BOONE — On a day marred with rain and chilly temperatures, Appalachian State’s running game warmed up against Texas State at the right time.
The No. 24-ranked Mountaineers (10-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) got 154 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Darrynton Evans and the Mountaineers beat visiting Texas State 35-13 on Nov. 23 at wet Kidd Brewer Stadium. Appalachian State clinched the East Division championship with the Mountaineers’ win and Georgia Southern’s 38-33 Sun Belt loss to Arkansas State. That loss leaves Georgia Southern with a 6-5 overall record and 4-3 in the Sun Belt with one game left in the regular season.
Appalachian’s State’s game at Troy on Nov. 30 still looms large in the Sun Belt standings. If App State wins the game, the Mountaineers will host the Sun Belt Conference championship game. If App State loses and if potential West Division champion Louisiana wins, the Ragin’ Cajuns would host the championship game.
If both teams lose, App State will be the host.
“We’re just trying to be 1-0 next week against Troy,” App State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “That’s all we’re worried about right now. Unless something changes, all of our focus is Troy.”
Mountaineers lose Sutton for season
BOONE — Appalachian State head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz confirmed Nov. 25 that receiver Corey Sutton has a torn ACL in is knee and is out for the season.
Drinkwitz said that Sutton was injured during the Mountaineers’ 35-13 win over visiting Texas State on Nov. 23.
Sutton, a junior from Charlotte, was hurt in the second quarter after catching a pass. He finished the game with two receptions, one for a 45-yard touchdown.
“Corey suffered a torn ACL and that is a big loss to our football team,” Drinkwitz said. “I hurt for him personally. He was establishing his dominance in the conference, but I am grateful that he will be back for us next season. We’re excited to help him along with his recovery and know he’ll be back better than ever.”
Sutton made the initial announcement about his knee on his Twitter page on Nov. 24. “Dear App Nation. It hurts me to inform you that I will be out for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear.” Sutton wrote on Twitter. “I truly appreciate all the love and support you guys continue to bring. This will not be a setback, but a way to show my work ethic, mentality and how I’m really built. My teammates know I am their biggest supporter as we still have a lot of business to handle.”
App State basketball
BOONE — Appalachian State’s defensive goal was to turn Charlotte into jump shooters.
The Mountaineers achieved that goal, especially in the first half. Charlotte made just 5-of-24 shots in the first half, including 3-of-14 from 3-point range during that time. App State built a big lead and used it to claim a 64-55 win over Charlotte in front of 2,203 Holmes Center fans Nov. 21.
Appalachian State (4-3) claimed a 26-7 lead with 3:26 left in the first half. Charlotte finally hit two 3-pointers inside 2:20 left in the first half, but App State took a 30-17 lead into halftime.
App State women’s basketball
BOONE — Appalachian State women’s basketball fell to Gardner-Webb 67-56 in the Mountaineers’ home opener at the Holmes Center.
Pre Stanley and Lainey Gosnell took on the scoring load for the Mountaineers (0-4), as the junior duo scored season-highs of 24 and 13 points respectively. They combined to score 37 of the Mountaineers’ 56 points.
Armani Hampton stepped up on the glass, coming down with a season-best 11 boards with six points. She reached double-figure boards for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
App State volleyball
SAN MARCOS, Tex. — Appalachian State volleyball fell to UT Arlington 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17) in the First Round of the Sun Belt Tournament on Nov. 21.
The sixth-seeded Mountaineers see their season come to a close with a 13-17 mark, while the seventh-seeded Mavericks improve to 17-12 and advance to play third seed South Alabama Nov. 22.
App State outside hitter Emma Longley finished with a match-high 17 kills on a .256 hitting percentage, to go along with seven digs. She concludes her career with 1,340 kills, which ranks seventh in program history.
Teammate Kara Spicer added 13 kills on a .360 hitting percentage and Victoria Wilform added 12 kills.
BOONE — It’s no secret that Watauga’s offense is capable of piling up big yardage to go along with the big points the Pioneers have scored this season.
In a 55-27 Watauga win over Kannapolis Brown at Jack Groce Stadium in the second round of the state 3-AA western bracket, the Pioneers pushed it to a different level. The Pioneers piled up 659 yards of total offense, including 602 yards rushing.
