Thomas lesds Mountaineers to face Marshall

App State quarterback Zac Thomas leads the Mountaineers to face former rival Marshall on Sept. 19 in Huntington, WVa.

BOONE — When Appalachian State plays at Marshall Sept. 19, two App State coaches will have similar memories of the Thundering Herd.

Offensive coordinator Tony Peterson was a standout quarterback for the Herd, and the Southern Conference Athlete of the Year in 1988.

Then there’s App State head coach Shawn Clark, who grew up an hour away from Huntington, W.Va. He grew up in Charleston W.Va., and recalled to watching Peterson play for the Herd.

“He was a legend,” Clark said of Peterson.

The duo will team up in an effort to knock off the Herd in a non-conference showdown of the former arch-SoCon rivals. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 35-20 win over Charlotte on Sept. 12. App State rolled up 308 yards on the ground and 512 yards of total offense. Two running backs —Marcus Williams (122 yards) and Camerun Peoples (102) — rushed for more than 100 yards.

Clark was happy to dominate offensively despite the rain that fell during the game.

“We had 29 first downs and 308 rushing yards, so those were the positives in the elements,” Clark said. “I wasn’t satisfied with turnovers and that’s something we work on a daily basis. We were 4-for-7 in the red zone and our goal is to be 100 percent.”

Clark said both backs, who were banged up during the game, were at practice Sept. 14.

“Cam Peoples is still being evaluated and we’ll have a better idea as the week goes on,” Clark said.

Marshall, coached by Doc Holiday, got 307 passing yards from quarterback Grant Wells in the Herds’ lopsided 59-0 win over FCS program Eastern Kentucky Sept. 5. His favorite target was Broc Thompson, who caught five passes for 67 yards.

Knowledge McDaniel led the Herd’s rushing attack with 93 yards on 14 carries. Brenden Knox added 85 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Clark said Marshall is effective running and passing the ball offensively.

“Coach Holiday has done a great job recruiting team speed,” Clark said. “They have an outstanding quarterback, and it always starts with the quarterback. He really shined against Eastern Kentucky and his offensive line plays the game the way it should be played. If we can stop the run, they have a vertical passing game.”

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