Appalachian State Mountaineers won their first bowl game with a thrilling final quarter in Alabama.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers found victory in the Raycom Media Camelia Bowl very late indeed. Yet Zach Matics booted home the twenty-three yard field goal at the last second to give the Mountaineers their first win in a bowl game. The team celebrated almost instantly.
It was something of redemption for Matics, who was uncharacteristically errant in his kicking in this one. Matics was 1 for 3 on kicks for the night, so that either of misses would also have provided the winning margin in a 31-29 victory.
It also must have been somewhat frustrating to watch for Appalachian State fans. The Mountaineers rolled up more than four hundred yards of total offense. Marcus Cox ran for 162 yards and a 26 yard score. All of this and Appalachian State was still down 29-28 with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But they were so much better off then where had been at the half.
To be fair, Ohio had put up their number in the first half. They entered half time at 17-7 and the third quarter at 24-7. The Appalachian State offense came alive at that point to bring the team hope in the fourth quarter. Taylor Lamb started finding receivers. Matched with Cox’s run, the Mountaineers scored three times in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter for a 28-24 lead.
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Ohio scrambled back, finding to points on a safety and three more on a field goal that they hoped would prove to be the game winner. Then came one final drive of execution for Lamb and the offense leading to Matics’ clincher with no time on the clock.
Hopefully bowl season appeals to the Mountaineers so that this game in Montgomery is only the first of many. They certainly gave it a memorable start. Next year though the Mountaineers hope to be in New Orleans or perhaps something even better.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers finish the season 11-2. They were second place in the Sun Belt Conference.