Saturday, October 19, 2019

Zac Thomas's Four Touchdowns Propel #24 Appalachian State to Rousing 52-7 Win Over ULM to Remain Undefeated

BOONE – For the first time in school history, the Appalachian State Mountaineers were playing a home game as a ranked FBS team. Sitting at the #24 position in both the AP and Coaches Poll, the three-time defending Sun Belt Conference champions knew a win today over a scrappy ULM team would solidify their standing among college football’s elite and begin to make a case for the being the top team from the Group of Five. Behind a four-touchdown effort from quarterback Zac Thomas and an offense that rushed for over 300 yards, the Mountaineers routed the opposing ULM team, 52-7, on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

The Warhawks of ULM certainly did not begin the game as an underdog. Driving eighty-two yards on twelve plays, the visitors opened up the scoring on the day with a one-yard Kayin White run. The Mountaineers only took 41 seconds to respond with junior Darrynton Evans racing past multiple defenders on his fifty-nine-yard scamper to the end zone. After forcing a ULM punt on the next drive, the App State offense went on the move, covering seventy-six yards in twelve plays and taking the lead with a six-yard touchdown pass from Zac Thomas to Thomas Hennigan in the back of the end zone.

Not wanting to be left out of the festivities in the first quarter, the Mountaineer defense stepped up and made their own big play as George Blackstock forced a fumble that was recovered by Josh Thomas and returned deep into ULM territory. Zac Thomas’s one-yard keeper made it a 21-7 lead, a lead which the home team took into the second quarter.

The second quarter played out much like the opening quarter as a focused Mountaineer defense repeatedly stifled the Warhawk offense which only gained twenty-two yards of offense in the second period of play. The App State offense added ten points through a 27-yard Chandler Staton field goal and Thomas’s second touchdown pass of the day, this one a one-yard toss to tight end Collin Reed.

Appalachian State started the second half with the same urgency they finished the first half with. Starting at their own 25, the Mountaineers marched seventy-five yards down the field and ended any chance of a possible ULM comeback after Zac Thomas, under heavy pressure, found Darrynton Evans on a crossing route. The junior raced fifteen yards to hit pay dirt and the rout was officially on.

Marcus Williams added a three-yard run in the fourth quarter before Coach Eliah Drinkwitz decided to give some his reserves some valuable live game action. They took advantage of this and when Jalen Virgil raced to the end zone the sideline erupted and the Mountaineers won their first-ever game as a ranked FBS team, 52-7.

The App State defense held ULM to only 213 yards of total offense with eighty-two coming on the opening drive of the game.
Neither team called a timeout during the game.
Using eight different players, App State rushed for 302 yards.

Notable North Carolinians
Marcus Williams (SouthWest Edgecombe) – the junior running back rushed for 79 yards on sixteen carries and also caught a pass.
Thomas Hennigan (Northwest Guilford) – the junior wide receiver caught a touchdown pass and returned two punts.
Noel Cook (Reidsville) the senior linebacker led the team with eight tackles, including three solo.

Next Week
Appalachian State (6-0) travels to South Alabama in Sun Belt action while ULM is on bye.