On the heels of a huge upset over Texas A&M, Appalachian State looked like it was going to fall back down to earth with a disappointing home loss to Troy.
But then something miraculous happened.
With two seconds left in regulation and his team trailing 28-26 from its own 47-yard line, Chase Brice lofted up a Hail Mary to the end zone. The ball didn’t even reach the goal line but it deflected into the arms of Christan Horn at the 7-yard line.
Horn then got a block and waltzed into the end zone to give the Mountaineers a wild 32-28 victory with no time left on the clock.
Troy had a 28-24 lead for much of the fourth quarter and tried to hold on for dear life. And it looked like the Trojans had the win wrapped up when they got a fourth-and-goal stop from the 2-yard line with 1:13 to play.
From there, all Troy had to do was run out the clock. But that would be tricky backed up so deep in its own territory. App State had just one timeout left, so Troy was able to drain most of the clock.
The Trojans had a fourth-and-6 from their own 11 with 25 seconds left. Rather than risk a punt block, Troy instead took a safety in a bit of a curious decision.
That safety made it 28-26 with the ball going back to Appalachian State with the subsequent kick. The Mountaineers returned the kick out to their own 47 and had 11 seconds left to try to get into field goal range.
After three straight incompletions, App State’s only option was the Hail Mary. And miraculously, the Mountaineers’ prayers were answered via Brice’s connection with Horn.
With the win, App State is 2-1 on the year in three nail-biting games. The home opener was a wild 63-61 loss to North Carolina. Last week was the monster upset over Texas A&M, which was then ranked No. 6 in the country.
And then on Saturday, with ESPN’s “College GameDay” in town, the Mountaineers found a way to win yet again.