campaign at 26-1-0 on the year, 11-1 in the East Central 2A where they were the Champions. The Dark Horses advanced to the State Championship for the first time with a 0-0 (4-2 PK) decision over the defending 2A Eastern Regional Champions from First Flight. Clinton won the school’s first men’s soccer State Championship.
Ronshad Shabazz netted a career-high 37 points, but Appalachian State men's basketball dropped a 94-86 overtime decision to Ball State in its final game of the Charleston Classic.
Shabazz's 37 points are tied for the second most ever scored in Charleston Classic history, trailing only a 38-point output by Carl Jones of Saint Joseph's in the 2011 Charleston Classic. Shabazz finished 12-of-20 (60.0 percent) from the field, 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from deep and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. His 12 made field goals were just one off his career-best of 13, set in the 2016-17 season against Georgia Southern.
Justin Forrest added 12 points and five rebounds, while Tyrell Johnson had a season-high 10 points and pulled down a season-best seven rebounds.
A pair of free throws by Tayler Persons of Ball State (2-3) gave the Cardinals a 74-63 lead with 2:43 remaining. From there, App State (1-4) scored six straight points to cut the Cardinals lead to 74-69. The teams each traded baskets, before a three-pointer from Shabazz with 32 seconds left made it a 78-75 game.
The Mountaineers fouled and K.J. Walton of Ball State split a pair of free throws. App State came down the court and O'Showen Williams drained a trifecta to trim the Cardinals lead to 79-78 with 22 seconds to play.
The Black and Gold fouled again and Kyle Mallers split a pair of free throws. On App State's next possession, Shabazz executed a backdoor cut for an easy layup to knot the score at 80-80. Ball State shot a three as time expired, but it was no good sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Ball State scored the first 11 points to open a 91-80 advantage. The Mountaineers would close the gap to six points at 92-86, but could get no closer.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 15-7 advantage in the first half. Later in the half, the Mountaineers got back-to-back treys from Shabazz to take a 24-23 lead. Ball State retook the lead and got a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 37-32 lead into the intermission.
Persons paced Ball State with 29 points, with Walton adding 22.
The Mountaineers shot 30-of-72 (41.7 percent) from the field, while the Cardinals went 28-of-59 (47.5 percent). Ball State held a slim 43-39 edge in rebounding, with App State owning a 12-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
Appalachian State will take the court next on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. versus Winston-Salem State inside the Holmes Center.
For the first time in program history, the Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team ended a season victorious.
The 10th-seeded Red Hawks (36-10) ousted No. 13 seed Moraine Valley (31-8) in the ninth-place match on Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center, earning their program-record third win during the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DII tournament.
Set scores were 25-23, 25-22 and 25-20
Tenth-year Catawba Valley head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson is proud of her players for bouncing back from an opening defeat to drop just one set during the next three matches en route to earning their three-straight wins.
“After our first loss, we came out with a new goal to go 3-for-3 and be the winningest team in CVCC history at the national tournament, and they did it,’ Hudson said. “They played really well, especially today. They put everything together and played as a team. I’m just really excited and proud of how they played all year long, but to finish like this with a win at the national tournament was just such a privilege for me as a coach.”
Rachel Delcamp paced the the Red Hawks in their ninth-place match victory, driving down a team-high 10 kills, and teammates Emma Clark (nine kills and six blocks) and Sage Harrington (eight kills and three blocks) weren’t far behind.
Setters Emilee Webber and Macy Pope helped anchor the Catawba Valley attack with 15 and 13 assists, respectively.
On defense, Emily Williams and Meredith Patterson both recorded 12 digs and Madison Bolch added 10 digs.
For her play at the event, Clark — who was also named the Region X Player of the Year and All-Region X first team earlier this fall — was selected as an all-tournament team member.
The 6-foot-1 middle hitter from Boone, N.C. received a special medal following CVCC’s 3-0 victory against Moraine Valley — the program’s second-ever win against the Cyclones in national tournament history.
“Emma is such a selfless player,” Hudson said. “She works hard. She is always encouraging her teammates. She’s come in early. She has put in extra reps. She just puts it all out there on the court. I’m really excited for her to be honored today for all that effort all year, especially for her play in the tournament.”
For her returning sophomores, including Clark, Hudson believes that playing in three-straight days of competition will be beneficial for them heading into the 2019 season.
