BOONE, N.C. (AP) -- Backup quarterback Trey Elder scored on a
1-yard run with about 2 minutes left to give Appalachian State a
29-23 victory over Furman on Saturday in the Division I-AA
Elder replaced injured starter Richie Williams in the first
quarter and finished 12-for-17 for 165 yards. He threw for another
touchdown to help the Mountaineers (11-3) reach the championship
game for the first time. They play Northern Iowa next Friday in
"When Richie goes down, it is my job to step in a make plays
for our team," Elder said.
The Paladins (11-3) had one last chance. Quarterback Ingle
Martin was hit by defensive end Jason Hunter and fumbled, with
Appalachian State's Omarr Byrom picking up the loose ball and
returning it all the way to the 1 with 13 seconds left.
The Mountaineers simply ran out the clock at that point to
rebound from a loss earlier this season to Southern Conference
Kevin Richardson rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns to lead
Appalachian State to 436 yards of total offense. Elder added 69
yards on the ground but fumbled twice, including one at Furman's 7.
Williams led the Mountaineers to a 7-0 lead before rupturing a
tendon in his left ankle on an 11-yard run midway through the first
quarter, but Elder came in and threw a 45-yard TD pass to Dexter
Jackson on the next play to make it 14-0.
Furman took control the rest of the half behind a punishing
ground game and Martin's play-action passing to build a 23-21
halftime lead. Jerome Felton ran for 105 yards and scored two
touchdowns. Martin was 17-of-28 passing for 238 yards and rushed
eight times for 49 yards, helping the Paladins pile up 507 yards of
But they failed to score after halftime and were kept out of the
end zone from inside the Mountaineers 5 in the third quarter.
"We watched a lot of film. We thought that if we ran hard, we
could break tackles," Felton said. "Our line blocked well and
today we just came up short."