Final Stats

BOONE, N.C. ?€“ Richie Williams racked up 403 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns to lead Appalachian State University to a 38-24 victory over Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs at cold and rainy Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Williams completed 20-of-28 passes for a season-high 367 yards and three touchdowns and added 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead second-seeded Appalachian (10-3) to next Saturday's national semifinal versus Southern Conference-rival Furman, a 24-20 winner over Richmond on Saturday evening. Williams, a senior from Camden, S.C., set ASU playoff records for passing yards and total offense and tied the school's single-game playoff record with his three passing touchdowns and four total TDs. The contest wasn't as close as the final score would indicate, as the Mountaineers ran out to a 24-0 first-half lead en route to the triumph. After a 32-yard Julian Rauch field goal on the first drive of the game, Williams plunged into end zone from a yard out to put the Apps ahead 10-0 with over five minutes to play in the first quarter. Appalachian stretched the lead to 17-0 early in the second period when Williams found running back Kevin Richardson on a well-executed out-and-up route for a 41-yard touchdown. Southern Illinois (9-4) was set to put its first points on the board when it drove to the ASU 29 yard line on the next series, but Mountaineer cornerback Justin Woazeah stymied the potential scoring drive when he picked off his second pass in as many weeks and returned it 78 yards to the SIU 11. Appalachian made it 24-0 one play later when true freshman T.J. Courman took the handoff on a reverse and ran it in from 11 yards out. The Salukis got within two touchdowns with a 24-yard field goal just before halftime and Craig Turner's 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half. However, ASU answered quickly with a four-play, 80-yard drive that took just 43 seconds off the clock, capped by a 54-yard touchdown pass from Williams to William Mayfield that extended Appalachian's advantage to 31-10. Southern Illinois added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, sandwiched around a 40-yard scoring connection from Williams to Dexter Jackson, to round out the scoring. In all, the Mountaineers out-gained the Salukis 500-337, including a 367-220 advantage through the air. In addition to Williams' 403 total yards, Richardson recorded 160 all-purpose yards and fell just shy of becoming the first Mountaineer to ever record back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances in the playoffs with 99 yards on 16 rushes. Defensive end Jason Hunter paced Appalachian defensively with 11 tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage. Defensive tackle Joe Suiter added 1.5 sacks and defensive back Jeremy Wiggins chipped in with 10 stops and an interception. Running back Arkee Whitlock led SIU with 95 yards on 20 attempts, while quarterback Joel Sambursky completed 19-of-38 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, but threw a pair of costly interceptions. NOTES: In addition to his slew of ASU single-game playoff records, Williams added a pair of Southern Conference milestones to his extensive collection by becoming the league's all-time leader in career touchdown passes (59) and the first player in conference history to record 9,000 yards of total offense in a career (9,161) ?€¦ Richardson upped his season rushing total to 1,277 yards to set an Appalachian sophomore record and move into seventh on the school's all-time single-season rushing list ?€¦ senior Brandon Turner recorded his first-career 100-yard receiving game with four receptions for 104 yards ?€¦ his 61-yard reception in the first quarter alone more than doubled his receiving output for the entire season coming into Saturday's contest (56) ?€¦ a crowd of 11,108, the second-largest in ASU playoff history, braved the wintry conditions at Kidd Brewer Stadium ?€¦ the temperature was 34 degrees, with a 30-degree wind-chill factor, at kickoff and a steady rain fell throughout the game ?€¦ Appalachian extended its school-record home winning streak to 17-straight games ... next Saturday's semifinal appearance will be the third in school history ?€¦ the Apps fell at home to Marshall, 24-10, in 1987 and dropped a 19-16 overtime decision at Montana in 2000. Appalachian State 38, Southern Illinois 24 NCAA I-AA Quarterfinals December 3, 2005 ?€“ Boone, N.C. (Kidd Brewer Stadium) Postgame Quotes ASU Head Coach Jerry Moore General Comments: "We beat a good, solid team. We studied the tapes hard because we have a great respect for (Southern Illinois). Our coaches prepared our players real well." On the inclement weather: "We practiced in worse weather on Tuesday and Wednesday, so that actually helped rather than hurt us." On taking control of the game: "Had we won the coin toss, we wouldn't have deferred, which we normally do. The mentality of the team was that they wanted the ball. We didn't want to repeat what (the slow start versus Lafayette) happened last week." On ASU's offensive philosophy: "We felt like we could throw the ball on them. We hurt them early by throwing. From there, everything fell into place. On the importance of getting an early lead: "(SIU) has a big group up front, so it was important for us to get a lead and not let them just pound away." On ASU's defense: "The pass rush stopped (SIU quarterback Joel Sambursky) from putting anything on the ball. We got a lot of pressure on him and forced him to lob some passes." ASU quarterback Richie Williams On ASU's offensive philosophy: "We knew that they weren't as strong in the back four as they were in the front seven, so we used running backs, tight ends and all of our weapons in the passing game." On the play of ASU's offensive line: "There wasn't any pressure on me all day because the linemen did a great job." ASU defensive tackle Joe Suiter "Our movement and defensive scheme made it hard for them. Our quickness helped us draw false starts." SIU head coach Jerry Kill: On ASU: "Congrats to a very good Appalachian State team. They executed well and are well coached." On the difference in the game: "We tried to stay with them, but they made big plays and we didn't. That's what the game came down to." On ASU's offense: "Offensively, they have an excellent trigger-man (Richie Williams) and speed. They took advantage of that." On Richie Williams: "We were worried about containing Williams, but I think we did a good job of that. But, he hurt us by throwing." SIU quarterback Joel Sambursky "We didn't execute and they did things that hurt us. They were the best team that we played all year." SIU running back Arkee Whitlock "They run to the ball so quick, it was confusing. We tried to be patient, but it was difficult because of their speed. They were aggressive and played hard."