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football

Bobcats One Yard Shy of Upset

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Keff Ciardello

SAN MARCOS, Texas- The Texas State Bobcats (1-2) lost to the Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-1) 20-13 on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium

The Bobcats’ offense came out to play against the Mountaineers. Though they scored only 13, they had 156 more yards than Appalachian State and were 10-18(55%) on third down.

The game started off slowly, as neither team managed to move the ball very well. Then with about six minutes to go in the first, the Texas State offense got creative.

A four-play, 80-yard drive started with a 20-yard end-around to Robert Brown Jr. The creativity and design of the play caught the Appalachian State defense off-guard. Three plays later, the Bobcats scored on a 49-yard deep pass from Williams to Mason Hays.

Williams was 4-5 for 69 yards and that score in the first quarter. Easily his best quarter, and game, as a Bobcat. He finished the game 23-35 for 260 yards. His only score came in the first. The Bobcat defense shut out the Mountaineers in the first, containing them to 32-yards on 11 plays.

In fact, the unit held first-team all-conference running back Jalin Moore to only 14-yards rushing on the night.

The Bobcats scored again in the second quarter after a 10-play, 46-yard scoring drive, resulted in a 28-yard field goal from James Sherman to give Texas State a 10-0 lead.

Appalachian State got going on their last drive of the first half. Aided by quarterback Taylor Lamb’s legs, the Mountaineers drove down the field in a 12-play, 74-yard drive that ended in a touchdown reception for Thomas Hennigan.

Prior to the last drive of the half, the Mountaineers had only two first downs. They gained five on that drive alone. They averaged 3.6 yards per play in the first half.

The Mountaineers picked up right where they left off in the second half. On the opening kickoff, they returned the ball to their own 40-yard line. They then proceeded to drive down the field on three consecutive plays of 20, 15, and 23 yards to bring them down inside the Bobcats’ five-yard line.

After a negative rush and holding penalty, the drive stalled and Appalachian State had to settle for a 27-yard field goal to tie the game 10-10.

The third quarter was all Appalachian State, who drove down and scored on another long drive to take the lead 17-10 over the Bobcats with just over two minutes left in the third. On their fourth play inside the Bobcats’ ten, the Mountaineers rushed in for the one-yard score from senior running back Terrence Upshaw. The 11-play, 77-yard drive lasted four minutes and 15-seconds.

By the end of the quarter, the Mountaineers had outscored the Bobcats 10-0 and gained 56 more yards.

The Bobcats did not roll over, as they started the fourth with a bang. A 55-yard completion to Elijah King got them inside the red zone. This led to a 38-yard field goal by James Sherman to bring the Bobcats within four.

The Mountaineers responded with a score. The 8-play, 45-yard drive for Appalachian State ended with a 46-yard field goal for Michael Rubino. This pushed their lead to 20-13 with just under seven minutes to play in the game.

The wheels almost fell off from there for the Bobcats, as a Damian Williams interception with just over four minutes gave the Mountaineers the ball inside the red-zone. It looked like that would be the game until the Bobcats’ defense made arguably the biggest play of the young season.

A.J. Krawcyzk turned the tide when he forced a fumble on the one-yard line. The Bobcats would have to drive 99-yards to have a chance at tying the game up. Which, for the record, Texas State coach Everett Withers had no plans of tying the game up.

“If we scored we would have gone for two. No doubt. We wanted to go for the win.” Withers said after the game.

The offense struggled moving the ball out of the one-yard line until a third-down pass interference penalty gave the Bobcats some much-needed breathing room. After a few clutch catch and runs from King, the Bobcats were in the red zone with under 20-seconds left.

Then the game unfolded in a brisk 30-seconds.

On third and goal from the 5-yard line, with ten seconds left, the game was made. Williams dropped back and threw to a diving King, who fell half a yard short of the end zone.

Ballgame.

After the game, Withers was positive about the team in saying,“ I told them I was proud. In that locker room, those guys, they make me proud. If we keep recruiting men like the ones in this locker room, we will go far as a program. You hate to lose, but we are a better program. This program is going to be fine, I hurt for them.”

It was a heartbreaking finish to a phenomenal game. Williams showed the fans what they had been waiting for and the game came down to the last play, the last yard.

Next week the Texas State Bobcats host the UTSA Roadrunners(2-0) for the I-35 showdown.

(Discuss this article in the War Room.)

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