*Press Release From Appalachian State Strategic Communications*
BOONE, N.C. — The exercise became so repetitive, true freshman Thomas Hennigan began raising fingers to signify how many times he had scored.
It was the ultimate Ring Game at The Rock, complete with record-setting performances and a stage on which to celebrate.
Appalachian State clinched a share of a second straight Sun Belt Conference championship by winning 63-14 against Louisiana on Senior Day at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Mountaineers (8-4, 7-1) will share the title with the winner of the Arkansas State-Troy game in Jonesboro, Ark., on Saturday night.
Afterward, with fans flooding the field, Sun Belt deputy commissioner Kathy Keene delivered a championship trophy to head coach Scott Satterfield, who handed the hardware off to his seniors.
“This senior class has been the force behind everything in this transition to the FBS, and it is really fitting for them to finish their career here at Kidd Brewer Stadium with a Sun Belt championship,” Satterfield said. “I am really proud of the way they came out and played. The last month our preparation has been the best it’s been all year. The last three games we played, it’s the best football we’ve played and the most complete games.”
Hennigan tied a school record by catching four touchdown passes from senior quarterback Taylor Lamb, App State’s run game accounted for 357 of the team’s 608 total yards and the defense helped the Mountaineers build a 56-7 lead after the Ragin’ Cajuns (5-7, 4-4) scored a touchdown in the opening minute.
Lamb’s four TD passes were part of a home finale in which he completed 17 of his 22 passes for 242 yards and rushed for 87 yards with one touchdown on five attempts.
Hennigan finished with 99 receiving yards on his five catches, Jalin Moore added two touchdowns while rushing for 110 yards and another true freshman, Daetrich Harrington, reached the end zone once while rushing for a career-high 118 yards. The Mountaineers set a program record for points in a Sun Belt contest when Curtis Fitch, a walk-on quarterback making his second career appearance in his final home game, scored on a keeper late in the fourth quarter.
Senior linebacker Eric Boggs had nine tackles, one sack and one interception to lead App State’s defense, which forced three turnovers. Clifton Duck recorded his fifth interception of the season, and Rashaad Townes’ fourth forced fumble of the season led to Desmond Franklin’s 28-yard return that set up the tiebreaking touchdown late in the first quarter.
App State’s bowl destination will be announced Sunday.