Mountaineers throttle Panthers for second-consecutive win


The Mountaineers prevailed over Georgia State University Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium 44-0. Photo by Cara Croom | The Appalachian

Joshua Farmer

In the first-ever meeting with new conference opponent Georgia State (1-8, 0-6 Sun Belt), App State (3-5, 2-2 Sun Belt) dominated the Panthers, winning 44-0.

App State’s offense gouged Georgia State’s defense early and often, finishing the day with 469 yards rushing. This was the second week in a row the offense was able to generate more than 400 yards rushing after rushing for 441 last week against Troy.

Sophomore running back Marcus Cox rushed for a career-high 250 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, and junior running back Ricky Fergerson followed suit, rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Saturday marked the third-straight game in which the Mountaineers had two 100 yard rushers in the same game.

Cox deferred the credit for his career day, instead passing it on to his offensive line.

“It just seemed like every time I touched the ball, I had a hole,” Cox said. “It turned out to be a pretty good night.”

App State’s defense also came ready to play, surrendering only 62 yards of offense on the day, eight of which came on the ground.

The defense posted a season-high four sacks, along with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

App State head coach Scott Satterfield had high praise for his defense following the victory.

“To get a shutout in this day and age is hard to do,” Satterfield said. “This is an offense that we played against today that has been putting up points, and been putting up good numbers. Those guys on defense played outstanding.”

This was the second shutout by the Mountaineers defense this season. The other came in a 66-0 thrashing of Campbell in September.

Even the special teams unit made explosive plays for the Mountaineers, as Simms McElfresh scored a 13 yard rushing touchdown on a fake field goal attempt with 3 seconds left in the first half. The play came after Georgia State called three consecutive timeouts in an attempt to rattle sophomore kicker Bentlee Critcher.

McElfresh said the play was dialed-up before Georgia State chose to call the time-outs, and the Panthers’ gamesmanship didn’t break the team’s focus on the fake.

“Georgia State’s sideline was getting really hyped, thinking ‘Oh, were icing the kicker,’” McElfresh said. “But I was looking at their defense, it was set perfect. They were trying to rush to the left side, and we were running to the right so it was going to open up, I knew. “

After notching its first-ever Sun Belt conference win at Kidd Brewer Stadium, App State is now 20-1 in its last 21 home games in the month of the November.

App State has two home games remaining against conference opponents with a combined overall record of 4-12. The Mountaineers’ remaining two road opponents have a combined record of 10-6.

The Mountaineers look to continue the winning ways Saturday against Sun Belt Conference opponent UL Monroe (3-5, 2-2 Sun Belt). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Story: Chris Warner, Intern Sports Reporter