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Appalachian State 34, North Carolina 31

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Darrynton Evans rushed for three touchdowns, and Nick Hampton blocked a 56-yard field goal attempt on the final play of Appalachian State's 34-31 victory over North Carolina in the instate programs' first meeting in nearly 80 years.

Demetrius Taylor returned a fumble 20 yards for a key score, and Zac Thomas added 224 yards passing and another 57 on the ground to help the Mountaineers (3-0) beat a power-conference opponent for the first time since that unforgettable upset of Michigan 12 years ago.

That one ended on a blocked field goal - and so did this one, with Appalachian State swatting away Noah Ruggles' kick at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

Evans scored on runs of 5, 2 and 3 yards while Chandler Staton kicked early field goals of 31 and 43 yards for Appalachian State, off to its best start since the 2010 team won its first eight games.

Sam Howell threw three touchdown passes for the Tar Heels (2-2) - who trailed entering the fourth quarter for the fourth straight game. His 2-yard touchdown run with 3:01 left pulled them within three points.

North Carolina then took over at its 20 with 30 seconds left after forcing a punt, and Howell hit Dazz Newsome twice to set up Ruggles' long field goal.

Howell finished 27 of 41 for 323 yards with touchdowns of 21 yards to Newsome on the first play from scrimmage, 11 yards to Michael Carter and 12 yards to Carl Tucker. The freshman also had three turnovers - his first two interceptions and a fumble - that led to 14 points for App State.

Associated Press

September 21, 2019

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