Gold Rushed


Christopher Deverell

Tight end Barrett Burns celebrates his and the Mountaineer’s first touchdown of the season in a 49-0 win over Howard University.

Jason Huber

Editor’s Note: Upon further review from the Appalachian State Department of Athletics, the Simms McElfresh 17-yard touchdown has been changed from a 17-yard passing TD, to a 17-yard rushing TD. The story below has been changed to reflect the new information.


Appalachian State rushes for 376 in 49-0 blowout of Howard University on Hall of Fame Day.

After winning six-straight games to close out the 2014 season, Appalachian State (1-0) opened up their 2015 season campaign with a crushing 49-0 victory over Howard (0-1) to extend their win streak to seven games, the fifth-longest streak in the nation.

The Mountaineers opened up the season at home for the first time in 14 years in front of a crowd of 24,314.

Sporting their new gold alternate uniforms, they blanked MEAC opponent Howard in the first meeting between the two schools. With the win, App State now has a 12-3 record against other MEAC opponents.

App State began the game playing strong defense. Sophomore linebacker Eric Boggs registered four first-quarter tackles, and senior defensive end Ronald Blair contributed with three tackles.

After nine scoreless minutes to start the game, the Mountaineers got on the board as sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Barrett Burns. This capped a 14-play drive, giving App State a 7-0 lead to end the first quarter.

“I was proud of our guys the way they came out the first quarter,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “[We had a] great defensive stop, and then our offense took it 14 plays for our TD with two fourth-down conversions.”

Scoring opportunities weren’t hard to find during the second quarter. Junior running back Marcus Cox broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the quarter, giving App State a 14-0 lead.

“I have to give hats off to the offensive line or that play wouldn’t have been possible,” Cox said.

Cox’s run seemed to spark the rest of the Mountaineers offense. Less than four minutes later, Lamb completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Shaedon Meadors.

“Sometimes it takes a little spark and the Marcus run may have been the spark to get us going,” Satterfield said. “When we made that play, everybody got excited, and we began rolling.”

And App State did continue to roll, as Lamb pitched the ball to senior wide receiver Simms McElfresh for a 17-yard touchdown rush, giving the Mountaineers a commanding 28-0 lead they’d take into the half.

Marcus Cox finished the first half with a whopping 100 yards, moving him to fifth-place on App State’s all-time list for 100-yard games with 15.

One of the only highlights to be found for Howard in the first half was an 83-yard punt by senior punter John Fleck that sailed its way to the Mountaineers two yard line before bouncing out.

Halftime featured App State football legends coach Jerry Moore and quarterback Armanti Edwards, among other hall-of-fame inductees, which had the crowd pumped and ready-to-go for the second half.

Much of the same continued for the Mountaineers, as Lamb completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Simms McElfresh to make the score 35-0 with 11 minutes left in the third.

“We know we could run the football efficiently, but we are glad we could get a lot of passing in as well,” Lamb said. “Overall, I think it was a great day passing.”

With a commanding 35-0 lead, Satterfield began sitting the starters to protect from injury and gave redshirt-freshman quarterback J.P. Caruso his first game action.

Lamb finished the day completing 16 of 21 passes, 209 yards, three touchdowns and a whopping 206.93 passing rate. Marcus Cox finished the day with 11 carries, 106 rush yards, and one touchdown.

Having backups in the game didn’t ruin any momentum. The energy continued with a 7-yard rushing touchdown from redshirt freshman running back Jalin Moore, putting the Mountaineers up an insurmountable 42-0.

“We had a lot of new faces that got in the game that made us really proud and came out to perform,” Satterfield said. “Those guys have worked hard and had their chance to play, which was exciting to watch.”

Caruso showed the Mountaineers that they had a very strong arm, as he completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to sophomore WR Ike Lewis for the Mountaineers final touchdown of the day.  This was Caruso’s first career touchdown pass and Lewis’ second career touchdown catch.

“J.P. is another great QB,” Meadors said. “He’s been working hard since the spring. I love catching from both him and Lamb. He’s got a very strong arm.”

App State bled the clock throughout most of the fourth quarter and continued to hold Howard scoreless with great defense, completing the 49-0 shutout.

“Our focus is stopping the run and making teams one-dimensional,” junior linebacker John Law said, who finished the day with eight tackles and a sack.

App State finished the game with 663 total yards of offense while still being able to balance the run and pass game evenly.

“We are balanced,” Satterfield said. “304 passing yards and 359 rushing. That’s how we want to be every week.”

The Mountaineers allowed only 172 yards of offense and completed their third shutout game in their last 12 games dating back to a 44-0 win against Georgia State last season.

App State certainly gave students and fans a reason to be excited for the season as they moved to 1-0 on the season. They’ll look to continue their hot streak as they travel to powerhouse Clemson next week at Memorial Stadium, also known as Death Valley.

“Going into Death Valley and playing in front of all those people, they have a lot of good players and schemes they do, but we are looking forward to it,” Taylor Lamb said.

App State travels to Death Valley to play No. 12 Clemson (1-0) next week. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

Story by: Jason Huber, Sports Reporter

Photo by: Chris Deverell