App State beats Coastal Carolina

Appalachian State receiver Corey Sutton makes a catch against Coastal Carolina safety Kameron Burton.

BOONE — Coastal Carolina went into Kidd Brewer Stadium Sept. 28 with the eighth overall defense in total yards.

Through four games, the Chanticleers were allowing an average of 254.3 yards of total offense. Appalachian State made sure that that number will go up.

The Mountaineers reached that number by halftime, and beat Coastal Carolina 56-37 in the opening Sun Belt Conference game for both teams. Appalachian State (4-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) has scored a minimum of 34 points in each of its four games this season, and held a 35-21 lead on Coastal Carolina by halftime.

The Mountaineers’ offense didn’t miss a beat despite a lightning delay that lasted two hours and two minutes. The delay started with 1:39 left in the first quarter with Appalachian State leading 14-7.

“We made adjustments, but we were only 11 minutes into the game,” App State coach Eli Drinkwitz said about what the Mountaineers did during the delay. “We couldn’t make too many adjustments because we knew they have plenty of stuff in their package. We made some adjustments and then we sat around and listened to some rap music and hung out.”

App State volleyballBOONE — Ask Appalachian State volleyball coach Matt Ginipro if he is in favor of App State graduate and country music recording star Luke Combs performing on campus, he’s all for it. Just have the tickets distributed at the Holmes Center after the App State volleyball plays, especially against a rival.

A big crowd of students, who were drawn to the Holmes Center to get ticket for a Combs concert, brought a festive atmosphere to the App State volleyball team. The Mountaineers used that extra home-court advantage to beat Georgia Southern 25-21, 24-26, 25-10, 25-18. The concert was announced a day earlier at App State’s football game against Coastal Carolina at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Appalachian State, which beat Georgia State 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 on Sept. 27, improved to 6-9 overall, 2-0 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Watauga footballBOONE — Even a Watauga fumble returned for a South Caldwell touchdown could only put a small dent in the runaway train the Pioneers rode at Jack Groce Stadium Sept. 27.

Watauga scored 42 points in the first half, 28 of them in the second quarter, and ran roughshod over South Caldwell 56-12. Watauga (5-1, 1-0 NWC), the defending Northwestern Conference champion, started its defense of its title in convincing fashion.

Watauga’s offense rang up 510 yards of total offense, 405 of them on the ground. Pioneers wingback Jaiden Bond raced for 168 yards rushing on just eight carries — that’s 21.0 yards per carry — and scored touchdown runs of 15, 84 and 11 yards.

Watauga quarterback Anderson Castle, who has emerged as the Pioneers’ leading rusher this season, added 119 yards, including touchdown runs of 15 and 11 yards, on just 12 carries. Castle, who is closing in on a 1,000-yard season, left Jack Groce Stadium with 921 yards and 12 touchdowns in just six games.

More Pioneers got into the act. Sebastian Best added 52 yards on just four carries, Grant Oliver caught 36 yards on one run and running back Jake Watson added 34 yards, including touchdown runs of one and 25 yards.

Watauga soccerBOONE — Still smarting from a loss to St. Stephens, Watauga was looking for a team to take out its frustrations on.

McDowell proved to be that team. Watauga crushed the Titans 9-0 before the Northwestern Conference game was stopped with 30:50 left in the second half because of the nine-goal mercy rule.

Watauga’s David Sprague scored four goals and handed out an assist, including a goal he scored just 13 seconds into the game. Sprague scored two of his goals in the first half and scored the final goal of the game.

Watauga volleyballBOONE — The Watauga volleyball team continued its rampage through the Northwestern Conference with a sweep over McDowell at Lentz-Eggers Gym on Sept. 30.

The Pioneers claimed the first set 25-11 and continued to roll through the Titans by winning the next two sets 25-12, 25-12.

Watauga stayed unbeaten with a 17-0 overall record 8-0 in the NWC. Watauga improved its league winning streak to 51 matches and its regular-season winning streak to 45 matches.

The Pioneers built big leads in each set and trailed just once when McDowell (7-5, 3-5 NWC) scored the first point of the second set. Watauga responded by taking a 13-2 lead and never looking back.

Watauga cross-countryBOONE — Cross-country teams from off the mountain that were invited to the High County Cross-Country Classic found out what the Watauga Pioneers already knew; it’s not so easy running over and around those hills.

Both the Watauga boys’ and girls’ teams took victories against fields comparable to regional teams that the Pioneers will compete against later in the season.

The Watauga boys’ team finished with 36 points, while Greenville Eastside (S.C.) was second with 51. Watauga was led by race winner Avery Cannon and runner-up Gavin Sweeney, who helped deliver a Pioneers win. Cannon finished the 5K course with a time of 16 minutes, 47.18 seconds. Sweeney was second with a time of 16:48.86. They were the only runners to break the 17-minute mark.

Sophie Beach led the Watauga girls’ team by finishing fourth with a time of 21:31.71.

Beach was followed by teammate Olivia McAnulty, who was fifth with a time of 21:31.46. Sidra Miller was sixth with a time of 21:31.69, Gwendolyn Anderson was seventh with a time of 21:37.26, Rebecca Anderson was eighth with a time of 21:43.08 and Riley Fowler was ninth with a time of 22:13.84.

Mahaley Cronk of Ashe County was 13th with a time of 22:44.83.

Watauga had to compete without top runner Sophia Ritter, who has a sore leg and was held out of the event.

The Watauga junior varsity girls’ team won its division with 26 points. Nation Ford was second with 87 points and Veritas Christian Academy was third with 91 points.

