Coastal Carolina beats App State 35-28, moves atop Sun Belt

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Grayson McCall threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and Coastal Carolina beat Appalachian State 35-28 on Thursday night for first place in the Sun Belt Conference.

McCall’s 8-yard TD pass to Jacob Jenkins made it 28-14 early in the fourth quarter, and on App State’s next play Tavyn Jackson intercepted a pass and returned it 54 yards to the 1. Reese White capped the drive with a TD run for a 21-point lead.

Chase Brice’s 5-yard quarterback sneak with 3:01 left in the fourth cut App State’s deficit to seven points, but Coastal Carolina ran out the clock in eight plays to end it.

Coastal Carolina (8-1, 5-1) won just its second game in eight series meetings. The winner of this matchup has gone on to win the East Division the last four years.

The Coastal Carolina defense forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the game, and three plays later Jared Brown ran for a 45-yard touchdown. Coastal Carolina had three touchdowns of over 30 yards in the first half to build a 21-14 lead. McCall connected with Sam Pinckney for a 38-yard touchdown on a flea-flicker.

Brice threw for 279 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Appalachian State (5-4, 2-3). Dalton Stroman made a one-handed catch in the end zone for a 41-yard score to get within 21-14.

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