“They got to play on Saturday — the big day,” she said. “The arena is set up totally differently. They put the one big court in the middle. It’s just a different feel. It’s championship day. For them to get to play all weekend and lead up to kind of the culmination of the tournament and get a big win on the final day of the national tournament is huge. Talk about experience. They played as many games as anybody at the tournament has played. To come out with three wins and get all of that experience going into our season next year — you just can’t describe how much that does for a young program.”
Saturday’s match was the final in the careers of four Catawba Valley sophomores — Webber, Williams and outside hitters Karsyn Mundy and Na-Diea Atkins.
Hudson said that all four players were key this season in helping drive a young Red Hawks squad to reaching its full potential.
“We’ve talked all year about having a young group and all these freshmen, but sometimes we forget to talk about our sophomore leadership,” Hudson said. “They are just selfless, hard-working players who did the little things right all year to make us better as a team. I couldn’t ask for anything more from our sophomores.”
After the second day of competition, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Swimming Team find themselves in fourth place with 530 points while the Women's Swimming Team stayed in seventh place with 232 points after the second night of the 2018 Sheraton Le Meridien Fall Frenzy at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
The men kicked off the night with a new school record in the 200-yard medley relay. The team consisting of freshman Jacob Greene (Lewisville, N.C.), junior Jacob Queen (Hickory, N.C.), freshman John Ryan (Cummings, Ga.) and sophomore Spencer Ashby (Spartanburg, S.C.) finished in sixth place with a time of 1:34.04. Greene also broke the 100-yard backstroke record with a time of 52.21. The other top finisher for the men tonight was Queen in the 100-yard breaststroke (sixth place, 56.81).
On the women's side, freshman Kimberly Scheiber (Pleizenhausen, Germany) broke two school records on night two of competition: the 400-yard individual medley (eleventh place, 4:33.32) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.00).
The competition continues in the final day of competition Sunday with the 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, and 400-yard freestyle relay.
2018 Marriot Fall Frenzy
Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center
Host: Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte 1613.5
George Washington University 1217.5
University of North Carolina Asheville 679
Wingate University 525
Bellarmine University 473
Gardner-Webb University 314
Lenoir-Rhyne University 232
Mars Hill University 203
Catawba College 165
Converse College 150
King University 86
Lees-McRae College 29
Pfeiffer University 2
Queens University of Charlotte 1448
George Washington University 1065
Wingate University 597.5
Lenoir-Rhyne University 530
Gardner-Webb University 427
Bellarmine University 426.5
Mars Hill University 404
King University 249
Lees-McRae College 199
Catawba College 179
Chowan University 114
St. Andrews University 60
With 21 seconds left in the game, Ashley Polacek (Ottawa, Canada/UCF) hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to help lift Appalachian State University women's basketball (2-2) to an exhilarating 81-78 win over Davidson (2-2) on Saturday evening in John M. Belk Arena.
The Wildcats came back from a 78-73 deficit to tie up the contest before Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) found Polacek in the corner and drained the tie-breaking 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down.
Davidson had three opportunities on the other end to knot things up and force overtime, but App forced the hosts into some tough shots to clinch the win and snap a nine-game slide on the road.
Five different Mountaineers scored in double figures with Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./RJ Reynolds) posting a team and season-high 17 points on an efficient 7-of-11 coming off the bench. Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) had her best performance of the season with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting, a team-best nine rebounds, and a personal-high four helpers. The pair led a bench unit that scored a staggering 46 points and shot a stellar 70 percent (19-27).
Four of the five players that came off the bench scored at least six points, including Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) and Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) scoring six points. The six points and five rebounds for Hampton are both season bests, while Bigott played her first game as a Mountaineer and provided a spark with six points in 12 minutes. Nicola Mathews (Adelaide, Australia/College of Central Florida) aided in App State's late first-quarter run with a 3-pointer of her own.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) scored 10 points, while Pre Stanely (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) also tallied 10 points and grabbed five off the glass. Polacek rounded out the leading scorers with 10 points and five assists. Story also dished out five assists with three points.
The contest was a game of runs, especially in a track meet of a first half where both teams shot over 48 percent from the field. After Davidson started the game with a 10-2 surge in the first two minutes of the game, App State hit 12 straight shots to outscore Davidson, 27-11, over the final eight minutes of the period. Appalachian went into the second stanza with a 29-21 lead, which the 29 points were the most scored in a quarter this season.
