Last Updated on November 20, 2019 5:59 pm
BOONE, N.C. — In a matchup of division leaders, No. 24 Appalachian State rolled to its first win as a ranked FBS team.
The league-leading and bowl-eligible Mountaineers are the lone Sun Belt team without a conference loss following their 52-7 home victory against ULM on homecoming Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
After the Warhawks posted a touchdown on the game's opening possession, App State (6-0, 3-0) scored the next 52 points, including 31 straight to take a 24-point lead into the break.
Zac Thomas threw for 214 yards, rushed for 58 and had a hand in four touchdowns, including three through the air. Darrynton Evans scored once while rushing for 136 yards on 17 carries, and he added a touchdown catch as part of his 41 receiving yards.
With a strong effort from App State's offensive line, the Mountaineers put up 572 total yards, including 302 on the ground.
Defensively, they limited standout quarterback Caleb Evans to 75 passing yards and held high-scoring ULM (3-4 2-1) to 213 total yards. Josh Thomas had a big fumble return to set up a score, Shaun Jolly intercepted a pass for the third time this season and Jordan Fehr added his first interception of the season.
With App State behind 7-0, Darrynton Evans rushed for a 59-yard touchdown on his team's third play from scrimmage, and a three-and-out secured by Nick Hampton's tackle set up a 12-play, 76-yard touchdown drive. Marcus Williams Jr.'s first three runs netted 40 yards, and Zac Thomas hit Thomas Hennigan for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
App State struck again thanks to a forced fumble by George Blackstock, who knocked the ball loose as Fehr began to bring down ULM's quarterback. Josh Thomas recovered the ball at the App State 39 and gained 37 yards on a return to the ULM 24.
Five plays after the fumble return, Zac Thomas bulled into the end zone on a 1-yard keeper to help push App State ahead 21-7 late in the first quarter.
Thomas' 54-yard pass to Corey Sutton, who gained 44 yards after breaking a tackle at the App State 41, set up Chandler Staton's 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Jolly ended the next drive with an interception, and App State bounced back from its first lost fumble of the season to add one more score before halftime.
Thomas directed an eight-play, 64-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by his 32-yard keeper to the ULM 15. Two plays later, from the 1, senior tight end Collin Reed secured the 11th touchdown catch of his career.
The Mountaineers continued to increase the margin after halftime, moving ahead 38-7 on Thomas' 15-yard touchdown pass to Evans. Fehr came up with his interception in the third quarter, and Williams added a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Jacob Huesman's 56-yard touchdown on a short pass to the speedy Jalen Virgil capped the scoring.