ELON Appalachian State’s overall offensive picture remained a bit unsettled, but the Mountaineers found a running component that worked Saturday night.
Marcus Cox, a freshman who made his first start, sparked the Mountaineers to their first victory of the season – a 31-21 win against Elon at rain-soaked Rhodes Stadium.
Cox, who rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, helped stake the Mountaineers to a 24-0 lead and then preserved the victory with big gains during the closing moments.
“What he did tonight, he made two great plays on receptions for touchdowns, and in the second half, that winning drive, we just rode his back,” Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said of Cox, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back. “You don’t normally do that with a true freshman, but he’s got a lot of poise and he’s got a lot of fight. … I think he’s going to be a very special player for us.”
Satterfield registered his first win with the Mountaineers, who began their Southern Conference farewell tour by beating the Phoenix for the 18th straight time. The Mountaineers will move to the Sun Belt Conference next season.
Appalachian State receiver Sean Price was reinstated after a two-game suspension. He totaled a team-leading eight catches for 99 yards. Defensive end Ronald Blair was on suspension of an undetermined length.
The Mountaineers found the fixes for their ailing offense during the first half by sustaining drives, establishing the run game and with big gains on pass plays.
“Any time we get points put up on the board it takes a little stress off us, not feeling like we have to keep them to zero points,” said redshirt freshman linebacker John Law, who led Appalachian State with 15 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
And the Mountaineers did it with two quarterbacks. Jamal Londry-Jackson, a senior who struggled in the two losses, completed 16 of 21 passes for 205 yards a touchdown.
Sophomore Kameron Bryant wound up completing nine of 12 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.
Satterfield said the plan was for both to play, depending upon the flow of the game.
Asked whether that pattern will continue, he said: “We’ll see.”
Londry-Jackson started Saturday but Bryant finished.
The Mountaineers gained 357 yards during the first half – more than their per-game average – but stalled during the third quarter and were hurt by two lost fumbles.
The Winston-Salem Journal is a news partner of the Observer. For more Appalachian State coverage go to http://www.journalnow.com/sports/wfu/
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