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Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 3:04pm

Despite Mellette's Big Day, ASU Beats Elon

Updated: 3 years ago.
Courtesy of Elon Athletics

The Appalachian State Mountaineers traveled to face Elon for the Southern Conference game of the week, and early on the visitors were making things easy for the home team. An early turnover led to an Elon touchdown midway through the first quarter. Elon would make it 14-0 on a 31-yard touchdown recpetion before intercepting Jamal Jackson to set up another short Phoenix touchdown run. Thomas Wilson was hot early on, finding Rasaun Rorie and Aaron Mellette for the two early Phoenix scores. Dontay Taylor rushed for the third Elon touchdown.

Appalachian State would settle down though, and Jackson would find Brian Quick for an 18-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second frame, the Mountaineers would be right back in business. Travaris Cadet could haul in a six-yard score to trim the lead to 21-14.

Elon would nail a 24-yard field goal with twenty seconds left in the half as Adam Shreiner extended the Phoenix lead to ten at intermission. A.J.Harris rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries in the first half while also racking up another 18 yards on two receptions. Mellette had eight catches in the first two quarters for 149 yards with his score. Thomas Wilson passed for 202 yards and found five other receivers besides Mellette. App State’s Jackson recovered from his early interception to post 191 yards and two scores at the break, finding Quick for six receptions and 105 yards.

In the third quarter, Jackson would find Quick again from nine yards out to cut the lead to just three. After another Elon turnover, Appalachian State would strike again. Jackson would hit Steven Miller for a five-yard score early in the fourth to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game. The Mountaineers defense would stand strong and keep Elon off of the scoreboard for the entire second half allowing Appalachian State to escape with a 28-24 victory.

Jackson’s four touchdown passes were a new career-high, and Quick also hauled in a career-high in receptions with 11 catches. Jackson passed for 284 yards to go with his four touchdowns. Of Jackson’s total, 150 went to Quick, along with two scores.

Wilson passed for 344 yards and a pair of scores, and his favorite target was Mellette, who pulled in 14 passes for 236 yards. Jeremy Peterson had five receptions for 44 yards.

Appalachian State would intercept Wilson twice as Demetrius McCray and Brandon Grier each picked off a pass. Ronald Blair got to Wilson for a pair of sacks while Chris Aiken and Joel Ross each brought down the Phoenix quarterback once. McCray had 10.5 tackles as did Jeremy Kimbrough. Joshua Jones paced Elon with 9.5 tackles and one sack. Jordan Jones recorded the only other sack for the Phoenix.

The victory gives App State an 8-3 record and a likely berth in the NCAA FCS Championship tournament. The Mountaineers could host a first round game after tying for second place in the Southern Conference. The field will be announced Sunday at 10 a.m.

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