Black Saturday this weekend at The Rock
Nathan Ham, Sports Writer
This Saturday will mark another chapter in the Black Saturday history books as the Mountaineers host Furman in a Southern Conference showdown between two rivals.
Fans are encouraged to show up wearing all black to support the Appalachian State football team.
App State is coming off of a big 37-14 win over Western Carolina last Saturday to extend the Mountaineers SoCon winning streak to 25 games. Quarterback DeAndre Presley had 272 total yards of offense and three touchdowns as the Mountaineers cruised to another victory.
Defensively, Appalachian was on top of its game holding the Catamounts to just 14 points and forcing four WCU turnovers. That strong defensive performance also helped defensive end Jabari Fletcher earn SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors. Fletcher had 11 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery.
With last weeks victory, the Mountaineers moved to 7-0 for only the second time since 1954. App hopes to continue its winning ways against the Furman Paladins. The Paladins dropped out of the Football Championship Subdivision top-25 after a 36-28 loss to Chattanooga.
Senior quarterback Cody Worley leads Furman into this battle with the Mountaineers. Worley had completed 93 of 155 passes for 1,094 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His favorite pass catching target will be fellow senior Adam Mims. The 5-foot 9-inch wideout has had two monster games this year against the two best teams the Paladins have faced, grabbing 10 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown against the University of South Carolina and also pulling down 10 receptions for 122 yards against nationally ranked Wofford. Last year, Mims had five catches for 102 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown pass in the 52-27 loss to the Mountaineers.
Getting the bulk of the carries at the runningback position will be a duo of underclassmen that have shared most of the time in the backfield. While Furman does not typically run the ball a lot, these two athletes have proven they can make plays with the ball as both average nearly five yards per carry. Mike Brown leads the team with 266 yards, but Jerry Williams tends to be the redzone back as he has 188 yards but leads the team with five rushing touchdowns.
The Mountaineers have won five straight against Furman, dating back to the regular season matchup in 2005 where the Paladins held on to beat the Mountaineers 34-31 in Greenville, SC. Later that season though, it would be the Mountaineers that would come out on top on the bigger stage, defeating the Paladins 29-23 in the semi-finals of the FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) playoffs. Overall, the Mountaineers are 16-21-3 against Furman, but lately it has been all Mountaineers. Dating back to 1998, ASU has won 10 of the previous 13 games between the two rivals.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. from Kidd-Brewer Stadium in Boone. The game is televised on three channels throughout the state but none available in the High Country on satellite or cable. The game will be televised on WMYA in Asheville, WMYV in the Triad, and WLFL in the Raleigh/Durham area.
Reach at or 336-846-7164.
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