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Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 38

BOONE, N.C. - Darrynton Evans scored three touchdowns and 20th-ranked Appalachian State repeated as Sun Belt Conference champions with a 45-38 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Evans won the game's MVP for the second straight season.

Zac Thomas threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns and Daetrich Harrington and Marcus Williams added touchdown runs. The Mountaineers racked up 416 yards on offense, including 267 on the ground in a dominating first half.

The Mountaineers (12-1, 8-1 Sun Belt) accomplished something North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State and Wake Forest never have - becoming the first FBS team from North Carolina to win 12 games in a season.

Appalachian State defeated Lafayette 17-7 early this season on the road, but this one wasn't nearly as competitive.

The Mountaineers entered the game averaging 38.9 points per game and showed their firepower in the first half by scoring touchdowns on their first five possessions - the first three by Evans - to build a 35-14 lead.

Thomas got things going when he found Evans on a perfectly executed screen pass on third-and-15, resulting in a 58-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game. After defensive tackle E.J. Scott forced and recovered a fumble at midfield on Lafayette's next possession, the Mountaineers cashed in with a 8-yard touchdown run by Evans. Then Thomas made it 21-0 when he connected with Evans in the flat for a 5-yard score.

Levi Lewis threw for a Sun Belt championship game-record 354 yards and four touchdowns for Lafayette (10-3, 8-2). But the left-hander turned the ball over twice, including an interception that returned 16 yards for a score by linebacker Josh Thomas in the third quarter that gave App State a 42-17 lead.

Associated Press


December 7, 2019

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