Maine surprises Appalachian State
Smith tossed three TDs while Black Bears clamped down on D
BOONE, N.C. – Warren Smith threw for 250 yards and three scores and the Black Bear defense came up big as No. 13 Maine defeated No. 9 Appalachian State 34-12 in a NCAA Championship second round game on Saturday. Maine is now 9-3 while Appalachian State finished its year at 8-4.
Maine got on the board first as Smith found Damarr Aultman racing toward the end zone for a 44-yard score.
Appalachian State responded with an Andrew Peacock 20-yard touchdown reception from Jamal Jackson. Doug Alston blocked the point after try and Maine held a 7-6 lead three minutes into the second quarter.
Smith found Aultman again, this time for a 35-yard score with 4:51 left in the half. Maine had the extra point blocked, and the Black Bears went into halftime with a 13-6 lead.
The Black Bears forced the Mountaineers to a three-and-out on their second possession of the third quarter, and capitalized on good field position as Smith found John Ebeling for his first collegiate catch, a 21-yard score.
The Black Bears forced the Mountaineers to punt on their next possession, and David Hood quickly extended the lead to 27-6 with a 54-yard touchdown rush with 6:12 left in the quarter.
The Mountaineers came back to make it 27-12 six seconds into the fourth quarter on a Tavaris Cadet one-yard rush. The extra point missed wide and the Black Bears had the 15-point advantage.
The Black Bears could not convert and Appalachian State went on a serious drive, but on third-and-long Kendall James intercepted the pass at the Maine 40 to give the Black Bears the ball.
Pushaun Brown completed a 5-play, 60-yard drive with 9:30 left on a 31-yard rushing score to give Maine the 34-12 advantage. The Black Bears defense then kept the Moutnaineers off the board the rest of the way to seal the win. Troy Russell had nine tackles including 2.5 tackles-for-loss to lead the defense.
Brown finished with 111 yards rushing while Aultman had 117 yards receiving on five catches.