App State receiver Thomas Hennigan runs with the ball after making a catch against Charlotte.

BOONE — Appalachian State turned to its power running game to cover for some key mistakes — including two red-zone turnovers — to push past visiting Charlotte 35-20 at an empty Kidd Brewer Stadium.

No fans were allowed into the stadium because of North Carolina COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

App State used scoring drives that lasted eight, 10 and 14 plays and clinched the win with a Daetrich Harrington 15-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to grind out a win over the 49ers, who forced three App State turnovers, including a fumble at the Charlotte 1-yard line on the Mountaineers’ first drive.

App State regrouped in the second quarter to get a 16-yard touchdown run from redshirt freshman Camrun Peoples and a 1-yard TD run from Marcus Williams Jr. in the second quarter.

“When we came into the game we had a rotation going,” App State coach Shawn Clark said of App State’s rushing plan. “There are some criteria we go by and one is ball security. We tell those guys that when you have the football, you have the program in your hands.”

App State missed out on another touchdown on a Thomas interception in the red zone, and Charlotte blocked a Chander Staton field goal attempt as the first-half clock ran out.

Charlotte also forced a Peoples fumble at the App State 20-yard line with 6:14 left in the game. App State stuffed the first three plays of Charlotte’s ensuing drive, but a Chase Reynolds pass thrown under heavy pressure bounced off two UNCC receivers before falling incomplete.

Williams countered on the Mountaineers’ first play by ripping off back-to-back 34-yard and 22-yard runs. Harrington finished off the 49ers with a first-down run and followed with a 15-yard touchdown run.

Williams finished with 117 yards on 14 carries, while Peoples gained 102 yards on 13 rushes. Overall, App State piled up 311 rushing yards and 515 total yards.

App State’s defense limited Charlotte to 286 yards in total offense.

Appalachian State 35, UNC Charlotte 20

Charlotte 7 3 10 9 — 20

App State 0 14 7 14 — 35

First quarter

UNCC—Harbison 14 run (Cruz kick)

Second quarter

APP—Peoples 16 run (Staton kick)

APP—Williams Jr. 1 run (Staton kick)

UNCC—Cruz FG 23

Third quarter

UNCC—Cruz FG 49 yards

APP—Hennigan 51 pass from Thomas (Staton kick)

UNCC—McAlister 97 kickoff return (Cruz kick)

Fourth quarter

APP —Harrington 4 run (Staton kick)

APP—Harrrington 15 run (Staton kick)

Charlotte App Sate

First downs 16 29

By rushing 6 16

By passing 7 10

By penalty 3 3

Rushing yards 146 308

Avg. per rush 4.9 6.2

Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-2

Passing yards 140 204

Passes 11-30-2 14-21-1

Avg. per pass 4.7 9.7

Avg. per comp. 12.7 14.6

Total plays-yards 60-286 71-512

Avg per play 5.8 7.2

Penalties-yards 5-63 7-65

Punts-avg. 4-35.8 2-43.8

Inside-20 1 1

Time of poss. 28:37 31:23

Third down conv. 4-14 6-10

Fourth down conv. 0-1 0-1

Sacks-by yards 0-0 1-6

Points off turnovers 10 0


Rushing: Charlotte—Harbison 17-86, Reynolds 10-34, McAllister 2-16, Tucker 1-9; App Stat —Williams Jr. 14-122, Peoples 13-102, Harrington 15-60, Thomas 7-32.

Passing: Charlotte—Reynolds 11-30-2 140; App State—Thomas 14-21 1 204.

Receiving: Charlotte —Tucker 3-23, Thompson 3-62, Dollar 2-25, Arnold 1-15, Harbison 1-14, Elder 1-5, McAllister 1-(-4); App State—Hennigan 5-120, Williams 3-28, Virgil, 2-28, Pearson 2-20, Evans 1-5, Williams Jr. 1-3.

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Roy cooper sucks

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