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David Coulson

Western Illinois @ Appalachian State

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BOONE, N.C. Snow was lightly falling on the field turf at Kidd Brewer Stadium as Western Illinois kicked off to Appalachian State to start this second-round FCS playoff game.

This stadium is located in one of the most beautiful settings in college football, but today is even more pretty with snow flocking the trees and rooftops and the nearby mountainsides.

I awoke to snow at my house about 7 a.m. and by the time I arrived at the stadium three hours later, the snow was falling at a brisk pace.

In the early moments of this game, the weather conditions looked like they would play a major role, with lots of slipping and sliding.

Both teams had trouble getting their offenses untracked early, with both defenses forcing three and outs.

The referee ignored a running-into-the-kicker play on the first punt from ASU's Sam Martin.

Western Illinois punter Chris Fuchs dropped the snap on his punt, but recovered to send a low liner down the field to the ASU 29, avoiding disaster early for the Leathernecks.

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  1. dcoulson's Avatar
    The game's first mistake occurred on ASU's second series when DeAndre Presley forced a third-down pass into coverage. Kyle Glazier picked it off at the ASU 35 and returned it 23 yards, with Presley making a TD-saving tackle.

    But on the first play after the interception, Matt Barr hit his favorite receiver Lito Senatus for a 12-yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone to make it 7-0 with 10:21 left in the first quarter.
    Updated 12-04-2010 at 11:48 AM by dcoulson
  2. dcoulson's Avatar
    Midway through the first quarter, both offenses were still struggling, with one first down each.

    Appalachian State stopped WIU again, with Matt Barr avoiding a huge loss to throw the ball away before he was sacked. The Mountaineers took the ball over at their own 41 for their best starting field position of the day with 7:10 left in the first period.
  3. dcoulson's Avatar
    It is starting to snow heavily again and ASU is going to the ground game behind senior Devon Moore to finally show some life on offense, moving into Western Illinois territory at the 48.

    Some more of Moore and ASU has a first-down at the 20.
  4. dcoulson's Avatar
    Travaris Cadet burst through the middle for a 16-yard gain to the two to set up Devon Moore for a three-yard scoring blast with 3:29 remaining in the quarter. Jason Vitaris survived a shaky snap and a partially-blocked, low kick to hit the PAT. The ball barely cleared the crossbar to tie the game at 7.

    It was a 10-play, 59-yard drive that took 3:41 off the clock. All 10 plays were on the ground as the Mountaineers used good blocking from their veteran offensive line to open up holes on the zone read play.
  5. dcoulson's Avatar
    It hasn't been a stellar day so far for the CAA game officials. An obvious out-of-bounds catch, confirmed by replay, gave WIU a first down and helped the Leathernecks get into ASU territory. But a dropped pass ended the WIU drive at the ASU 44.

    Yard markers are becoming almost impossible to see now.
  6. dcoulson's Avatar
    At the end of the first quarter, the teams were tied at 7-7. ASU had the ball on the 17 after getting pinned inside the 10 by a WIU punt.

    Snow-blowing crews were trying in vain to clear some of the lines on the field during the TV time out.
  7. dcoulson's Avatar
    With Matt Barr under heavy pressure from ASU, he threw an interception to Mountaineer safety D.J. McDuffie, giving the Mountaineers the ball at the WIU 21. McDuffie returned the ball 31 yards.

    DeAndre Presley sprinted to the one on the read option on the next play and scored on the next play to give ASU a 14-7 lead with 12:56 left in the second period. No problems the second time around for Jason Vitaris on the extra point.
  8. dcoulson's Avatar
    I thought it would be difficult for Western Illinois to run the ball on the ASU defense and the Leathernecks had minus-10 rushing yards in the first quarter.
  9. dcoulson's Avatar
    Matt Barr and DeAndre Presley traded interceptions in the second quarter, the second of the day for both of these Walter Payton Award finalists. ASU had a TD drive killed inside the WIU 10 by a holding penalty and then the Presley interception at the goal line.

    But the Mountaineer defense held to force a punt after a 61-yard interception return and Presley came back to get ASU on the board again with the longest run in postseason history, 89 yards, with a great block from Blake Elder springing him up the sideline.

    It is 21-7 ASU with 3:45 left in the half.
  10. dcoulson's Avatar
    DeAndre Presley has seven carries for 156 yards and two TDs so far.
  11. dcoulson's Avatar
    Matt Barr was sacked by Jabari Fletcher and fumbled back to the WIU six, but one of his linemen recovered to set up a punt situation with 2:39 left in the half. Western Illinois is close to being blown out at this point and seems to be holding on before the intermission.

    ASU has another scoring chance at the WIU 40 after the punt.
  12. dcoulson's Avatar
    With 44 seconds to halftime, ASU has a third and one at the WIU six after a Tony Washington reverse.
  13. dcoulson's Avatar
    Devon Moore's six-yard TD burst on the zone read play might have been the knockout blow for the Mountaineers, who lead 28-7 after a six-play, 40-yard drive. There are 39 seconds left in the half.
  14. dcoulson's Avatar
    The App State fans may be getting a little bit bored as we head to halftime. Fans in the upper deck are having a snowball fight. It's 28-7 at the break as WIU attempts to regroup.
  15. dcoulson's Avatar
    Getting the ball first in the third quarter didn't help Western Illinois a whole lot as two runs were stuffed and a pass was dropped.

    ASU had a 291 to minus-26 advantage at the half in rushing yards and WIU only added 78 yards through the air. DeAndre Presley was 0-of-4 with two interceptions passing, but completed his first pass of the second half for a first down.
  16. dcoulson's Avatar
    Give some props to the ASU receivers for their blocking today. Matt Cline is the latest to set up a big Presley run.
  17. dcoulson's Avatar
    Presley struck for 35 yards with a great catch at the end by Brian Quick in the end zone to increase the Mountaineer lead to 35-7 with 11:11 left in the third period. The scoring drive went six plays for 60 in 2:51.
  18. dcoulson's Avatar
    Having almost as bad a day as Western Illinois is the CAA officiating crew. WIU downed the ball on a punt at the half-yard line after a Leatherneck defender stepped from the end zone to down the ball without reestablishing himself in the field of play. There have been a lot of missed holding penalties and numerous other miscues from this crew.
  19. dcoulson's Avatar
    Showing some desperation, WIU went on fourth and long from the ASU 34 and Matt Barr scrambled away from contain to pick up a first down at the 24 with less than five minutes remaining in the third period.
  20. dcoulson's Avatar
    The CAA officials strike again. There was a pass interference call on a CLEAR pass breakup in the back of the end zone to bail the Leathernecks out and give them first and goal at the three.
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