App State uses big 4th quarter to beat Georgia Southern

Jalen Virgil's 100-yard kickoff return gave the Mountaineers the lead for good

Appalachian State wide receiver Jalen Virgil, pictured last season, had the go-ahead score on a 100-yard kickoff in the Mountaineers' win Saturday over Georgia Southern. (Brian Blanco / AP Photo)

STATESBORO, Ga. — Jalen Virgil scored on a 100-yard kickoff return and Nate Noel broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Appalachian State beat Georgia Southern 34-26 on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Alex Raynor’s 47-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter gave Georgia Southern (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference) a 20-17 lead. Virgil scored on the ensuing kickoff and after the Eagles went three-and-out, Noel scored to stretch the Mountaineers’ lead to 31-20.


Miller Mosley threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to Dexter Carter Jr. with 5:23 remaining that pulled Georgia Southern to 31-26. Chandler Staton added a 37-yard field goal for the Mountaineers. The Eagles then drove to their 44 before Nicholas Ross picked off a Mosley pass to seal it.

Zac Thomas threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns for Appalachian State (8-3, 6-2). Noel had 13 carries for 103 yards rushing. Virgil had three receptions including a 16-yard touchdown catch.

Georgia Southern’s David Spaulding had a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.