Hello Panther fans and welcome to the latest Armanti Edwards update. Your source for news on the most dynamite player in FCS I-AA football. Appalachian State has moved into the "Final Four" in the NCAA Championship tournament on the wings of an incredible 4th quarter from AE and his mountaineer troops. App State had their work cut out for them in snowy conditions up in Richmond, VA making the field a slushy and muddy mess. Not exactly the kind of day where you are seeking to throw a laser accurate TD pass to win a football game.
Or IS it?
With 10 seconds remaining in the football game, and App losing 31-28 after a (controversial) fumble on a punt return was taken in for a touchdown, Armanti Edwards willed his team to victory on a 12 play, 70 yard drive, capped off with a PERFECT as in ZERO room for error PERFECT touchdown pass to Matt Cline. Following the ensuing kickoff, and the final play in which App sacked the Richmond QB, the score stood at 35-31 in favor of the Mountaineers.
Controversial "fumble" shown at around 1:40. He should have been ruled down by contact, because his forward progress had been stopped for some time. Richmond was literally holding him in the air and trying to rip the football away. No Matter... because it predicated...
The amazing throw at 2:00.
On this play, Richmond sent the ROLB on a blitz and made it into the backfield pretty quickly. AE recognized the blitz, threw to where the linebacker WAS, and hit WR Matt Cline low and to the outside with a bullet to win the game for App State. A half second later, or just a pinch to the right and that defender in the picture knocks the ball away... and would force Appalachian to kick a game tie-ing field goal. This throw was an NFL caliber throw, no doubt. Some qoutes from various sources:
"He put it right where it needed to be, low and inside," said Cline. Any other spot, and a Richmond defender next to Cline probably would have made the break-up.
Richmond coach Mike London after the game recognized Edwards as "the FCS's best player."
--The Richmond Times
12/05/2009 - Armanti Edwards threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Matt Cline with 10 seconds to play, capping a wild last few minutes and giving Appalachian State a 35-31 victory against defending champion Richmond in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals. The Mountaineers (11-2), who had won three straight national championships before getting knocked out by the Spiders in last year's quarterfinals, exacted their revenge after Richmond had taken the lead on a remarkable strip and fumble return by Eric McBride with 3:26 left. On the play, the Spiders punted and Travaris Cadet fielded it inside his 10 for the Mountaineers. While he was trying to return it, McBride stripped the ball from his arms and took it 8 yards into the end zone, a stunning play that gave Richmond a 31-28 lead. But the Mountaineers had plenty of time, and used almost all of it in driving 70 yards before Edwards rifled the third-down pass to Cline, just out of a diving defender's reach. The drive capped a 21-point fourth quarter for Appalachian State, which hadn't led until Edwards' second scoring run, from 3 yards out with 4:27 remaining, gave it a 28-24 edge. - AP Sports, CBSsports.com
On an interesting note, Mike London (Richmond's coach), is to be announced as the new head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers today.
Armanti was 21/33 for 216 yards and a touchdown on the day. He also carried 12 times for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns in extremely bad field and playing conditions. (His numbers might have been far more gaudy had it not been for numerous slips and stumbles while trying to make cuts)
Just another update on a potential late round selection that could really be an impact player for us, should we decide to take him.