BOONE, N.C. ?€“ Top-ranked Appalachian State University scored touchdowns on each of its first five possessions and cruised to a 48-7 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in front of a record crowd of 28,802 on Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Appalachian (2-0) added a field goal on its sixth possession to take a commanding 38-0 lead just over midway through the second quarter. From there, ASU pulled a number of its starters and threw just six more passes the rest of the way in cruising to the easy win.
Making his first start in nearly a year, senior quarterback Trey Elder turned in a career performance, totaling 300 yards of offense and accounting for five touchdowns in just three quarters of play.
Filling in for starter Armanti Edwards, who was dressed and available to play but sat out with a shoulder injury, Elder completed 9-of-13 passes for 210 yards and four touchdowns while running for 90 more yards and another score. His 300 yards of total offense were a career high.
Elder wasted no time in leading the Mountaineers to a comfortable advantage, as none of the six first-half scoring drives lasted more than 2:49. He connected with Sports Illustrated cover-boy Dexter Jackson for touchdown connections of 18 and 59 yards and added scoring strikes of 42 yards to Tavaris Washington and 33 yards to tight end Nic Cardwell, mixed in with a three-yard touchdown run of his own.
Julian Rauch booted a pair of 40-yard field goals and Devon Moore added a 12-yard touchdown run to close out the ASU scoring.
The Mountaineers were on the verge of registering just their second shutout in eight seasons when L-R's Andrew Courman, the brother of ASU wide receiver T.J. Courman, scored from five yards out with 44 seconds remaining in the ballgame.
Freshman linebacker D.J. Smith led the Apps' defensive effort with a game-high 12 tackles. Defensive end Gary Tharrington chipped in with eight tackles, including a sack and one-and-a-half stops for loss.
James Pone ran 23 times for 91 yards to lead Lenoir-Rhyne (0-2). In all, Appalachian out-gained L-R, 403-195, despite the Bears holding a more than 13-minute advantage in time of possession.
Appalachian returns to action next Saturday when it hosts perennial Big Sky contender Northern Arizona. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. at The Rock.
NOTES: Appalachian extended its NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision- (FCS ?€“ formerly Division I-AA) best winning streaks to 16 games overall and 28 in-a-row at home ?€¦ the 16-game overall winning streak is tops in all of Division I, while the 28-game home winning streak is second only to USC (34 games) ?€¦ ASU has set new single-game attendance records each of the past three seasons (26,620 vs. Elon in 2006 and 25,584 vs. Western Carolina in 2005) ?€¦ the 28,802 on hand marked the largest crowd to ever witness a Lenoir-Rhyne sporting event ?€¦ Jackson moved into fifth place on ASU's all-time touchdown reception list with 13 for his career ?€¦ he needs just one more to tie former teammate Daniel Bettis for fourth on the list ?€¦ linebacker Pierre Banks recorded the Apps' third field-goal block of the young season when he swatted away a 39-yard attempt in the second quarter ?€¦ junior left tackle Brad Coley made his first-career start in place of all-conference performer Mario Acitelli ?€¦ like Edwards, Acitelli was dressed and available to play but held out due to a shoulder injury.