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Mountaineers Open Home Slate With 56-7 Romp Over Jacksonville
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Saturday 09/06/2008 (ET)
Courtesy: James Fay (The Appalachian)
Robert Welton scored a career-high three times in the win.

BOONE, N.C. Top-ranked Appalachian State University football racked up 540 yards of total offense 448 of it on the ground and its defense registered seven sacks to handily defeat Jacksonville, 56-7, before a school-record crowd of 30,718 at newly expanded Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Appalachian (1-1) scored early and often, finding the end zone on four of its first six possessions en route to a commanding 28-0 halftime lead, while ASU’s defense pitched a shutout on the afternoon, with Jacksonville’s only points came on a 60-yard punt return midway through the third period.

The contest was decided in the trenches, as the Appalachian’s offensive and defensive lines generated a 448-43 advantage in rushing yards in favor of the Black and Gold.

Sophomore Robert Welton had a career day for the Mountaineers, leading the ground attack with 161 yards and touchdowns of 44, two and 72 yards on just 10 carries. Starting running back Devon Moore racked up 94 yards in only a quarter-and-a-half of action.

Quarterback Armanti Edwards accounted for 122 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) despite factoring into just 16 plays (eight passes, eight rushes). His understudy, freshman DeAndre Presley, was effective in relief of the Walter Payton Award candidate, completing 5-of-8 passes for 47 yards and adding another 18 on the ground.

Defensive end Quavian Lewis led the Apps’ sterling defensive attack with three tackles for loss and one of the team’s seven sacks among his six stops. Defensive back Leonard Love recorded a team-high nine tackles and reserve DB Travis Dowda notched the first two interceptions of his career on back-to-back series in the fourth quarter, including one which he returned 33 yards for a touchdown.

In all, Jacksonville (1-1) mustered just nine first downs against the Black-and-Gold defense. Starting quarterback Josh McGregor completed 21-of-34 passes for 198 yards, but was sacked four times.  Backup signal-caller Erik Stepelton fared even worse, throwing two interceptions in his four attempts and getting sacked three times.

With the victory, Appalachian upped its all-time record in home openers to 58-18-2, including 18-2 under head coach Jerry Moore. ASU celebrated Moore’s 20th year at the helm by donning throwback uniforms which were replicas of the duds donned by the Mountaineers in 1989, Moore’s first season in Boone.

The Apps enter their only bye week of the season, giving them two weeks of preparation for the Sept. 20 showdown at James Madison.

NOTES: Appalachian won for the 36th time in its past 37 home games ... ASU has not lost a home opener since 2000 (34-28 to Troy State) ... the win was Appalachian’s 15th in a row in games following a loss ... ASU has not lost back-to-back games since opening the 2003 season with losses at Hawaii and Eastern Kentucky ... with the victory, ASU avoided its first 0-2 start since the back-to-back losses to Hawaii and EKU in 03 ... the Mountaineers have rushed for 400-plus yards as a team in three of their past nine games ... ASU held an opponent to less than 50 rushing yards for the first time since it limited Western Carolina to 46 rushing yards in 2006 ... Elliott Finkley’s 60-yard punt return for a touchdown for Jacksonville was the first punt return for a touchdown allowed by ASU since Georgia Southern’s Jayson Foster returned a punt 94 yards for a score against the Mountaineers in 2004 ... Welton’s three-rushing-touchdown performance was the eighth by a Mountaineer in the past 13 games ... freshman Orry Frye, who has played exclusively on the offensive line during his time at ASU, made his first-career start in his first-career appearance at tight end.

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