App keeps jug in Boone again, thrashing the Cats 79-35

After Saturday’s 79-35 thrashing of the Western Carolina Catamounts, it is apparent that the Appalachian State Mountaineers like to do things in sets of three. The win over WCU was their third straight and it moves the Mountaineers closer to winning at least a share of their third consecutive Southern Conference Championship.The defending two-time National Champions are still in the hunt to make their third consecutive trip to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, where they will look to win their third straight title.More importantly, for the third consecutive season, the Mountaineers made the Battle of the Old Mountain Jug look easy as they once again kept the jug in Boone for another year. The Catamounts fall to 1-9 overall and 0-6 in the Southern Conference. They have not won a conference game in nearly two seasons; and while fans are celebrating in Boone, fans are feeling bewildered in Cullowhee. “This was clearly a very disappointing loss for us tonight. They stuck it in the end zone a lot offensively and we just couldn’t stop them,” said a frustrated Catamount head coach Kent Briggs. The Cats took an early 7-3 lead before ASU compiled 21 unanswered points to go ahead 24-7 before WCU finally answered with a one-yard score from senior tailback Mile Malone to trail 24-14. “We just didn’t execute the way we should have and we never gave up. We gave it all we had and no matter what the scoreboard said, we fought until the end,” said Malone. WCU pulled within 10 at 31-21 when the senior quarterback found wide receiver Eddie Cohen for one of his two touchdown catches, an 82-yard touchdown reception with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter. That would be as close as the Cats would get for the remainder of the game as Appalachian took a 45-21 lead into the locker room. “You’ve got to give App a lot of credit. They’ve got a lot of great playmakers offensively and defensively and they just outplayed us tonight,” said Briggs, who falls to 22-42 overall in his sixth season as head coach.The Cats rotated their two quarterbacks as they have all season long. Spitzer started and finished the game 14-of-22 with 258 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Backup freshman Adam Hearns finished 1-of-4 with three interceptions and a rushing touchdown. “Their two quarterbacks are really good players. If they were on that team a season ago, they would clearly be All-Conference selections. Kent (Briggs) has done a good job in maturing those guys,” said Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore. Entering the fourth quarter ahead 58-21, Moore kept some of his starters in the game and built a 65-28 edge late in the fourth quarter. “The WCU-App rivalry is one of the biggest games we all play in every season, so I was not surprised to see some of the starters still in the game. Wofford took out their starters two weeks ago, and I think Coach Moore didn’t want us to gain an edge,” said senior Carlton Bailey. “It’s all part of the rivalry.” The Catamounts will get one final crack at ending their 14-game Southern Conference losing streak when they host the Furman Paladins at E.J. Whitmire Stadium this Saturday in their season finale. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:05.