Mountaineers win their fourth conference title in a row

CULLOWEE, N.C. --- DeAndre Presley, playing for an injured Armanti Edwards, passed for 158 yards and ran for 156 to help Appalachian State rally from a three-point halftime deficit and defeat Western Carolina 35-10 on Saturday.


The Mountaineers (10-2, 8-0 Southern Conference) complete an unbeaten conference season and clinched their fourth consecutive league title. Wofford defeated Furman 35-10, but needed a Western Carolina victory to gain a share of the title.

Instead, Appalachian State won its ninth consecutive game and likely secured a top-four seed in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, which start next weekend.

Western Carolina (3-9, 1-7), leading 10-7 at halftime, lost 14 yards in the third quarter and surrendered 28 unanswered points.

Edwards suffered a hip injury last week against Elon and was available Saturday, but didn't play.

Presley, held to 65 yards passing in the first half, came alive in the second half.

His favorite target was former Strom Thurmond star Coco Hillary, who caught five passes for 56 yards. He also returned a kickoff 33 yards.

Presley scored Appalachian State's first two touchdowns, on 6-yard runs in each half, and added a third on a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The Catamounts' last win in the series, dubbed the Battle for the Old Mountain Jug, came in 2004. Appalachian State has won 26 of 33 games since the jug's introduction in 1976. Appalachian State won last season's game 71-35.

Adrian McLeod made two big plays to stop Appalachian State and allow the Catamounts to take a 10-7 lead.

McLeod first stopped Trey Hennessee for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the Catamounts' 5.

Then, McLeod tipped a pass attempt from Presley, which Mitchell Bell intercepted at midfield. It led to Blake Bostic's 43-yard field goal late in the first half and a 10-7 lead.


In Spartanburg, S.C., Ben Widmyer rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead Wofford to the victory.

Widmyer had 11 carries for 80 yards and scoring runs of 19 and 4 yards.

He was 8 of 11 for 125 yards and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Andy Strickland for the Terriers (10-2, 7-1 Southern Conference), who outscored the Paladins (7-5, 4-4) 14-0 in the second half.

Dane Romero rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for Wofford.

His 5-yard run tied the score at 7 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.

Widmyer rushed for his first touchdown and connected with Strickland for a 21-7 lead with 36 seconds left in the first half.

Mike Rucker added 58 yards rushing to help the Terriers rush for 313 yards.

Furman's Mike Brown rushed for 90 yards on 10 carries and Jordan Sorrells was 25 of 39 passing for 226 yards.


In Lynchburg, Va., Rashad Jennings rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown to lead Liberty to the nonconference victory.

The Flames (10-2) accumulated 406 yards of total offense behind Jennings and Brock Smith, who was 17 of 26 for 273 yards.

Elon (8-4) was held to 267 yards.

Dominic Bolden scored Liberty's first touchdown on a 74-yard punt return and added six catches for 95 yards.

Matt Bevins provided Liberty's other points on four field goals.


In Chattanooga, Tenn., Chris Evans rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns to lead Samford to the victory.

Evans set a single-season school record with 1,284 yards, surpassing the previous mark of 1,270 set by Surkano Edwards in 1992.

Chattanooga coach Rodney Allison ended his six-year tenure with a career record of 17-51, including a 1-11 (0-8 Southern Conference) mark this season. His contract was not extended beyond this year.

The Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4) scored on a 65-yard pass from Dustin Taliaferro to Riley Hawkins on the second play of the game



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