*Information provided by Appalachian State Sports Information*
Wednesday was an unusual day for Appalachian State University football, as weather forced the Mountaineers to switch venues twice during its two-hour preseason practice.
Appalachian State began the workout at Kidd Brewer Stadium but a strong thunderstorm forced the session indoors less than 30 minutes in. However, after an hour inside the Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility, the weather cleared and the Mountaineers were able to move back outside for the final 30 minutes of practice.
During the afternoon’s second go-round at Kidd Brewer Stadium, Appalachian conducted two intriguing 11-on-11 periods.
The first was a red-zone period that gave the offense possession at the defense’s 14 yard line. The defense held its ground on the first two series and made the offense settle for 26- and 46-yard field goals by Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow) and Michael Rubino (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek). The offense broke through for a touchdown on its third possession when Ricky Fergerson (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina) needed only two runs — an eight-yarder and a six-yarder — to find paydirt. However, on the final series, the defense forced another three-and-out and the offense came away empty when Rubino missed a 34-yard field goal that was nearly blocked by pressure coming off the left edge.
Defense dominated a two-minute-drill period to close the afternoon, which featured the offense taking over at its own 25 yard line with 1:40 to go in the game and a one-point deficit. On the first series, Osvaldo Sombo (Matthews, N.C./Butler) notched back-to-back sacks on second and third down and Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) picked up the defense’s third-straight sack for a safety on fourth down. On the next possession, quarterback J.P. Caruso (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) moved the offense to near midfield but an interception by true freshman Josh Thomas (Montgomery, Ala./Montgomery Academy) gave the defense its second-straight stop.
On an unfortunate note, it was announced on Wednesday that true freshman quarterback Jake Easter (Pfafftown, N.C./Reagan) would miss the 2015 campaign due to a knee injury sustained during last Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage. Easter will undergo season-ending surgery later this week.
Appalachian State continues preseason practice on Thursday. Practices are closed to the general public but recaps and App State TV video reports are available throughout fall camp at appstatesports.com.