Appalachian St. gets late TD, edges James Madison

BOONE, N.C. (AP) -- Armanti Edwards' 5-yard touchdown run with just over a minute left put Appalachian State ahead, and its defense preserved the win with a late fumble recovery in a 28-27 win over James Madison Saturday in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The Mountaineers (10-2), who started with the season with a stunning win at Michigan, kept their season alive with late-game heroics after a surprising move by James Madison coach Mickey Matthews.

Facing a fourth-and-1 from its own 32, Matthews decided to go for it. Quarterback Rodney Landers was stopped for no gain, giving the Mountaineers the ball with 2:35 left.

Edwards later converted a fourth-and-4 from the 25 with a 20-yard pass to Devon Moore. On the next play, Edwards scampered in for the score.

James Madison (8-4) then drove to the Appalachian 9. But Jamal Sullivan fumbled and it was recovered by Pierre Banks with 22 seconds left.

Edwards rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 126 yards as Appalachian State advanced to play Eastern Washington, which took a 44-15 victory over McNeese State in the FCS -- formerly Division I-AA -- playoffs.

Landers passed for 124 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 129 yards for the Dukes, who won the championship in 2004 before Appalachian's consecutive titles.