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App State opens Sun Belt play by easily handling South Alabama
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App State opens Sun Belt play by easily handling South Alabama

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Appalachian State senior running back Jalin Moore (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against South Alabama on Saturday, in Boone.

BOONE — The opening of Sun Belt Conference play didn’t slow down Appalachian State’s offense.

The Mountaineers (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) exploded for six first-half touchdowns in a 52-7 victory over South Alabama on Saturday.

App State has scored at least 40 points in each of its past three games — and more than 50 in its past two — doing its early damage against South Alabama on the ground.

Quarterback Zac Thomas and running back Jalin Moore each scored two rushing touchdowns in the first half. Thomas turned App State’s sixth play of the game into a 54-yard score, registering App State’s first points only 1:49 minutes in.

He would add another with three minutes before the first quarter ended, a 7-yard run that put App State up 14 points.

Thomas finished with four total touchdowns, going 8 for 18 on passing attempts. He would also throw two interceptions while benefiting from the Mountaineers’ large lead. Thomas had clean passing days against Charlotte (he went a perfect 14 of 14) and Gardner-Webb. His last interception came on Sept. 1 during the last play of a 45-38 overtime loss to Penn State in the season opener.

Moore scored twice — once apiece in the first and second quarters. In the process, he climbed up the App State career rushing list. Moore, a senior, moved up to sixth all-time, passing Chip Hooks. Hooks played at App State from 1991 to 1994, accumulating 3,742 yards.

After his 123-yard performance against South Alabama, Moore had 3,538. Fifth place is occupied by Damon Scott (who played from 1993 to 1996) with 3,800 yards. He’s 262 yards ahead of Moore.

The Mountaineers’ scoring clip was boosted by South Alabama penalties. The Jaguars had seven penalties for 61 yards by halftime. Six of those contributed to Appalachian scoring drives.

The App State defense held South Alabama to 308 total yards. Jaguars go-to wide receiver Jamarius Way registered seven catches and 63 yards.

Appalachian State 52 South Alabama 7

South Alabama 7 0 0 0 — 7

Appalachian State 21 21 3 7 — 52

First Quarter

APP–Z.Thomas 54 run (Staton kick), 13:11

SAB–Baker 2 run (Patterson kick), 6:12

APP–J.Moore 7 run (Staton kick), 5:37

APP–Z.Thomas 7 run (Staton kick), 3:10

Second Quarter

APP–Sutton 2 pass from Z.Thomas (Staton kick), 12:22

APP–J.Moore 2 run (Staton kick), 4:45

APP–Mar.Williams 27 pass from Z.Thomas (Staton kick), 2:41

Third Quarter

APP–FG Staton 23, :46

Fourth Quarter

APP–C.Reed 3 pass from Derrick (Staton kick), 3:04

team STATISTICS

SAB APP

First downs 16 28

Rushes-yards 35-83 46-348

Passing 225 169

Comp-Att-Int 20-33-1 10-20-2

Return Yards 37 88

Punts-Avg. 9-29.55 2-45.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 9-91 4-45

Time of Possession 31:08 28:52

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–South Alabama, Minter 9-44, Baker 8-17, Miller 1-11, Harris 2-9, Mayo 5-6, D.Moore 2-5, Orth 5-4, (Team) 1-0, Sutherland 1-(minus 5), C.Johnson 1-(minus 8). Appalachian St., J.Moore 19-123, Z.Thomas 6-77, D.Evans 6-61, Mar.Williams 9-59, Hicks 5-22, Derrick 1-6.

PASSING–South Alabama, Orth 20-33-1-225. Appalachian St., Z.Thomas 8-18-2-146, Derrick 2-2-0-23.

RECEIVING–South Alabama, Way 7-63, Baker 4-89, McCray 3-43, Harris 1-15, C.Smith 1-13, Flenord 1-5, D.Moore 1-2, J.Taylor 1-(minus 2), Minter 1-(minus 3). Appalachian St., Hennigan 4-65, Sutton 2-46, Mar.Williams 1-27, Purifoy 1-20, Virgil 1-8, C.Reed 1-3.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–South Alabama, Patterson 28.

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