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Appalachian State Claims 10-Win Season With Last-Minute Victory At South Alabama

After coming back from being 24-7 down, the Jaguars saw their bowl hopes vanish in the final minute on a Jalin Moore touchdown run.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In the final Sun Belt game of the regular season, some of the biggest drama was saved for the very end.

The game probably should have been over at halftime. The 24-7 halftime lead for App State over South Alabama looked good, but that also included two Mountaineer fumbles on the one yard line that could have easily made it 38-7.

The second half saw the Jaguars make a quarterback change and take advantage of a kickoff fumble and interception to roll off 20 straight points to go up 27-24 with 9:48 left.

However App State showed their heat to tie the game, then Jalin Moore was able to rumble in from 18 yards out with 1:16 left to give the Mountaineers a 34-27 victory.

The loss ends the season for South Alabama at 5-7, their first losing season since 2012.

The win App State a 10-2 regular-season record and while the 7-1 Sun Belt mark isn't good enough for a conference championship, it gives the Mountaineers an outright second-place finish and their fourth 10-win regular season in program history.

Marcus Cox finished with a season-high 192 yards rushing on 14 carries with 74 of those coming on the first play from scrimmage. Moore, who converted a fourth down and got the game-winning touchdown, had 84 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Both Cox and Moore had second-quarter fumbles on the one-yards line that were recovered for touchbacks.

After throwing three first-half interceptions, Cody Clements was benched in favor of Dallas Davis, who led the Jaguars in their near-upset bid. Xavier Johnson finished with 118 yards on 18 carries.

In the end, App State blew a lead with four turnovers and was able to get defensive stops and key offensive plays to finish the job. South Alabama took advantage of those miscues, but in the end couldn't pull it out.

The Mountaineers are likely heading for the Camelia Bowl, which is in two weeks on Saturday, December 19th, against a MAC opponent, likely Ohio or Northern Illinois.