Sunday, October 2, 2022
HomeSportAppalachian State beats Troy with last-second Hail Mary

Appalachian State beats Troy with last-second Hail Mary


Appalachian State with another barn burner on Saturday.

Appalachian State with another barn burner on Saturday.
Screenshot: ESPN

Appalachian State earned its first appearance on ESPN’s College Gameday after upsetting then No. 6 Texas A&M in College Station a week ago. Usually, when Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, and the crew roll into town, the game rarely lives up to the pregame festivities.

Of course, students showed up in droves to represent Boone, North Carolina, before its game against Troy. The entire panel picked the Mountaineers to win the game despite Desmond Howard laying out the case for a trap game.

In fact, Howard was roundly booed when he mentioned the massive amount of Kool-Aid that’s been consumed in the mountain town campus since beating the Aggies. Reading your own press clippings is dangerous for college athletes — ask BYU, who was sitting in the top 15 after outlasting Baylor a week ago, but showed up to Eugene, Oregon, and got run out of the building.

Indeed, it looked like Troy was going to ruin the buzzes of the 30,000 onlookers as the Trojans led the majority of the game. Even after forcing a Troy safety with 20 seconds left cut the lead to 28-26, the Mountaineers couldn’t quite get in field goal range to try to steal a W with the kicking game.

So, with :02 left on the clock, App State coach Shawn Clark decided a Hail Mary from their own 47 was the only option. What occurred next only happens when you mix serendipity and college sports.

So many things need to go right for a desperation heave to work. The quarterback needs to create enough time and space to step into a throw. The jumbled mass of receivers, corners, and safeties has to be chaotic enough for a catch or a tip drill to ensue. And, most of the time, the QB has to have a strong enough arm to get the ball to the endzone.

App State QB Chase Brice accomplished the first part, stepping up and into a throw, but it was 5 yards short of the goal line. By sheer luck or fate, Christian Horn had the ball drop right into his hands after a favorable bounce, and the only thing any Trojans could do was watch flat-footed — presumably in disbelief — as Horn crossed the plain and utter pandemonium erupted.

Take a look at this next video and tell me what you’d do if you saw this and had no idea what just took place inside Kidd Brewer Stadium.

“I don’t know what happened, Cheryl. Google Maps said this was the easiest way to B-dubs. How was I supposed to know that an impromptu riot would break out?”

Goddamn college football is perfect.

Another great ending unless you had the unders

I rarely know odds to games offhand, and had I now put together a preview of the non-ranked games this weekend, I would’ve had no idea what the over-under of the Syracuse-Purdue game was. However, I did, and in my blurb I predicted a track meet, even citing the 60-point mark.

For three quarters, I looked like a doofus. The two teams combined for 19 points, and anyone who wagered a little coin on the unders was kicking their feet up and wondering who to bet their winnings on in the late afternoon window.

Then insanity took hold. The Orangemen and Boilermakers scored six total touchdowns, including a pick-six, en route to a 42-point quarter, culminating in Cuse QB Garrett Shrader finding Oronde Gadsden for a 25-yard touchdown with seven ticks remaining to retake the lead for good.

The touchdown pushed the total to 60, and the extra point made it 61. In the immortal words of Al Pacino in Two for the Money: “I’m gambling again!”



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