BOONE —Two people from the Atlanta Force had successful returns to the Holmes Center on May 5.
Former Grizzlies coach Josh Resignalo returned as Atlanta’s general manager and offensive coordinator. His offense scored 29 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 74-32 victory over the Grizzlies.
One of the Force’s touchdowns was scored by former Appalachian State linebacker John Law, who scooped up a Grizzlies fumble and raced 14 yards to the end zone. Law is the second Mountaineer to return to Boone to face the Grizzlies. Former App State offensive and defensive Tyson Fernandez played for the East Carolina Torch, which lost 38-24 to the Grizzlies.
Law, an all-Sun Belt Conference linebacker with the Mountaineers, said it was a different feeling being in Boone playing football and not wearing a black and gold uniform.
“It was weird. It was very weird,” Law, an Atlanta native, said. “It was good to be back home, so to speak, to be back in a place where I’ve had so many good memories.”
Law lined up mostly either at linebacker or at defensive end. He scored his touchdown with 10:31 in the fourth quarter after Grizzlies quarterback Darren Daniel completed a pass to A.J. Stevenson.
Stevenson lost control of the ball, and Law was there to pick it up and ran easily into the end zone for the score. He said it was the second fumble he’s scooped off the turf since joining the Havoc, but he was caught at the 1-yard one with the first one.
His touchdown gave the Havoc a 59-19 lead.
“I was about ready to rush the passer and I saw that he fumbled it,” Law said. “It kind of dropped dead on the ground, so I picked it up and saw I had a little room and tried to get it in the end zone.”
The Grizzlies (1-4) stayed close to the unbeaten Havoc (7-0) into the second quarter when key mistakes proved costly to High County. Atlanta held a 17-13 lead, but the Grizzlies drove the ball to the Havoc’s 3-yard line, where they fumbled the ball away on a Daniel pitch to Jalen Jackson.
The Havoc drove the ball to the Grizzlies 4-yard line before Thyron Lewis Sr. scored on a sweep, giving the Havoc a 24-17 lead. Daniel tossed an interception on the Grizzlies’ first play after the ensuing kickoff, and Havoc quarterback Lee Chapple, the former Georgia Southern quarterback, covered the pick into a touchdown pass to Ryan McDaniel with 1:06 left in the first half.
“The turning point of the game was when we ran that toss sweep and fumbled it,” Grizzlies coach Scott Meserve said. “I should have called read-option. They were down — they were fighting themselves. If we punch it in from there it’s a whole different ballgame.”
Daniel, who completed 15-of-31 passes for 172 yards and five touchdowns, moved the Grizzlies to the Havoc’s 11-yard line before finding Gerron “Scooby” Bryant for a touchdown with nine second left in the first half
It took the Havoc just six seconds to get into scoring position. Three penalties later, two by the Grizzlies and one by the Havoc, Chapple’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Martel Moore gave Atlanta a 31-19 halftime lead.
“We had a couple mistakes and we didn’t tackle too well,” Daniel said. “They turned some small plays into big plays.”
Chapple, whose last appearance in Boone ended in a 52-16 Appalachian State victory over his visiting Georgia Southern in 2009, had a much better day against the Grizzlies. Chapple, who transferred to North Alabama the next season, completed 18-of-36 passes for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Havoc outgained the Grizzlies 314-203 in total offense, and held the Grizzlies to 1-of-6 conversions on third down.
White, playing in his first game with the Grizzlies after joining the team last week, caught three passes for 45 yards and two touchdowns. Stevenson caught six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Bryant grabbed six passes for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
Former Grizzly Alex Coleman caught seven passes for 72 yards for the Havoc. Former Grizzlies defensive end Larry Ford and cornerback Brandon Fuentes also returned to the Holmes Center with the Havoc.