STOPPED SHORT: Appalachian State ends Trojans’ postseason chances

Published 9:30 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

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Troy’s postseason hopes officially ended on Friday night with a 48-13 loss to No. 25 Appalachian State.

The loss for the Trojans gives them a 5-7 record on the season and a 3-5 record in conference play.

A Trojan win would have made them bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season.

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“We’re disappointed with how our season has gone,” Lindsey said. “We’ve had a lot of adversity for sure. Hopefully this will serve as motivation for us in the offseason.”

The Mountaineers offense scored touchdowns on five of their six first-half possessions and seven in their 12 total possessions on Friday night.

“App State has a really good football team,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “They obviously won our side for a reason. We had to play really well to have an opportunity to win the game. Early on, I thought we started fast but just couldn’t score touchdowns. Overall, we just didn’t get it done.”

The Mountaineers led as by as many as 24 points in the opening half.

The Trojan defense allowed the Mountaineers offense to average 8.6 yards per game in the opening half.

For the second consecutive week, the Trojans jumped on the board first on a Tyler Sumpter field goal.

The Mountaineers answered with 20 unanswered points. App State had three plays that went for over 40 yards, the first coming on their first touchdown of the game. Quarterback Zac Thomas connected with Jalin Virgil on a 44-yard touchdown pass. After a failed missed extra point, the Mountaineers led 6-3.

After a 52-yard touchdown run by Darrynton Evans and a 5-yard touchdown run by Thomas, the Trojans broke the streak with a touchdown run of their own. DK Billingsley had a 31-yard run and capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to bring the Trojans to within 10 at 20-10.

Thomas had his second touchdown of the half when he connected with Malik Williams for an eight-yard touchdown pass.

The Mountaineers closed out the scoring when Evans scored his second touchdown on a nine-yard run.

The Mountaineers converted on all seven of their third downs in the opening half, including all five in the second quarter. They converted their first three third downs of the second half and didn’t punt for the first time until midway through the third quarter. They finished 10 of 13 on third down.

“It’s going to be hard to stop guys when we don’t get off the field on third downs,” Lindsey said. “They hit some passes on us and made some catches and made some throws. Our guys were battling, but we have to improve in that area.”

The Mountaineers added seven more points in the third quarter. Williams had his second touchdown reception, this time from six-yards out to increase the Mountaineer lead to 28 at 41-13.

The Mountaineers scored one final touchdown early in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 48-13.