Evans starts strong, finishes off Charlotte in App State win

Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans rushes past Charlotte defensive back Marquavis Gibbs for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Mountaineers' 56-41 win. (Allison Lee Isley / The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

BOONE — Darrynton Evans broke for an 87-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game and closed out the scoring when he returned an onside kick 46 yards and the Mountaineers held on to get by Charlotte 56-41 on Saturday.

Evans, who finished with 298 all-purpose yards, charged through a huge hole in the line and ran untouched to put Appalachian State up 7-0. Evans, who had a 68-yard scoring romp in the fourth quarter, finished with a career-high 234 yards rushing on 19 carries with four touchdowns. Evans plucked the onside kick out of the air and raced untouched for the final score. Zac Thomas finished with 182 yards and three TDs passing.

Shaun Jolly broke through to block a punt that D’Marco Jackson scooped up and returned 16 yards to give the Mountaineers a 28-13 lead late in the first half. Appalachian State took a 42-20 lead late in the third when Thomas hit Jalen Virgil in stride on a 73-yard scoring toss.

Charlotte’s Chris Reynolds, who threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns, found Victor Tucker on a 23-yard scoring play to close to 42-34 before Evans sprinted 68 yards for the score and a 49-34 advantage.

The Mountaineers (2-0) will take a week off before traveling to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. Charlotte (1-1) will face UMass next Saturday.