Vantrease leads Georgia Southern past Appalachian State with game-winning touchdown pass


STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Kyle Vantrease threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ezrah Archie for the game-winning score to lead Georgia Southern to a dramatic 51-48 double overtime win over Appalachian State on Saturday night.

Despite entering with six wins, the Mountaineers needed the victory to become bowl eligible because two of their wins were against FCS-members Robert Morris and The Citadel, leaving them one win shy of five required wins against FBS teams.

Appalachian State started the season with a 63-61 home loss to North Carolina before going to College Station, Texas and beating then No. 6 Texas A&M 17-14.

Georgia Southern (6-6, 3-5 Sun Belt) needed the win to become bowl eligible.

Each team scored a touchdown in the first overtime, and the Mountaineers' Michael Hughes kicked a 32-yard field goal in Appalachian State's second overtime possession. After Vantrease threw incomplete on first down, he came back with a laser to Archie and Georgia Southern fans stormed the field.

Hughes missed a 30-yard field goal as time expired in regulation with the game tied at 38.

Vantrease threw for 385 yards and three touchdowns.

Nate Noel ran for 171 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns for the Mountaineers (6-6, 3-5).