Spiders fall to Mountaineers in wild finish to end their season

Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards completed a 4-yard TD pass to wide receiver Matt Cline with 10 seconds remaining to upend the Richmond Spiders in the second round of the FCS playoffs to end their season. The drive capped a 21-point fourth quarter by the Mountaineers in the last game ever at University of Richmond Stadium.

Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards completed a 4-yard TD pass to wide receiver Matt Cline with 10 seconds remaining to upend the Richmond Spiders in the second round of the FCS playoffs to end their season. The drive capped a 21-point fourth quarter by the Mountaineers in the last game ever at University of Richmond Stadium.

Clutching a 21-14 lead, Richmond had two successive chances to take a commanding lead, and perhaps put the game out of reach. The fourth quarter began with the Spiders facing a 2nd-and-goal from the Appalachian 8-yard line, but they were unable to complete the drive and settled for a 29-yard field goal attempt which kicker Andrew Howard missed.

The Spiders then held A. State to a second consecutive three-and-out, and drove themselves down the field for another 1st-and-goal scenario. The Mountaineers defense again stiffened to force a 27-yard field goal attempt. This time Howard converted, but the 24-14 lead with 9:23 to go in the game would prove too slim.

On their very next possession, A. State marched 64 yards in only three plays and 45 seconds to cut the margin to 24-21, topped off with running back Devon Moore’s second TD of the game. Then it was the Spiders turn to be held to a three-and-out, and they punted the ball back to the Mountaineers with over eight minutes to go.

Moore, who would finish the contest with 175 yards rushing, ran the ball seven times in the next nine-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, and the Spiders season was officially hanging in the balance, down 28-24 with 4:27 left in the contest. Richmond would not go down without a fight, however.

After yet another three-and-out, Richmond punted from their own 44-yard line. Linebacker Eric McBride made the play of the game by hitting return man Travaris Cadet, then simply stealing the ball from him and running it into the end zone for a startling turn of events. Suddenly the Spiders had regained the lead 31-28, and the momentum.

On this day though, it was the Mountaineers who were the team of destiny. They responded with their third straight dagger, a 12-play, 70 yard clock-eating touchdown drive to seal the victory.

Appalachian State held the advantage in total yards with 444 to Richmond’s 347, while the Spiders won the time of possession battle by holding onto the ball for nearly eight more minutes.

A. State will face the top-seeded Montana Grizzlies in the next round, with the winner advancing to the national championship game.

The Richmond Spiders next home game will be in the new on-campus Robins Stadium next September. It is not certain who their head coach will be at that time. There are rumors circulating that Mike London may be on the short list to become the next head coach at the University of Virginia next season.

He also writes about NFL and fantasy football for FantasyFootball.com and Top Fantasy Football as well as his own blog, Undrafteds.com.

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Chris Farmer

2 comments on Spiders fall to Mountaineers in wild finish to end their season

  1. Great game. Too bad the attendance was so low.

    As an App State alum, I might be biased, but I think the punt/fumble/strip/TD play should have been blow dead as forward motion. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it not in similar situations. That said, Cadet made a big mistake by first catching it within the 10 and second nor going down once he couldn’t get into open space.

    Hope to see London stick around UR. He’s been good for their program and its nice to see another strong FCS with some national buzz.

  2. Yeah I agree Cadet made a mistake on that one, but Eric McBride capitalized. I think it was a good no-call b/c McBride executed the strip, well really steal, so fast there wasn’t time to blow it dead. Plus Cadet was still on his feet.

    Too bad, London stepped down today. Bad news for UR but wish London well at UVa. Good for him.

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