BOONE — N.C. A&T, beginning a new season Saturday night, took a 24-6 lead and held off a furious comeback attempt to beat Appalachian State 24-21.
Appalachian State missed a 46-yard field-goal attempt with 2 seconds left that would have tied the game.
The Mountaineers, reeling from a 30-6 loss at Montana last weekend, at least showed some late life against the Aggies. Trailing 24-6, ASU’s Kameron Bryant hit Barrett Burns with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 5:23 left. The 2-point conversion attempt succeeded, cutting ASU’s deficit to 10 points at 24-14.
Bryant then hooked up with Marcus Cox on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds left. Drew Stewart’s point-after kick made the score 24-21.
The Mountaineers then recovered an onside kick at midfield. After driving to the A&T 30 with seven seconds left, Stewart’s potential game-tying kick sailed wide left.
Appalachian State started the scoring when quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Cox with 11:11 left. The conversion attempt failed, leaving the Mountaineers with a 6-0 lead.
N.C. A&T responded immediately. Zach Matics returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. Cody Jones’ extra-point gave the Aggies a 7-6 lead.
The Aggies added a touchdown later in the quarter, completing a 47-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kwashaun Quick to Desmond Lawrence.
Late in the first half, cornerback D’Vonte Graham of the Aggies picked off a Londry-Jackson pass and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown, helping A&T to a 21-6 halftime lead.
Jones added a 27-yard field goal with 8:11 left in the game to give A&T a 24-6 lead and setting the stage for Appalachian’s comeback bid.