Appalachian State’s defense grabbed a victory Saturday, one interception at a time.
The Mountaineers (3-2, 2-0 Sun Belt Conference) picked off New Mexico State quarterback Tyler Rogers six times in a 45-31 win. Mountaineers junior defensive back Tae Hayes and sophomore cornerback Clifton Duck each had three as both tied the school record for individual picks in a game.
Six total interceptions broke an Appalachian State school record for interceptions in a game, which was set in 1968 and tied in 1991.
With the help of the defense, the Mountaineers’ offense got enough chances to score. A trick play created a passing touchdown from Mountaineers freshman wide receiver Malik Williams to fellow freshman wideout Thomas Hennigan with 5:45 left, giving App State a 38-31 lead.
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App State’s defense responded from there to force a New Mexico State turnover on downs. The shutdown gave App State control. Running back Jalin Moore iced the game with a 56-yard rushing touchdown three minutes later.
The Mountaineers picked off New Mexico State quarterback Tyler Rogers three times in the first half. Hayes had two interceptions and Duck chipped in one.
All of those spawned points. Hayes’ first pick became a 26-yard Michael Rubino field goal. Duck’s interception turned into a Jalin Moore score, and Hayes’ second set up Terrence Upshaw’s touchdown run.
Appalachian State had only three picks all season entering the game.
The Mountaineers’ offense sputtered initially. It had 165 first-half yards, generated mostly by Moore. The junior had 110 yards in the first two quarters, with gains of 45 and 29 yards in that span.
Moore finished the game with 241 rushing yards, his most of the season.
Appalachian started the game with a 41-yard kickoff return by Ike Lewis. But that drive ended a fumble by Lewis on the the first play from scrimmage.
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Appalachian St. 45, New Mexico St. 31
New Mexico St.
NMS—Roberts 4 pass from Rogers (Brown kick), 9:46
APP—FG Rubino 26, 1:59
APP—Moore 3 run (Rubino kick), 12:15
APP—Upshaw 13 run (Rubino kick), 11:01
NMS—Rogers 2 run (Brown kick), :46
NMS—FG Brown 31, 7:37
NMS—Rose 1 run (Brown kick), 13:44
APP—Lamb 38 run (Rubino kick), 10:31
NMS—Huntley 61 pass from Rogers (Brown kick), 9:27
APP—Upshaw 10 run (Rubino kick), 7:13
APP—Hennigan 27 pass from Mal.Williams (Rubino kick), 5:45
APP—Moore 56 run (Rubino kick), 2:12
Time of Possession
RUSHING—New Mexico St., Huntley 10-96, Rose 20-80, Rogers 12-0. Appalachian St., Moore 19-241, Lamb 6-79, Upshaw 11-34, (Team) 2-(minus 4).
PASSING—New Mexico St., Rogers 27-50-6-356. Appalachian St., Lamb 10-21-2-48, Mal.Williams 1-1-0-27.
RECEIVING—New Mexico St., O.Clark 5-57, Dan 5-44, Boone 4-69, Huntley 3-111, Rose 3-13, Hogan 2-31, Cramer 2-13, Lottie 1-8, Muse 1-6, Roberts 1-4. Appalachian St., Hennigan 6-66, Lewis 3-3, Mal.Williams 2-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—New Mexico St., Brown 35. Appalachian St., Rubino 46.
- Associated Press