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Appalachian St. wins 3rd straight football championship


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Capping a memorable season, the Appalachian State Mountaineers crushed Delaware 49-21 Dec. 14 to win their third straight Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) national title.

For Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore, a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, N.C., it’s yet another milestone in a storied career. Moore is the winningest coach in Southern Conference history and has compiled a 167-70 record over the past 19 years at ASU.

“Jerry Moore is one of the most solid, faithful Christian believers that I know,” said Allan Blume, senior pastor at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. “Everybody here has the greatest admiration and respect for him.”

In a Baptist Press story about Moore earlier this year, Moore talked about his devotional practices.

“When I get up in the morning, I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and I won’t read a newspaper,” Moore told BP. “I won’t watch the news. I won’t read a flyer that may be laying there. I won’t read anything until I’ve read my five psalms and one proverb. I haven’t been a hundred percent, but I’ve started nearly every day that way since 1989.”

Blume said he spoke to Moore at church on Sunday morning following Appalachian State’s victory over Delaware and congratulated him on the win.

Moore replied that “I don’t know if there’s ever been a time in my life that I was prayed for more than this event,” Blume said.

The national championship for Appalachian State was the culmination of a season that started with an unlikely win over Michigan. In a Dec. 13 USA Today article, Moore said that the Michigan win “was a great history-maker. It’s good for college football and good for the underdog.”

But Moore acknowledged that the win also led to “a lot of distractions in different ways.” After a 3-0 start to the season, the Mountaineers lost to Wofford and Georgia Southern in a four-game stretch.

ASU, however, rallied from those defeats and won eight straight games to close out the season with the championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“Those two losses are the keys to our success,” ASU safety Corey Lynch said in the USA Today article.

Lynch, a senior, is engaged to Cissie Graham, the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Billy Graham. Lynch and Graham will marry on Dec. 31.

“We hadn’t lost a whole bunch, and sometimes knowing how to lose makes you long for remembering how it is to win,” Lynch said. “As hard as it was on our team during those tight games that we lost, those were very instrumental to our success this season.”
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Tim Ellsworth is director of news and media relations for Union University and writes for BPSports, online at www.bpsports.net.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›