Back-to-back field goals at the beginning of the second quarter by Polacek extended the App lead to its largest at 34-21. However, Davidson didn't go away quietly, as it went on a 17-0 run over the next
3:34 to go in front, 38-34. App State weathered the Davidson burst to cut the lead to one, 45-44, at the end of the first half thanks to a bucket from Stanley.
Story's free throw with 7:45 left tied up the game before back-to-back layups by Calder and one of two 3-pointers from Wilson capped off an 8-0 run that pushed the Black and Gold to a 52-45 cushion. App State stayed in front of Davidson despite the Wildcats slicing the deficit to one, 63-62, right before Stanley nailed two at the charity stripe to give her team a 66-62 lead going into the final frame. Calder and Wilson scored 14 of the Mountaineers' 21 points in the frame and hit six of its eight shot attempts.
With Davidson closing the gap to one possession, 67-64, Gosnell and Wilson hit trifectas while Armani Hampton converted on an open layup to give App a 75-64 lead. Davidson then started to claw its way back in the game that led to the tight finish.
Appalachian turned in its best offensive outing of the young season in points, field goal percentage (47.1 percent) and 18 assists on 32 buckets. The eight 3-pointers are a season best as well.
The Mountaineers will go for their third straight win against Elon, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Holmes Center.
Both the women's and men's Cross Country Teams tasted success in the 2018 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional with the men finishing 13th and the women with a final place of ninth. The women had their lead-runner, senior Domtila Kiplagat, finish second overall in the 6K with a time of 21:50.52.
Kiplagat, who won the SAC Individual Championship race and SAC Runner of the Year, placed second overall, just 11 seconds behind the overall winner from Mount Olive, Leah Hanle – who finished with a time of 21:39.36. The Eldoret, KENYA native will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship in Pittsburgh, PA on Dec. 1 at 10 a.m.
Other names to note, freshman Caroline Hilliard was the number two runner for the Bears and finished 44 with a time of 24:19.25. Rounding out the top 50 was sophomore Kylie Dahlberg, who placed 49 with a time of 24:28.51 and the third freshman in-a-row comes in at 86, Jordan Cruce, with a finish at 25:45.56. The Bears wrapped up with junior Paiton Fair at 91 (25:50.68), sophomore Adie Bjerkness at 96 (26:03.25) and finally junior Brooke Zeman at 107 (26:21.04).
The women's team finished ninth with 270 points with an average time of 24:26.85.
On the men's side, junior Josh Adkins paced the Bears in the 45th spot and a time of 34:01.87. Freshman Jayden Hefner finished with a time of 34:41.36 in the 67-spot. Two freshman were next for LR – Dasani Hawkins and Sean Incardona - finishing at 84 and 88 with times of 35:33.75 and 35:43.82 respectively. Rounding out appearances in the top-100 is sophomore Petar Ivackovic with a time of 35:50.99. Two freshman round out the list for LR - Ethan Defke, who finished at 105 with a time of 36:31.80, and Grayson Jones, finished at 113 and a time of 37:22.05.
One home game down. At least one more big one to go.
Returning to Boone for the last two games of the regular season, App State posted a 45-17 victory against Sun Belt Conference foe Georgia State to set up a winner-take-all finale with East Division leader Troy next weekend at Kidd Brewer Stadium. If the Mountaineers (8-2, 6-1) beat the Trojans (9-2, 7-0) to win the division via the head-to-head tiebreaker, they would host the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game on Dec. 1.
“We just had a business-like approach, and it’s a great win,” App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It puts us in position for next week against Troy, whoever wins is playing for the conference championship at their home field. You couldn’t have asked for anything better at this point in the season.”
On Black Saturday at The Rock, Desmond Franklin's two interceptions included a 26-yard return for a third-quarter touchdown that followed pressure from Anthony Flory, who had seven tackles to help lead a group that limited the Panthers (2-9, 1-6) to 132 passing yards.
App State quarterback Zac Thomas accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air as he completed 20 of his 24 passes for 282 yards, and Darrynton Evans rushed for a 56-yard touchdown to highlight a 15-carry, 127-yard performance. Corey Sutton also had a 100-yard day, catching four first-half passes for 101 yards and one score.
In the first quarter alone, Sutton had a 39-yard touchdown and a 40-yard reception.
“Last week, on deep balls, especially to Corey, we were taking (the receivers) off their tracks where they’re having to find the ball and are getting stopped and the defense is making a play that shouldn’t be made,” Thomas said. “That was a big emphasis coach (Frank) Ponce made this week in practice — to keep the receivers on their tracks and don’t slow them down.”
