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Kickoff Return Sparks Appalachian State Football Win over Georgia Southern

Photo: AJ Henderson/Georgia Southern University

Appalachian State’s Jalen Virgil returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Georgia Southern for the second consecutive season as the Mountaineers scored two touchdowns in two minutes, 10 seconds to pull away from the Eagles for a 27-3 Sun Belt Conference football win Saturday afternoon in Kidd Brewer Stadium.

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Eagles of the Game: 
Michael Edwards III led the Eagles with 10 tackles, and Justin Ellis finished with five tackles and a sack. Amare Jones caught five balls for 56 yards.

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Key Moments:

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  • Georgia Southern kicker Britton Williams booted a 38-yard field goal with 53 seconds left in the third quarter to cut Appalachian State’s lead to 10-3, but Virgil took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards down the right sideline for the score. 
  • The Mountaineers (10-2, 7-1) forced the Eagles (3-9, 2-6) to go 3-and-out on their next possession, and after a 57-yard punt by Anthony Beck II, Chase Brice went up top to Thomas Hennigan for a 68-yard touchdown pass. Hennigan finished the day with three catches for 111 yards.Key Stats and Notes:
  • – Virgil returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Georgia Southern last season in Paulson Stadium.
  • – The Eagles held the ball for over nine minutes longer than the Mountaineers, but Appalachian State tallied 12 tackles for loss and four sacks while holding the Eagles to 194 yards in the contest.
  • – Georgia Southern wore blue pants for the first time since Nov. 14, 2009, against Furman in Paulson Stadium. It was the first time the Eagles wore blue pants at Appalachian State since Oct. 16, 1999.
  • – Appalachian State has now won eight of the past 11 games played in the series, and the Eagles fall to 5-12 all-time at “The Rock” in Boone.

Scoring Plays:
APP – 1st, 2:18 – Malik Williams 36-yard pass from Chase Brice (PAT good), 0-7
APP – 3rd, 5:19 – Chandler Staton 40-yard FG, 0-10
GS – 3rd, 0:53 – Britton Williams 38-yard FG, 3-10
APP – 3rd, 0:40 – Jalen Virgil 97-yard kickoff return (PAT good), 3-17
APP – 4th, 13:50 – Thomas Hennigan 68-yard pass from Brice (PAT good), 3-24
APP – 4th, 6:27 – Staton 36-yard FG, 3-27

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The Georgia Virtue
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