EditorsNote: Added missing word ‘a’ in lede; Changed to16-yard line in 5th; Changed rush yds to 335 in 8th; Changed Thomas’ pass stats/Williams’ rec stats
Running back Wesley Kennedy III and quarterback Shai Werts opened the second half with long scoring runs, and Georgia Southern held on for a 24-21 upset of No. 20 Appalachian State on a rainy, windy, even snowy Halloween night in Boone, N.C.
Appalachian State (7-1, 4-1 Sun Belt Conference) saw its overall winning streak end at 13 games and their home winning streak end at 14 games. The Mountaineers hadn’t lost since taking a 34-14 defeat to Georgia Southern on Oct. 25, 2018, and their last home setback was a 20-19 loss to Wake Forest on Sept. 23, 2017.
Kennedy scored on a 68-yard run to open the third quarter, and Werts followed with a 55-yard touchdown sprint on the next series as the Eagles (5-3, 3-1) took a 24-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
Mountaineers quarterback Zac Thomas then came alive and tossed two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to raise comeback hopes, but he threw incomplete on fourth down on his next series, giving possession to the Eagles with 2:16 remaining.
The Mountaineers came up with another stop to get possession at their 16-yard line with 1:10 to go, but they couldn’t get past midfield before time expired.
Kennedy finished with 145 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Werts ran 13 times for 83 yards, giving him 2,016 rushing yards in less than three seasons and putting him over the 2,000-yard mark in both rushing and passing for his career.
The Mountaineers were listless on offense for most of the night and went scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season.
Their normally stout defense yielded 300-plus rushing yards for the first time since a loss to Arkansas State on Nov. 5, 2015. Georgia Southern punished the Mountaineers’ defense with 335 yards on the ground.
Thomas wound up completing 25 of 51 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. Appalachian State’s Malik Williams caught eight passes for 89 yards and a score, and Corey Sutton caught two TD passes.
—Field Level Media