EditorsNote: Adds that Appalachian State clinched Sun Belt East Division, other minor edits
Darrynton Evans rushed for three touchdowns and No. 24 Appalachian State took over in the second half to defeat visiting Texas State 35-13 on Saturday afternoon at rainy Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C.
Later in the day, Arkansas State beat Georgia Southern, allowing Appalachian State (10-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) to clinch the Sun Belt East Division and a berth in the conference championship game on Dec. 7. The Mountaineers reached the 10-win mark for the second season in a row, this time doing so under first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz.
Quarterback Zac Thomas threw for two touchdowns for the Mountaineers, who led only 14-13 in the third quarter.
Evans gained 154 yards on 21 carries.
With the Mountaineers leading by one point, Evans began a stretch of three touchdown runs to end the scoring.
He scored on a 13-yard scamper with 5:32 to play in the third quarter. Then on the final play of the quarter, he ran in from 10 yards out. His 13-yard run at the 6:26 mark in the fourth pretty much clinched the outcome on Senior Day.
Thomas ended up 8-for-16 passing for 174 yards.
Thomas hooked up with Corey Sutton for a 45-yard touchdown play for the only scoring of the first quarter. Sutton, the team’s top deep threat, was injured later in the first half and didn’t return to the game, later using crutches on the sideline.
Texas State (3-8, 2-5), which plays another road game next week to end the season, scored with three seconds left in the half on Tyler Vitt’s 53-yard strike to Javen Banks to close the gap to 14-10.
This was after Thomas had a 19-yard scoring pass to Keishawn Watson for Appalachian State with one minute to play in the first half.
Vitt completed 18 of 34 passes for 154 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Joshua Rowland booted two 48-yard field goals for Texas State.
—Field Level Media