Appalachian State pulled out another fourth-quarter thriller.
Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb tossed three touchdowns, tying the career mark set by Mountaineers great Armanti Edwards in a 23-20 win on Saturday. All of his passing scores came in the second half.
The matchup was the last between the schools as Sun Belt Conference opponents. Idaho drops down to the FCS next season.
The game came a week after Appalachian State beat New Mexico State in Boone, 45-31, on Oct. 7. That game was tied 17-17 to start the fourth quarter.
App State scored all of its points against Idaho in the second half, finding life in the third quarter. The Mountaineers converted on three fourth downs and registered their first score in that frame. Lamb hit Ike Lewis on a 38-yard screen to score App State’s first points with about eight minutes remaining in the third.
Lamb ended the third quarter leading the Mountaineers down the field again, tossing his second score to tight end Collin Reed two minutes into the fourth. Lamb found Lewis again three minutes later, threading a ball across the middle for a 45-yard touchdown.
It gave the four-year starter Lamb 74 career touchdowns, tying Edwards, who played for App State from 2006 to 2009. Lamb is 10 touchdown passes away from tying the Sun Belt record, held by Troy’s Corey Robinson.
But before the second half, it was Idaho’s Matt Linehan leading a crippling assault.
A Mountaineers fumble near the start of the second quarter placed the Vandals 22 yards away from the end zone. It became an Idaho 28-yard field goal. Idaho would score twice more before halftime, capitalizing on its final two drives with touchdowns. Through halftime, Linehan was 12-for-19 with 159 yards and two passing scores.
Appalachian State’s offense faced another slow start. The Mountaineers mustered only 30 total yards and one first down in the first quarter. It’s the second consecutive game that Appalachian State registered fewer than 50 total offensive yards in the first quarter.
The Winston-Salem Journal is a news partner of the Observer. For more Appalachian State coverage go to http://www.journalnow.com/sports/asu/