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Moore Gets Win No. 200 in Mountaineers’ 26-14 Victory Over Furman
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Saturday 10/25/2008 (ET)
Courtesy: Bill Sheffield
Travis Dowda's (42) forced fumble accounted for one of ASU's four takeaways in Saturday's 26-14 win over Furman

BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s defense delivered head coach Jerry Moore his 200th career victory, as it forced four turnovers in second-ranked Appalachian’s 26-14 win over No. 18 Furman on Black Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Moore became only the 28th coach in NCAA Division I (FCS or FBS) history to reach the 200-win plateau. He joins Albany’s Bob Ford and Florida A&M’s Joe Taylor as the only active FCS mentors in the exclusive club.

Win No. 200 didn’t come easy for Moore, as Furman (6-3, 3-2 SoCon) outgained Appalachian (6-2, 4-0 SoCon), 354-319. However, ASU squelched two FU scoring opportunities by forcing turnovers in the red zone and turned two of the Paladins’ four miscues into touchdowns.

The Mountaineers looked poised to turn the game into a rout early, as they marched 63 yards on the opening drive of the game and took a 6-0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown run by quarterback Armanti Edwards and failed point-after attempt.

The Paladins appeared ready to grab the lead late in the first quarter when flanker Sederrick Cunningham took a direct snap at the ASU 15 yard line and scampered untouched inside the five, but safety Travis Dowda separated Cunningham from the ball at the four yard line and D.J. Smith corralled the loose ball at the one to end the FU threat.

Six plays and 99 yards later, the Apps made it 13-0 on a four-yard scoring dive by Josh Jackson, which came one snap after Devin Radford ripped off an 84-yard run, which was the longest carry by a Mountaineer since John Settle went 88 yards versus Furman, 22 years ago to the day.

Furman got on the board midway through the second period when Tersoo Uhaa scored the first of his two touchdowns with a four-yard carry that capped a 85-yard drive in which Uhaa rushed for 28 of his game-high 99 yards.

ASU held the 13-7 advantage until 40 seconds into the fourth quarter, when Furman took its first lead of the game 40 on a two-yard touchdown plunge by Uhaa. The go-ahead score was set up by an errant snap that sailed over Edwards’ head from the Furman 27 and was rolled and batted all the way down to the ASU 29 yard line before it was recovered by FU’s Brandon Williams.

The game appeared to be destined to be another ASU-Furman down-to-the-wire thriller, but the Mountaineers countered with two unanswered scores in the fourth quarter to put to rest any Paladin hopes of getting their first win in Boone since 1996. Instead, Edwards’ 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Jorden put the Apps up for good with 13:12 to go and Edwards’ 15-yard scoring stirke to T.J. Courman was the clincher in ASU’s seventh-straight win over Furman in Boone and fourth-in-a-row over the Paldins overall.  

The fourth-quarter onslaught was precipitated by linebacker Pierre Bankssecond forced fumble of the game, which set up Appalachian’s final score. The two forced fumbles tied a single-game school record and moved the senior into a tie for seventh on ASU’s career list with seven. The two forced fumbles also highlighted a stellar stat line for Banks, who also finished with eight tackles and two sacks.

Fellow linebacker Jacque Roman led all tacklers with 15 and had one of the Mountaineers’ three fumble recoveries, which were their first of the year. The Apps came into the afternoon as one of only two FCS teams (out of 117) without a fumble recovery to their credit this season.

Furman held quarterback Edwards’ legs in check for most of the afternoon, limiting the junior to 16 rushing yards, his lowest total in 32 career starts. However, FU couldn’t stop Edwards’ left arm, which completed 16-of-24 attempts for 186 yards and the two touchdown strikes.

Jordan Sorrells completed 18-0f-33 passes for 147 yards and Max Lerner had 10 tackles to lead Furman.

Appalachian’s triumph sets the stage for Friday night’s mammoth Southern Conference showdown versus No. 4 Wofford (6-1, 4-0 SoCon), a 55-20 winner over No. 3 Elon. The nationally televised Halloween battle is set for 8 p.m. Friday on ESPN2.

NOTES: Appalachian’s four-game winning streak versus Furman is its longest since the series began in 1971 ... ASU won for the 38th time in its past 39 home games ... the last Mountaineer to force two fumbles in a game was current Green Bay Packer Jason Hunter, who accomplished the feat versus West Virginia Tech in 2001 ... Radford’s 84-yard run was the Apps’ longest overall since Richie Williams and DaVon Fowlkes hooked up for an 89-yard touchdown pass versus Chattanooga in 2004 ... Jorden’s touchdown catch was the first of his career ... besides the three fumble recoveries, ASU’s fourth takeaway came on Mark LeGree’s SoCon-leading fourth interception of the year.
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