Watauga’s Lena Miller finished second in the race with a time of 22:30.96. Kate Tuberty was third with a time of 22:42.33, Brianna Anderson was fourth with a time of 23:11.74 and Ella Triplett was fifth with a time of 32:31.19.

The Watauga boys’ junior varsity cross-country team got a sixth-place finish from Ethan Cannon. He crossed the finish line with a tie of 20:04.77. Will Curtis was seventh with a time of 20:14.41, Abe Bachman was 12th with a time of 20:25.75, Hastings Holt was 13th with a time of 20:26.52.

Middle school cross-countryBOONE — The Watauga girls’ middle school cross-country team captured a victory in the High Country Cross-Country Classic held at the Watauga High School course on Sept. 29.

Watauga finished with 21 points, while Tailwind Track was second with 48 points. East McDowell Middle School was third with 80 points and West McDowell was fourth with 83.

Rachel Cathey won the event with a time of 13 minutes 36.06 seconds. Cathey was the only runner to finish the 3.2K-course faster than 14 minutes.

Watauga’s Sydney Cate Townsend finished sixth overall with a tie of 15:31.35. Sydney Moretz was eighth overall with a time of 15:34.32 and Maggie Skene was 11th with a time of 16:37.81.

Will Bradbury won the boys’ event with a time of 12:30.62. Collin Anderson was third with a time of 12:35.30, Calvin Zwetslloot was fourth with a time of 12:35 30, Dury Womack was seventh with a time of 14:18.81 and Alex Gremmell finished eighth with a time of 14:19.03.

Watauga-Ashe girls’ tennisBOONE — Some Watauga girls’ tennis players who don’t get a chance to see court time got that chance when Ashe County made the trip to Watauga High School Sept. 30.

Both teams rested their ranked players because of conference matches scheduled for Oct. 1. That allowed the less experienced players a chance to play in a nonconference match. Watauga coach Jennifer Pillow expressed gratitude to Ashe coach Larry Dix for going along with the idea of giving some of the other players a chance to perform.

Watauga managed to win three singles matches and two doubles to slip past Ashe 4-3 in the team score. Watauga got a 6-0, 6-0 win from Ellary Maiden over Brittany Rutherford, a 6-1, 7-6 win by Serena Jewell-Miller over Zada Little and a 6-1, 6-3 victory by Sarah Goode over Lindsey Greer.

Ashe footballWEST JEFFERSON — In their first week of conference play, the Ashe County Huskies (2-3) showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Mountain View Athletic Conference, soaring past the Alleghany Trojans (1-4) to secure their first conference win of the season.

In last year’s meeting between the two teams, the Huskies outscored the Trojans 48-28. This year, it was a similar story. Sporting U.S. National Guard jerseys in honor of Military Appreciation Night, the Huskies were ready to launch a four-quarter assault on the Trojans.

At the start of the contest, Boen Crouse returned Alleghany’s kick to the 21-yard line, where the Huskies offense then took the field. After a series of first downs, the Huskies pushed their way into the red zone within the first few minutes of the quarter. Dawson Cox connected with Austin Poe — making his return after a two-game absence due to injury — on fourth and goal for the score, followed by a completed extra point to give Ashe a 7-0 lead.

Ashe volleyballWEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Huskies volleyball team (9-4) picked up their ninth win of the season Thursday, Sept. 26 against Starmount (3-9), snapping a three-match losing streak in the process.

Before their trip to Starmount, the Huskies hosted the West Wilkes Blackhawks (11-0) Tuesday, Sept. 24. The 3-0 loss continues a 16-match losing streak to the Blackhawks stretching back to Oct. 4, 2011. The Huskies last won a set in 2016.

Their trip to Starmount proved to be more fruitful, winning in a 3-2 nail biter. The win was very different than the normal outcome of a Huskies vs. Rams match-up, with Ashe beating Starmount for the first time in more than 25 showdowns.

Avery footballROAN MOUNTAIN, Tenn. — Overcoming inclement weather conditions that forced a game delay and a game Cloudland ballclub, the Avery Vikings (4-2) offense rallied to score three unanswered second-half touchdowns, while the defense pitched a second-half shutout to springboard the Big Red to a 42-16 road victory at Orr Field.

The win is the team’s fourth win of 2019, doubling Avery’s win total from a season ago and providing welcome momentum as the Vikings prepare to enter Western Highlands Conference play in two weeks.

Throughout the first half, Cloudland sought to play possession football, figuring that the best way to keep the contest close would be to keep the ball out of the hands of the high-powered Viking defense. The ‘Landers were largely successful, possessing the ball for almost 19 of the 24 first-half minutes of play.

Unfortunately for the home team, however, Avery maximized every second of time it had the football on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage.

Avery volleyballOn Thursday, Sept. 26, the Lady Vikings had a home match against Charles D. Owen and powered through to win the game 3-1 in overall sets. This conference match set the girls up for a great week as they traveled to Mitchell on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Avery boys’ soccerThe Avery boys soccer team played Providence Academy on Monday, Sept. 23, and had a hard-fought first 40 minutes. The Vikings ended the first half tied at 1-1. The match proved a defensive stalemate and neither team was able to score during the second half, and the match ended 1-1.

Avery girls’ tennisThe Vikings played against Owen on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The girls put up a stern test, but Owen pulled away for a 9-0 victory.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Vikings played Mountain Heritage, and the team’s next match took place Tuesday, Oct. 1, when the Big Red faced Polk County in a home match.

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