Atlanta, GA – In a highly anticipated matchup, the Appalachian State Mountaineers secured a commanding 31-10 victory over the Georgia State Panthers on Saturday. The Mountaineers’ strong defense and explosive offense proved too much for the Panthers to handle, as they dominated the game from start to finish.
The first quarter saw App State win the toss and defer to the second half, opting to start on defense. Georgia State began their first drive on their own 23-yard line after a 64-yard kickoff return by Glenn Smith. Quarterback Conner Manning connected with Penny Hart for a 13-yard gain, earning the Panthers a first down. However, the App State defense quickly tightened up, forcing incomplete passes and holding the Panthers to a 4th-and-1 situation. The Mountaineers’ special teams unit then came up big with a blocked punt, which Caleb Fuller recovered at the Georgia State 34-yard line.
Taking over on offense, App State struggled to find its rhythm as quarterback Taylor Lamb threw an interception to C. Sullivan. Georgia State, however, couldn’t capitalize on the turnover and was forced to punt. The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
The Mountaineers struck first early in the second quarter, with Jalin Moore rushing for a 3-yard touchdown. Chandler Staton’s extra point attempt was successful, giving App State a 7-0 lead. Georgia State responded on their next drive, with Manning running for a 2-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Appalachian State regained the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Staton, making it 10-7. The half ended with no further scoring from either team.
The third quarter belonged to the Mountaineers as they continued to build their lead. Moore showcased his skills with a 58-yard run, setting up a touchdown pass from Lamb to Collin Reed. Staton’s extra point made it 17-7 in favor of App State. They added another touchdown when Lamb connected with Ike Lewis for a 4-yard score, extending their lead to 24-7.
The Panthers managed to respond with a field goal by Brandon Wright, reducing the deficit to 24-10 in the fourth quarter. However, the Mountaineers sealed the victory with Lamb’s 14-yard rushing touchdown in the final minutes, securing a 31-10 win.
“It certainly wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for,” head coach Shawn Elliott said. “It was a little disappointing, a lot disappointing to tell you the truth.
Elliott was unhappy with the drive-killing penalties and the effort out of halftime that resulted in two scores for the Mountaineers.
The dominant performance by Appalachian State’s offense was highlighted by Jalin Moore’s outstanding rushing performance, tallying 170 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Taylor Lamb also had a solid outing, contributing a touchdown pass and a rushing touchdown. The defense played a crucial role, stifling Georgia State’s offense and forcing turnovers.
With this win, Appalachian State improves to a 2-0 record, while Georgia State falls to 1-1. The Mountaineers showcased their strength on both sides of the ball, proving to be a formidable force early in the season.
All photos by Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports