Vandals let lead slip away against Appalachian State

MOSCOW, Idaho- Idaho football scored the first 20 points of the game, but Appalachian State answered with 23 straight in the final 23 minutes Saturday, as the Mountaineers rallied for a 23-20 victory at the Kibbie Dome. The Vandals (2-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) led 17-0 at halftime, but were held to 57 yards of total offense in the second half.

The Mountaineers (4-2, 3-0 Sun Belt) took their first lead of the game at 23-20 on a 31-yard field goal with 7:24 remaining.

Idaho had the ball in the red zone with under four minutes to play, but a third-down fumble ended the scoring threat. The possession came after Cade Coffey boomed a career-long 68-yard punt down to the one-yard line to flip the field. Idaho’s defense forced a three-and-out, followed by a 10-yard punt.

The Vandals limited the Mountaineers to a season-low 276 yards of total offense, 145 yards below their season average. The defensive effort included 12 tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Tony Lashley recorded 3.5, among his career-best 16 tackles.

Idaho held Appalachian State to fewer than 20 yards on 12 of its 15 possessions. The other three drives resulted in touchdowns, coming on consecutive possessions spanning the third and fourth quarters. All three touchdowns came through the air. The first was a 45-yard touchdown from Taylor Lamb to Ike Lewis. The game-tying score with 10:04 remaining was a 38-yard connection from Lamb to Lewis. The Vandals had allowed three total passes of 30-plus yards through the first five games of the season.

The Vandals were led by Aaron Duckworth who ran for 113 yards on 21 carries. It is Duckworth’s second 100-yard rushing game of the season and fourth of his career. He had 97 yards at halftime, helping to set up two touchdowns and a field goal in the second quarter.

Matt Linehan was 12-for-19 for 159 yards and two touchdowns at intermission. Linehan hit Alfonso Onunwor for a 20-yard score to take a 10-0 lead. He found Joe Wysocki on a five-yard touchdown with nine seconds left before halftime, giving the Vandals a 17-0 advantage.

Coffey finished 2-for-3 on field goal attempts and averaged 46.5 yards per punt on six kicks. He missed his first field goal of the game from 37 yards, but converted from 28 yards in the second quarter and 23 in the third.

Kaden Elliss blocked the extra-point attempt following Appalachian State’s second touchdown to keep it a seven-point game. It is the first blocked kick of Elliss’ career.

The Vandals wrap up nonconference play next week, playing at Missouri. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT Saturday, and will be televised on the SEC Network.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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