College Sports

App State pummels Gardner-Webb 72-7 in home opener

Appalachian State’s Clifton Duck, the former Butler High standout, returns a punt 62 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of Saturday’s football game against visiting Gardner-Webb. App State won 72-7.
Appalachian State’s Clifton Duck, the former Butler High standout, returns a punt 62 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter of Saturday’s football game against visiting Gardner-Webb. App State won 72-7. AP

Appalachian State showed no signs of rust in its home debut this season.

The Mountaineers rolled to a 72-7 home victory against Gardner-Webb on Saturday in Kidd Brewer Stadium. Playing a week after the scheduled home opener against Southern Miss was canceled because of Hurricane Florence, App State (2-1) scored twice on special teams during a 52-point first half and posted the third-highest point total in program history.

App State put up 692 total yards during a performance that, in terms of scoring, ranks behind only a 115-0 win against Piedmont in 1936 and a 79-35 win against Western Carolina in 2007.

Steven Jones tied a school record with two blocked punts, including one that he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown that followed Zac Thomas' 64-yard scoring strike to Dominique Heath in the opening minute, and Clifton Duck's 62-yard punt return for a score helped push App State ahead 42-7 with 12:42 left in the second quarter.

One of six quarterbacks to see action for Appalachian, Thomas completed 11 of his 15 pass attempts for 185 yards before sitting out the entire second half, and a career-long run of 81 yards from senior Jalin Moore highlighted a two-touchdown performance in which he rushed for 119 yards on his eight first-half carries. He was the second-leading rusher behind D'Andre Hicks, who capped a 150-yard effort with a 73-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Gardner-Webb (1-3) scored on its second drive of the game, but App State pitched a shutout the rest of the way with a defense that got a pair of sacks from redshirt freshman Jermaine McDaniel Jr. as well as interceptions from Desmond Franklin and Kaiden Smith.

Dayton 42, Davidson 21: Jack Cook threw for two touchdowns and the Flyers posted their first conference win, beating the Wildcats.

Cook had 193 yards passing for Dayton (2-2, 1-0 Pioneer League). Tucker Yinger ran for two touchdowns and had a receiving touchdown. Richie Warfield ran for two scores.

The Flyers trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter when Warfield scored his first touchdown from 6 yards out. The Wildcats (3-1, 0-1) went four-and-out after that and Dayton took over at the Davidson 37, setting up Warfield’s second scoring run eight plays later, making it 14-14 with 6:22 left in the half.

Dayton scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half, starting with Yinger’s runs of 18- and 8-yards to give the Flyers a 28-14 lead. Cook followed with a 30-yard touchdown throw to Adam Trautman late in the third and a 29-yard strike to Yinger for a 42-14 advantage with 6:49 to play.

Tyler Phelps threw for 177 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats.

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