Appalachian St. tops Troy, hosts Sun Belt title game

Published 1:56 am Sunday, November 25, 2018

BOONE (AP) — Zac Thomas passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as Appalachian State jumped to an early lead and held off Troy 21-10 to capture the Sun Belt Conference East Division crown on Saturday, ending the season on a four-game win streak.

With the win, the Mountaineers (9-2, 7-1) will host the inaugural Sun Belt championship game December 1, against West Division winner Louisiana (7-5, 5-3).

Thomas fired a 16-yard scoring pass to Corey Sutton and found Sutton again, this time from 15, and then added a 10-yard keeper on three consecutive possessions for an early 21-0 lead before Troy (9-3, 7-1) got on the board with a field goal.

Two of the touchdowns came on takeaways. Caleb Brown forced a fumble — and recovered it — when he tackled Troy receiver Blace Brown at midfield. Thomas moved the Mountaineers 50 yards in 11 plays, capped by his second TD toss to Sutton.

On the next play, Troy’s Deondre Douglas was hit by Austin Exford after a 10-yard pass and lost the ball, which was recovered by Anthony Flory. Thomas scored from the 10 five plays later.

Smith passed for 160 yards and a touchdown pass to Douglas

Appalachian State outgained the Trojans 314-232 in total yards.

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CHARLOTTE THWARTS FAU’S BOWL HOPES

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Cruz’s 56-yard field goal with 25 seconds left helped Charlotte spoil any bowl chance for Florida Atlantic, beating the Owls 27-24 on Saturday night.

FAU was looking for its sixth win for the second consecutive week to become bowl eligible for the second straight year. North Texas beat the Owls 41-38 last week.

On the Owls’ final drive, De’Andre Johnson completed a 12-yard pass to Willie Wright at the Charlotte 49-yard line, but Wright coughed it up and Marquavis Gibbs recovered to end the game.

FAU led 21-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, Benn Lemay’s 54-yard touchdown run brought Charlotte (5-7, 4-4 Conference USA) within four. Lemay ran 24 times for 173 yards.

Early in the fourth the 49ers went ahead when Hasaan Klugh ran for a 13-yard TD with 14:21 left. The Owls (5-7, 3-5) tied it with 3:12 to go on Vladimir Rivas’ 33-yard field goal.

Chris Robison threw for 273 yards and two TDs for the Owls.

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