Monday, December 19, 2016

Appalachian State: 2016 Camellia Bowl Champions



MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Marcus Cox, Taylor Lamb and the Appalachian State kicker came through again in the Camellia Bowl.

Cox rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown, Lamb ran for 126 yards and Michael Rubino kicked the go-ahead 39-yard field goal to lift the Mountaineers to a 31-28 victory over Toledo on Saturday night.

"We're getting used to this Camellia Bowl trophy right here," said Satterfield, adding that it rode next to him on the return flight last year and probably would again.

"We have so much fight and so much integrity in our football team. They do things right on and off the field. You can't win close games like this if you don't do things right on and off the field."

The Mountaineers got a couple of fourth-quarter reprieves after failing on a fake field goal.

Cox became the ninth FBS player with four 1,000-yard seasons and the 22nd to top 5,000 in his career. Game MVP Lamb passed for 119 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score and some key third- and fourth-down conversions.

Kareem Hunt covered 42 yards on four straight rushes to propel Toledo (9-4) down the field after the field goal. Damion Jones-Moore was stopped on third down.

Toledo took a delay of game penalty to line up the potential tying kick. Jameson Vest pushed his 30-yard field goal attempt wide right with 1:48 remaining.

"If we had to go out and do it again, I'd kick the field goal again," first-year Rockets coach Jason Candle said. "I trust in our kicker and I trust in our protection. That was not the reason why we lost the game."

Each of the first three Camellia Bowls have gone down to the final minutes, decided by a combined 10 points.

Rubino, a freshman, opened the season with two missed field goals and a missed extra point attempt in an overtime loss to Tennessee. He finished in much better fashion.

"He's come a long way," Satterfield said.

The teams traded a pair of touchdowns each an 8-minute span of the third quarter, forging a deadlock heading into the fourth.

The Mountaineers converted two fourth-down plays to jump ahead the first time, including Lamb's 13-yard run off a play fake to Cox.

"All 11 guys on defense went to Marcus," Lamb said. "I just went around the edge and there was nobody in sight."

They also got a 94-yard kick return down the right sideline by freshman Darrynton Evans, who skipped away from the grasp of one final diving defender.

Toledo answered with Thompson's 4-yard touchdown catch and a 1-yard plunge by Hunt. Woodside set up the second touchdown with a 58-yard bomb to Thompson.

"This senior class had a storied career," Candle said. "Guys like (senior safety) DeJuan Rogers have no reason to hang their head."

On the Mountaineers' fake, holder Bentlee Critcher's pass to Collin Reed fell incomplete.

THE TAKEAWAY

Toledo: Logan Woodside completed 18 of 26 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He came in leading the nation with 42 TD passes. Hunt broke Chester

Taylor's school career rushing mark.


Appalachian State: Gained 297 rushing yards. Held Toledo, which came in averaging 529 yards, to 374 total yards

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Appalachian State reached 10 wins, at least making a case to finish in the rankings.

UP NEXT

Toledo loses five starters on each side of the ball, including Hunt. But the potent passing duo of Woodside and Thompson will both be seniors next season. Opens 2017 season at home against Elon Phoenix on Aug. 31.

Appalachian State must replace Cox, but gets back Lamb and has a number of underclassmen returning who are either starters or backups. Opens at Georgia on Sept. 2.
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