Created on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 21:11
|Junior recreation management major Cedric M. Baker signs a Mountaineer football poster for a fan Saturday afternoon at FanFest. Photo by Zack Wilson | The Appalachian|
Appalachian State University hosted football’s annual Fan Fest Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Even with a torrential downpour, approximately 6,000 Mountaineer fans showed up at The Rock to get autographs and meet their favorite players. In addition to the festivities, the Apps entertained the rain-soaked fans with a 95-play scrimmage.
As the rain came down, the Mountaineer faithful crammed into the corridors to be shielded from the elements and support their team.
The Millers, from North Wilkesboro, were just three of the thousands of fans enjoying Fan Fest.
“We’re here because we want some football,” said Mark Miller, a father who was there with his two sons Caleb, 7, and Daughton, 6. “We want to see if App can keep their [winning season] streak alive.”
A common theme among fans was the interest in the ASU v. Florida game Nov. 20 in Gainesville.
Michael Frazier, father of sophomore defensive back Michael Frazier, was especially excited about the tilt against the perennial powerhouse.
“I can’t wait until we play the Gators,” said Frazier, a resident of Conway, S.C. “I want to see how we measure up against them.”
While autographs and picture-taking were the central focus of Fan Fest, the Apps held their final offseason scrimmage to please the crowd.
Potential starting quarterback DeAndre Presley saw the majority of snaps under center and managed to produce.
Presley accounted for 206 yards of total offense (153 yards passing and 53 yards rushing), including a 93-yard touchdown bomb to wide receiver Brian Quick.
True freshman Kalik Barnes, who dons Edwards’ famous number 14, looked a lot like his predecessor on the field, throwing for 129 yards on 7-11 passing and two touchdowns.
Barnes, a relatively unknown player to App fans, impressed many at the scrimmage.
One fan in particular, was senior T. Allen Burnette.
“He [Barnes] looked a lot like Armanti out there,” said Burnette, a political science major. “He has the arm and the legs that Armanti had, and I hope he can give us a little of what 14 used to.”
Even with his remarkable showing at the final scrimmage, Barnes is not expected to contend for the starting quarterback position this year.
Presley, who spent last season as a backup quarterback and a wide receiver, was originally touted as the replacement for Edwards.
Presley is now battling redshirt freshman Jamal Jackson to fill Edwards’s shoes, but he seems to be relatively favored after leading the first team offense during the scrimmage. Jackson was 1-4 for 24 yards and negative 16 yards rushing.
While Appalachian football is known for prolific, high scoring offenses, many fans are looking at the other side of the ball to lead the team this season.
“I’ve heard our defense is really improved and deep,” said Frazier. “I’m looking forward to seeing if they can play up to the hype.”
At the scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough led all players with 13 tackles, including three for a loss and a fumble recovery.
Linebackers D.J. Smith and Terrence McLean added seven tackles apiece while safety Mark LeGree broke up two passes.
Safety Dominique McDuffie highlighted the defensive effort when he intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.
Appalachian opens its season at Chattanooga Sept. 4 and will be at home Sept. 11 against Jacksonville.
Story: MATT GORRY, Intern Sports Reporter
Photo: ZACK WILSON, Intern Photographer