Watauga (12-1), the No. 2 seed in the bracket, also had two runners — wingback Jaiden Bond and quarterback Anderson Castle — rush for more than 250 yards. Bond gained 259 yards rushing on just 14 carries, which is an average of 18.5 yards per rush. Bond also scored touchdown runs of 58 and 13 yards.
Castle needed more carries to reach his totals of 252 yards on 28 carries and five touchdowns. Castle scored touchdown runs of four, three, 56 and four yards.
Watauga also collected 39 first downs, 34 of them rushing.
Middle school boys’ basketball
BLOWIING ROCK — The Blowing Rock boys’ basketball team used its size and its ability to get out on a fastbreak in its 55-25 win over visiting Cove Creek on Nov. 21.
Blowing Rock built a 27-14 lead by halftime and was never in jeopardy. Wyatt Kohout scored six points and a Kohout steal led to a Bennett Brown basket in the first quarter.
Grant Troyer and Ayden Knight added points to give the Rockets a 12-6 first quarter lead.
Blowing Rock center Morgan Henry scored six points in the second quarter.
Middle school girls’ basketball
BLOWING ROCK — In an early battle of unbeaten teams, visiting Cove Creek left the Blowing Rock gym with a 30-20 victory over the Rockets in middle school girls’ basketball on Nov. 21.
The Raiders improved to 5-0. Members of the basketball team, who also played on the Cove Creek volleyball team, are 22-0 in the two sports this year.
Blowing Rock slipped to 4-1, but also suffered a different loss. Standout Blowing Rock guard Kate Sears was driving to the basket early in the third quarter when she fell with her defender to the floor.
She injured her right arm, left the floor and did not return to the game. E.T. Tilley, who took the foul shots awarded to Sears, made one of two to tie the game at 15-15.
Cove Creek started to pull away by going on a 10-0 run to take a 25-15 lead at the end of the third quarter.
NEWLAND — The Avery Vikings varsity boys’ basketball team opened its 2019-2020 season on a winning note, using a 12-2 scoring run to open the game to maintain a working lead in defeating the visiting Ashe County Huskies 64-49 in Viking Gym on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Ashe played the contest without key contributors Austin Poe and Dawson Cox, members of the Huskies football team whose season ended the prior weekend, while Avery played without the services of Jesse Jones, who was injured in Avery’s football season finale last week.
One Avery football player proved to be a decisive difference in the Viking victory, however, as junior forward Troy Hoilman led all scorers with 23 points, 17 of which were scored in the second half.
Avery came out of the gates quickly, as Silas Barinowski and Trent Whitelock each sank a three-point basket in the opening stanza. The swarming Viking defense made life difficult for the Huskies, forcing a number of turnovers with its quickness and hustle. Ashe struggled to find a shooting touch in the first eight minutes, converting on only one field-goal attempt in trailing 12-6 after one period.
Avery-Ashe girls’ basketball
NEWLAND — Avery varsity girls basketball began with a home game to open its 2019-20 season against area rival Ashe County. The Lady Vikings offered a strong defensive effort in its maiden voyage at Viking Gym, but was unable to dig out of an early deficit as the Lady Huskies defeated the Big Red by a 46-37 final score on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Ashe opened the first quarter with hot shooting, draining three 3-point baskets in the stanza, including a pair of treys by Hallie Treva. The senior forward led all scorers in the contest with 19 points in the contest, while teammate Audrey Craven scored six of her eight points for the game during the first period.
Avery struggled to find the basket in the opening frame, as Tiffany Brocco provided the lion’s share of the offense for the Lady Vikings by scoring six of Avery’s eight points in the period as the Lady Huskies held a 17-8 advantage through one stanza.
Avery’s offensive struggles continued into the second quarter, scoring just three baskets in the eight-minute frame. Jessi Autry drained a three-pointer off the bench to offer some instant offense for the Vikings, while teammate Emree Hoilman sank three free throws during the quarter. Treva scored five points in the period as the Lady Huskies maintained a 25-19 lead at halftime.