BOONE, N.C. — A record-breaking day for senior quarterback and former Calhoun High standout Taylor Lamb helped first-place Appalachian State remain unbeaten in Sun Belt Conference play.
Lamb became the school’s leader in career touchdown passes and threw for 427 yards, the second-highest total in program history, as App State overcame a halftime deficit to win 37-29 against Coastal Carolina before a crowd of 30,179 at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (5-2, 4-0) return to action next weekend at UMass and resume their league schedule at ULM on Nov. 4. They have rallied to erase second-half deficits in all four of their league victories.
“It’s hard to win football games, I can tell you that,” App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “We always tell our guys it’s a fine line between winning and losing, and it could go either way. You just have to find a way to win, and I’m just really proud of them again tonight.”
With passes of 83 and 53 yards to redshirt freshman Jalen Virgil (five catches for 186 yards) increasing his career total to 76 touchdown throws, Lamb broke a first-place tie with Armanti Edwards, who had 74 touchdown passes from 2006-09.
Lamb is now tied for third place in Sun Belt history, with two players tied for first at 81, and Lamb’s 427 yards rank second in App State’s single-game history behind only the 433 that Edwards had against South Carolina State in 2008.
Afterward, Satterfield presented the game ball to Lamb, who was doused with water by some of his teammates.
“We knew we were going to come in and sling it around today,” Lamb said. “That was the game plan, and I thought we succeeded at that. (The record) was in the back of my mind coming in. You just have to throw one (touchdown), and you want to do it in front of your home crowd, so it was a cool deal.”
Virgil’s first score, which came on a deep throw with the Mountaineers already ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter, allowed Lamb to move into sole possession of first place on the school’s career list for TD passes. Michael Rubino made a 38-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give App State a 17-3 advantage.
The Chanticleers (1-6, 0-4) scored 19 straight points to take a 22-17 lead before Lamb reconnected with Virgil, who caught a pass along the left sideline at the Coastal Carolina 37 and weaved all the way across the field before reaching the end zone near the right-front pylon for a 23-22 edge with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter.
“It was just all natural,” Virgil said. “I just caught the ball and broke a tackle and saw the opening across the field, so I just took it and used my speed to get over there.”
The Mountaineers stretched their lead to 30-22 when redshirt freshman Marcus Williams Jr. scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard run with 12:47 left, and Okon Godwin’s fumble recovery inside the Coastal Carolina 20 set up another 1-yard TD run from Williams with 6:16 left.
The Chanticleers scored with 2:38 remaining, and a 34-yard run by Williams helped App State run out the clock following Clifton Duck’s recovery of an onside kick. Williams rushed for a team-high 72 yards on 15 carries and true freshman Daetrich Harrington had three second-half carries for 7 yards in relief of a sidelined Jalin Moore, who opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run. Harrington also had a key block 30 yards beyond the line of scrimmage on Virgil’s go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.
“I think they played well,” Lamb said. “They knew they were going to play coming in, and they stepped up.”
Duck led App State’s defense with eight tackles and accounted for one of the team’s eight pass breakups by knocking down a fourth-down pass in the final quarter. Rashaad Townes and Tae Hayes recorded sacks, and Caleb Spurlin joined Godwin in recovering a fumble. The Mountaineers went from trailing 22-17 to leading 37-22 with four defensive possessions in which Coastal Carolina moved the ball 10 yards in a combined 14 plays, counting offensive penalties.
Lamb named Sun Belt Co-Offensive Player of the Week
BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State senior quarterback Taylor Lamb was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his record-setting performance in a 37-29 victory against Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Lamb threw for a career-high 427 yards, the second-highest total in App State single-game history, and had two touchdown passes to increase his career total to a school-record 76.
In breaking a first-place tie with Armanti Edwards, who had 74 touchdown passes for App State from 2006-09, Lamb is now tied for third place in Sun Belt history. He is five TD passes away from matching the league record of 81 held by two players.
Lamb completed 23 of 39 passes Saturday with touchdowns of 83 and 53 yards to Jalen Virgil. Lamb didn’t throw an interception, raising his season totals to 1,624 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and only three picks. He also has rushed for 279 yards this year while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
Lamb shared this week’s award with Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen, who threw for 275 yards, rushed for 121 yards and had a hand in three touchdowns during a 47-3 win against Louisiana. Lamb was also awarded a “Helmet Sticker” by ESPN on Saturday night.
Lamb has thrown for at least 327 yards in three of seven games this season, and his previous single-game high was 397 yards against Liberty as a redshirt freshman in 2014. His 45 career game appearances rank first among active FBS quarterbacks, and that total includes a 32-11 record as a starter.
Lamb has been named the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Week three times in his career. He won the award once as a freshman (276 passing yards, 103 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in a 31-29 win against ULM) and once as a sophomore (four touchdown passes in a 49-0 win against Old Dominion).