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Vandals end season on another sour note

Manage just one victory for third straight year

From Staff And Wire Reports

BOONE, N.C. – One is ugly, two’s a trend, three’s a habit.

For the third straight year, the Idaho Vandals will have a one-win football record to stew over during the offseason – the final blow of 2014 coming in a 45-28 loss to Appalachian State on Saturday.

The Vandals, 1-10 overall, finish their return to the Sun Belt Conference after a decade’s absence at 1-7, with only Georgia State’s 0-8 keeping them out of the cellar.

Taylor Lamb passed for three touchdowns – including a 59-yarder to Shaedon Meadors on Appalachian State’s first snap from scrimmage – as the Mountaineers closed the season with six straight victories.

Marcus Cox added two more scores and 122 yards rushing for the Mountaineers, who finished third in the SBC in their first FBS season – though as a program transitioning from FCS they’re not eligible for a bowl game without a waiver from the NCAA. Sun Belt champ Georgia Southern is similarly restricted.

Elijhaa Penny scored three TDs for the Vandals on a pair of short runs and a late touchdown pass from Matt Linehan, who completed 21 of 37 passes for 208 yards, with one interception.

Idaho had its moments early, putting together a 17-play drive after the opening kickoff with the help of Penny converting a 4th-and-1 run and three catches by Jacob Sannon. Kris Olugbode got the score on a 3-yard run, but Austin Rehkow missed his first PAT of the season.

But Lamb found Meadors after a 36-yard kickoff return by Bobo Beathard, and after a swap of field goals by Rehkow and ASU’s Bentlee Critcher, the Vandals never led again.

ASU stretched its lead to 17-9 on Lamb’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Tacoi Sumler early in the second quarter. But the Vandals got a great spark when Rehkow’s booming punt was muffed by Beathard, and Buck Cowan recovered on the Mountaineers 5.

Three plays later, Penny – who finished with 95 yards rushing – had his first touchdown. But 17-15 was as close as Idaho would get.

Cox had a 37-yard burst and a 1-yard TD in a 91-yard drive that stretched the Mountaineers’ lead to 24-15 at halftime, Idaho missing a chance to cut into it when Linehan missed a wide open receiver and was intercepted.

The Mountaineers assumed complete control with a 15-play drive to open the second half, converting on four third downs. One of those was a pass interference penalty on Idaho’s Tony Lashley – part of 145 yards in infractions committed by Idaho.

Idaho’s last real hope was undone early in the fourth quarter, after Linehan found McCain for a 39-yard gain. Two plays later, Linehan hit Jared Klingenberg for a TD that was called back on a hold, and Rehkow wound up missing a 39-yard field goal.

Louisiana-Lafayette 42, Troy 23: Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris combined for 255 yards rushing and five TDs as the Ragin’ Cajuns rallied in the second half to beat the Trojans in Troy, Alabama.

Texas State 54, Georgia State 31: Tyler Jones threw a pair of TD passes and ran for two scores to propel the Bobcats over the Panthers in Atlanta.

Arkansas State 68, New Mexico State 35: Fredi Knighten passed for two TDs and ran for two more and Michael Gordon rushed for three TDs and caught a pass for another score to power the Red Wolves over the visiting Aggies.

Georgia Southern 22, Louisiana-Monroe 16: Quarterback Kevin Ellison ran for 104 yards and a TD to lead the Eagles over the Warhawks.

Ga. Southn7083
UL Lafayette7184
App. St.6275
S. Alabama5366
Ark. St. 5375
Texas St.5375
UL Monroe3447
New Mex. St.17210
Georgia St.08111
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