Edwards completed the game with a record setting 313 rushing yards, which is a new record for NCAA Division 1 record for rushing by a quarterback, and 495 total offense yards. Edwards had four rushing touchdowns, completed fourteen of sixteen passes for three touchdowns and 182 yards. Edwards connected with Nic Cardwell for two touchdowns and Dexter Jackson for one touchdown. Kevin Richardson added another touchdown for App with a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Following a punt on the Mountaineers’ first possession, their dominant offense was able to score on five straight possessions, which was initiated with a 52-yard pass reception by Dexter Jackson at the 9:34 mark of the first quarter. Edwards took over for the Mountaineers’ offense and scored the next four times with runs of seven, nine, thirty-six, and three yards. However, Richmond would add three touchdowns of their own before halftime, the last of which coming with twenty-one seconds remaining in the first half to cut App’s lead to 35-21.
To open the second half, Richmond would score two touchdowns in the first six minutes, the first off of a seventeen-yard pass from Eric Ward to Joe Stewart. The Spiders would score again following a fumbled kickoff return, which was recovered by Richmond. Eric Ward would take care of Richmond’s next touchdown by himself with a five-yard run to tie the score up at 35-35 to silence the noisy, rowdy crowd of 24,140 (FCS largest postseason crowd for a non-championship game).
The Mountaineers, despite being stunned, was able to respond on their next possession and with a drive by App that covered 69 yards, Kevin Richardson gave App the final lead of the game with a three-yard touchdown run with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter and the Mountaineers winning 42-35.
App was able to extend their lead in the fourth quarter with a pair of passing touchdowns by Edwards to Nic Cardwell, one for twenty-nine yards, and the other from thirteen yards out to give App the final 55-35 lead.
The victory for App was sealed with an interception by Corey Lynch stopped a drive by the Spiders. Lynch has recorded his twenty-fourth career interception, one shy of the school’s standing 43-year old record. Significantly, the Mountaineers are 21-0 as a team when Lynch has recorded an interception during the game.
The Mountaineers will face the University of Delaware Blue Hens (11-3) as they mounted a 20-17 come from behind victory. Delaware will be entering the contest with their last Championship appearance back in 2003. The two teams will collide in Chattanooga, TN this Friday night with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be aired live on ESPN 2. App has an outstanding history with games aired on the ESPN network as they have racked up a record of 11-0 in the school’s history with games televised on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.
A victory Friday will give App their record setting third straight National Championship, and they are the fifth school to advance to three straight championship games with Marshall (1991-93) and Youngstown State (1991-94) being the last two teams.
Appalachian’s allotted tickets for Friday’s game have already been sold out, but if remaining tickets become available, they will be sold through the Chattanooga Ticket Office. Visit www.GoASU.com for the official ASU travel packages for the trip to Chattanooga.