McNeese State 40, App. State 35
BOONE ó Josh Lewis kicked an 18-yard field goal with four seconds left to lift McNeese State to a 40-35 win against Appalachian State at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday.
The kick snapped a 35-all tie and capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive. Appalachian pitched the kickoff three times in hopes of a miracle return, but Kentrel Butler tackled Travaris Cadet in the end zone for a safety.The Mountaineers, who lost at East Carolina last weekend, allowed 522 yards to McNeese.
“We’ve played two pretty good football teams; it’s not like we’ve lost to inferior teams at all,” ASU head coach Jerry Moore said. “I think the problems that we have are correctable. Some of it falls on us as a staff, and some of it falls on the players.”
After winning 42 of 44 home games, Appalachian has lost consecutive outings at Kidd Brewer Stadium for the first time since falling in the 1999 playoffs to Florida A&M and dropping the 2000 home opener to Troy State.
Possessing an 0-2 record for the first time since 2003 ó when the Mountaineers opened with losses to Hawaii and Eastern Kentucky ó Appalachian has a bye next weekend before starting Southern Conference play at home against Samford.
“I think it’s a good thing having a week off,” running back Devon Moore said. “It gives us some time to get back on the practice field and get refocused and hopefully get some of these kinks ironed out.”
McNeese State led 14-7 at the break, and the schools combined for eight scores in 10 second-half possessions. ASU held a 28-27 edge when a punt by Sam Martin pinned the Cowboys (2-0) at their 5 early in the fourth quarter.
McNeese marched 95 yards in 10 plays and capped an eight-minute drive with a 2-yard TD dive by quarterback Derrick Fourroux. The Cowboys got the two-point conversion.
A 26-yard run from Moore sparked the next drive for ASU, which tied the game with 2:05 left thanks to Cedric Baker’s 2-yard touchdown run.”I think both teams had the answers, but this was one of those games where the team that had the ball last was going to win the game, and that’s what happened,” McNeese State coach Matt Viator said.
On the last series, Fourroux fired a 12-yard completion to Todd Pendland on fourth-and-7 and the Cowboys reached the 2-yard line on a 27-yard catch by Corday Clark.On third and fourth downs in the game, McNeese State’s offense converted 10 of 16 opportunities, including 6 of 9 in the second half.
“You can’t help but be disappointed in the way we played defensively,” Jerry Moore said.
In his first game after injuring his right foot in a lawn-mowing accident on Aug. 5, Appalachian quarterback Armanti Edwards amassed 307 yards of offense ó 235 on 19-of-25 passing and 72 on 13 rushes, including two scores.
Devon Moore added a career-high 155 rushing yards on 23 carries.
“I thought Armanti played well today,” Jerry Moore said. “I felt like he wasn’t very sharp in the first quarter, but after that he got settled down and it looked like he was back to his old self.”
Afterward, Edwards said the foot was a little sore but not a problem.
“I never felt rusty, I just had to get in rhythm with the passing game,” Edwards said. “In the second quarter, I felt like I kept them on their toes with the passing and the running game.”
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