Nov. 23, 2013
Boone, N.C. - Appalachian State freshman Marcus Cox accounted for four touchdowns including three on the ground while amassing 215 yards rushing to lead the Mountaineers over Western Carolina, 48-27, on Saturday afternoon in the annual "Battle for the Old Mountain Jug" at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Cox scored three times in the first half as the Mountaineers raced out to a 31-0 and the Catamounts were never able to recover, falling in the regular season finale.
Western Carolina (2-10, 1-7 SoCon) got two rushing touchdowns from Shaun Warren (three yards) and Eddie Sullivan (14 yards), with Sullivan tossing a pair of scoring passes to Darius Ramsey and Karnorris Benson in the losing effort. Ramsey's 25-yard score on a second-quarter swing pass - his first career receiving TD - trimmed the Mountaineer lead to 31-7 late in the second quarter.
Benson's TD catch was a historic one for the second-year wide out. The reception marked the fifth-straight game the Atlanta, Ga., product had reached the end zone on the receiving end of a scoring strike. It also tied him with Eric Rasheed for WCU's single-season receiving touchdown record of 12 established during the magical 1983 season.
Benson concluded the season with 51 catches for 834 yards and the 12 scores.
Three Catamounts finished with five receptions each including Benson, freshman Terryon Robinson and redshirt freshman C.J. Goodman. True freshman tight end Tyler Sexton made a career-high four catches for 91 yards to lead WCU.
Sullivan finished Saturday's game 22-of-41 for 206 yards and the two scores, adding a team-high 78 yards rushing. Warren rushed for 41 yards on nine carries, tallying 109 all-purpose yards. Sophomore quarterback Troy Mitchell rushed for 23 yards on seven carries and was limited to 2-of-5 passing, missing a large portion of the game with a hip pointer injury.
Appalachian State (4-8, 4-4 SoCon) carried a 31-7 lead into the halftime locker room and added to it on WCU's first offensive drive of the second half. Sullivan was blitzed and hit as he released with the football helplessly floating over the middle where ASU's Karl Anderson intercepted it and rumbled 37 yards for the touchdown.
Warren scored on a three-yard run to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive midway through the third quarter. However, the Apps answered, taking advantage of a short field for a quick score on the third rushing TD by Cox to pull ahead, 45-14.
Western Carolina closed the game with back-to-back scores including the six-yard pass from Sullivan to Benson and Sullivan's 14-yard scoring scamper.
In addition to the four scores by Cox, ASU's Tony Washington hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kameron Bryant with Drew Stewart booting field goals of 38 and 48 yards.
Christon Gill led the Catamounts with nine tackles and nearly had an interception in the first half that would have swung momentum early. The Bridgeport, Conn., native jumped a third down route and had nothing but green turf in front of him, but he couldn't hold onto the football on the bullet pass. ASU converted a field goal on the fourth down play.