Mountaineers Get Dominated in Death Valley


Sophomore linebacker Devan Stringer attempts to take down Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Tigers defeated the Mountaineers 41-10 Saturday. Photo by Justin Perry | The Appalachian

Chris Warner

What began as a promising game for Appalachian State (1-1) ended in disaster after a dreadful second quarter, as Clemson (2-0) caught fire and walked away victorious 41-10.

“We got outmanned in the first half,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “I mean there’s no question about it. They were stronger and bigger than we were, and quite frankly we got outmanned.”

The loss snapped App State’s seven-game, 336-day winning streak dating back to a 53-14 win over Troy on Oct. 18, 2014.

In the first quarter, the Mountaineers defense was stout, surrendering only 89 total yards and a field goal to the high-powered Tigers offense.

Sophomore corner Latrell Gibbs intercepted Clemson’s sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson on the Tigers’ opening drive, and it looked like Appalachian may be gearing up for another road upset.

But the momentum didn’t last long. The Mountaineers’ sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb closed out the first quarter with an interception, and it wouldn’t be his last.

Lamb followed his late first quarter interception by throwing two more, on consecutive drives, in the first two drives of the second quarter.

Clemson exploded in the quarter, both offensively and defensively, scoring 28 unanswered points and forcing three turnovers.

Tigers’ receiver Charone Peake had a career-best 86 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions, including both a 24- and 59-yard touchdown, by halftime. Junior defensive end Shaq Lawson had a sack and three tackles for loss by the half as well.

The Mountaineers’ defense simply broke down from fatigue throughout the second quarter, having been on the field for almost 20 total minutes in the first half, which led to breakdowns in the secondary.

Trailing 31-0 coming out of halftime, the Apps simply couldn’t catch up, even against many of Clemson’s second-team.

The Tigers’ pulled their star quarterback Watson with a little over eight minutes left in the third quarter following a 41-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Artavis Scott. Watson finished the day with 248 yards and three touchdowns after opening the game with an interception.

App State found some momentum towards the end of the third, scoring 10 straight points on two sustained drives, one being 14 plays for 62 yards, the other being eight plays for 80 yards.

On the Mountaineers only touchdown drive, 79 of the 80 total yards came on the ground only to be capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass from Lamb to junior tight end Barrett Burns.

Lamb, who finished the game with nine completions for 95 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions, put the majority of the blame for the loss on himself.

“That’s not going to beat a lot of guys in the Sun Belt, or in any conference,” Lamb said. “It doesn’t really matter if it’s Clemson or Arkansas State, or Georgia State, it doesn’t matter, that’s not going to win ball games.”

Satterfield said the team will grow from the loss, and won’t let it hinder them going forward this season.

“We’re still a young football team,” Satterfield said. “We’re going to continue to get better. We’re going to continue to fight. And strive to be like a Clemson one day. That’s what we’re striving to be.”

The Mountaineers will take a week to recuperate before facing off against Old Dominion on Sept. 26. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Story by: Chris Warner, Sports Editor