The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.
Entering the fourth quarter last weekend, Appalachian held onto what seemed to be a commanding 21-10 lead. During his career, Jerry Moore has a spectacular record when leading after three quarters and when his team scores twenty or more points. Both trends were on the Mountaineers side last Saturday. Quickly, Samford erased the two score lead with a touchdown less than thirty seconds into the fourth quarter and pulled within three points with a successful two point conversion. Suddenly the Mountaineers had lost the momentum and there was a lot of football to be played. On the final three Mountaineer possessions, they ran 22 plays for 179 yards. Fourth quarter domination had been the theme of the season, but the first two drives of the fourth quarter ended with a Jamal Jackson interception and with a turnover on downs. With 1:33 on the clock, Appalachian had to score a touchdown and were eighty yards from the goal line. The drive included three incompletions and four plays that went for big yardage. Jackson ran once for 17 yards and hit Andrew Peacock on a 21-yard passing play. Sean Price started it and finished it with a 20-yard catch on the first play of the drive, and the game clinching score from 22 yards on the last play. The fact that Appalachian didn’t need a comeback beginning the quarter, but was able to flip the switch, and make the plays when it counted speaks volumes. They now have the confidence they didn’t have earlier in the season during losses to East Carolina and The Citadel.