App State falls in heartbreaker to Wake Forest

BOONE, NC- On a record-breaking Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium, Appalachian State lost 20-19 against undefeated ACC program Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons’ first-ever trip to Boone drew a stadium-record 35,126 fans, topping the previous mark of 34,658 set last year during Miami’s visit. It’s also a record in the 23-game series involving App State and Wake Forest, as the crowd of 33,400 in 1987 was the high for the 22 games played in Winston-Salem from 1975-2001.

The sixth lead change of a back-and-forth game occurred on Wake Forest kicker Mike Weaver’s 25-yard field goal with 7:22 left, and the Demon Deacons blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt with five seconds remaining.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys — the way they fought, the way they played,” said App State coach Scott Satterfield, whose team won its Sun Belt Conference opener a week earlier. “I thought we learned a lot about our football team today, and we also did last week at Texas State. If we continue to improve like we have over the last two weeks, then we’ve got a great chance in this league.”

After Wake Forest converted a field goal on its first drive of the game, App State’s defense forced five consecutive three-and-outs and allowed only one first down on the Deacons’ last six possessions of the first half. Eric Boggs‘ 11 tackles and 10 from Devan Stringer led a defense that held its high-scoring opponent 23.7 points below its season average.

In moving from third place to second on App State’s career lists for passing yards and total offense, senior quarterback Taylor Lamb completed 26 of his career-high 50 attempts for 372 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Mountaineers (2-2).

“I thought we gave great effort on both sides of the ball,” Lamb said. “We have to build on this momentum, because the effort was there.”

True freshman Thomas Hennigan had five catches for 74 yards, and T.J. Watkins‘ three catches for 102 yards included an 84-yard touchdown. Making his fifth career start, senior running back Terrence Upshaw rushed for a game-high 86 yards on 15 carries against the Deacons (4-0).

The Mountaineers took a 6-3 lead with 2:49 left in the first quarter on Lamb’s 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Levi Duffield. Lamb handed the ball to Upshaw, who ran right before flipping the ball backward to receiver Malik Williams. As Williams ran back to the left, he lateraled the ball to Lamb, who fired a pass down the right sideline to Duffield.

Michael Rubino‘s 38-yard field goal with 1:58 left in the second quarter gave App State a 9-3 halftime lead, and the Mountaineers answered Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Greg Dortch with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter with a go-ahead touchdown 50 seconds later. Lamb’s shovel pass to the speedy Watkins turned into an 84-yard touchdown that pushed the Mountaineers ahead 16-10.

Wake Forest moved ahead 17-16 on Wolford’s 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cam Serigne with 3:24 left in the third quarter, and App State regained the lead again on Rubino’s 39-yard field goal with 10:35 remaining. Weaver’s field goal put the Deacons ahead 20-19, setting up the dramatic finish.

Courtesy: Appalachian State Athletics

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