Thomas leads Appalachian St. past East Tennessee St. 42-7

BOONE, N.C. (AP) — Zach Thomas threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another as Appalachian State ran up a huge second-half lead to beat East Tennessee State 42-7 in a season opener on Saturday.

Thomas, who finished with 150 yards passing, took Appalachian State 84 yards in 13 plays on the team’s second drive, capping it with a 1-yard run for a touchdown with 2:58 left in the first quarter. He connected with Malik Williams from six yards for another score late in the second and the Mountaineers took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

The Mountaineers opened the floodgates in the second half, scoring on four-consecutive drives starting with Darrynton Evans‘ 13-yard touchdown dash and Thomas’ 31-yard scoring pass to Thomas Hennigan for a 28-7 lead at the end of the third. They added two more scores in the fourth, on a 15-yard run by Jalen Virgil and a 17-yard throw to Christian Wells from backup QB Jacob Huesman.

It was the Mountaineers first win under new head coach, Eliah Drinkwitz.

Trey Mitchell threw for 117 yards and the Bucs only score. Quay Holmes had 68 yards rushing on 19 carries.