The other touchdown catches in a penalty-free effort from the Mountaineers came from freshman tight end Henry Pearson and Dominique Heath, as Thomas increased his season totals to 16 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns with just four interceptions.
Georgia State used a 7-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive to take a brief lead, but App State responded with a four-play, 75-yard series that ended with Thomas' 39-yard touchdown pass to Sutton. Freshman tight end Henry Pearson hurdled a defender close to the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown reception with 3:16 left in the opening quarter, and Chandler Staton's 23-yard field goal 11 seconds before halftime gave the Mountaineers a 17-7 advantage heading into the break.
Thomas scored on a 1-yard keeper about six minutes into the third quarter, and Franklin scooped up a low, desperate throw toward Georgia State's bench before racing untouched down the left sideline.
“The coaches called the right calls to put us in the right spot, and I was really trying to bait him into making some throws,” Franklin said. “He made them, and I just went up and made the plays.”
The Panthers trailed 31-10 when Thomas hit Dominique Heath for a 21-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter, and Franklin's 38-yard interception return from the App State 6 to the 44 preceded Evans' touchdown run on the second play of the next series. Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington entered the weekend with only two interceptions and touchdown passes on the season.
The game also featured the official return of sophomore running back Daetrich Harrington, who suffered a knee injury in February and rushed for 16 yards on four carries in his first game action of the season.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team extended its winning streak to 11 straight with a 43-21 win over Florida Tech in the opening round of the 2018 Division II NCAA Playoffs. The LR defense forced six turnovers and the offense held the ball for nearly 40 minutes as the Bears advance to take on Wingate in the Second Round.
Eric Jackson led the defense with an incredible effort. The safety had two interceptions and forced a fumble all in a 4:29 span to start the second half. For the game, the sophomore registered seven tackles and added a pass breakup to his stat line.
Sophomore kicker Chase Allbaugh broke a program record with his five made field goals on the day. Allbaugh went 5-for-5 with a long of 40 and also broke the team record for most field goals in a season with 15.
Jaquay Mitchell finished with three catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, including a 67-yard screen pass that he took down to the two yard line. Mitchell added seven carries for 27 yards.
One game after breaking the single-season record for most touchdown passes, Grayson Willingham threw three more and accumulated 247 yards passing. The redshirt sophomore now has 23 TD tosses on the season, shattering the previous high of 18.
Sherrod Williams and Javoris Smith each picked off passes as the defense held Florida Tech to 14 completions on 36 attempts. Each team finished with three sacks on the day.
For the first time this season, Lenoir-Rhyne failed to rush for multiple touchdowns in the game. The lone rushing score came courtesy of Ameen Stevens on a two-yard plunge in the first quarter.
Florida Tech’s J.T. Hassell finished the game with 19 tackles and DE Adonis Davis had three tackles for loss and a sack.
The Bears have scored 30 or more points in every game this season and entered today’s game as the No. 4 scoring offense in the nation.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team will be back at home on Saturday, November 24 with a clash against rival Wingate University in the Second Round of the 2018 NCAA Division II Playoffs. The No. 3 seeded Bears beat Florida Tech 43-21 and the No. 7 Bulldogs upset No. 2 seed West Georgia 41-31 to ensure the game will be played at Moretz Stadium.
The game is tentatively set to kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In an effort to pack Moretz Stadium over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, ticket prices have been reduced with the approval of the NCAA. The new prices are:
Reserved Seating (Bears Club Area): $10
General Admission (Adult): $5
General Admission (Child – 12 and under): $3
General Admission (Senior – 65 and over): $3
Non-LR College Students with ID: $3
LR Students with ID: Free
LR Faculty and Staff: Free
Fans looking to buy general admission tickets can purchase those throughout the week at: https://red.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=bbd706de51d122aeca9e65c1c811153d&t=tix
Bears Club Members and those looking to purchase Reserved Seating can call Martha Wrike in the Bears Club office (828) 328-7007 Monday through Wednesday from 9 am – 5 pm this week. Tickets can also be purchased and picked up in person at the Bears Club Office Tuesday and Wednesday of this week from 9 am – 5 pm.
LR Students will again get in free with their student ID thanks to the SGA and the Athletic Department.
Parking is not affected by this being a playoff game. Bears Club parking passes are still accepted for the practice field with weather permitting.