App State Upsets U of M in Moment of Football History

September 2, 2007 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

We serious about this – We are extremely excited and happy that App State upset the University of Michigan in football on Saturday. But it is embarassing that the local paper of the “hero” Julian Rauch, can’t even spell the name of their own town correctly. We swear this is true, did they layoff the proofreader, or was he/she off on Saturday night?  Sorry, but there is no excuse for one of the most exciting headlines in sports history to get botched like this…

We are positive that the original article will be “updated” soon, so we are publishing it here in its entirety:

Gatonia native Rauch leads App. State to biggest win in school history

September 1, 2007 – 11:39PM

Julian Rauch didn’t see his family when he lined up for the biggest kick of his life on Saturday. But if he looked hard enough, he might have — they were right in his line of sight.In front of the largest crowd in the history of college football, the former Ashbook Green Wave star kicked a pressure-packed, 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in the game to give Appalachian State a 34-32 win over the nation’s fifth-ranked team, Michigan, at the place they call “The Big House.”Rauch’s family made the trip from Gastonia to see it all.“A few minutes before it happened, I just quit breathing. I was just crying. There was so much pressure,” said Vicki Rauch, Julian’s mother. “But I had total faith in him. … This is really the most unbelievable experience any of us could have had.”Seven members of the Rauch family — including Julian’s parents, grandfather, sisters, aunt and uncle — were sitting among an announced crowd of 109,216 fans, the largest in college football history. Remarkably, the family was situated between the very uprights that Rauch kicked the game-winner through. They were in row 92 — just a few rows from the top of the stadium — and the kick soared to their eye level as it flew end over end into history.

After the game, the champagne was flowing at the Ann Arbor, Mich., restaurant where the Rauch family celebrated. The tense moments of the game gave way to relief and unbridled joy. The family could not have planned a better way to spend the Labor Day weekend.
As the Mountaineers drove for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter, the family knew that it the game could be decided by Julian’s educated right foot.

“I just thought ‘Give him a shot, he’ll get it done.’ That’s what he lives for,” said father Pete Rauch. “He wants every game to come down to a game-winning field goal. … I’ve got to tell you. When he made that kick, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of him and the whole team, really.”

“I’ve been dreaming about that kick every day,” Rauch told reporters after the game.
Former N.C. Senator Marshall Rauch knew his grandson was facing no ordinary 24-yard field goal. With so much on the line, and with Michigan doing everything in their power to block it, those 24 yards seemed like 24 miles.

“It was a tough spot for Grandpa. He’s kicking from the 5-yard line, so in essence he has to make it,” the former senator said. “But Julian has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. And he handled himself well, as usual. … When the ball made it over the Michigan line and through the goalposts, I believe you might have heard our cheers all the way back in North Carolina.”

The western part of the state was buzzing with news of the win on Saturday. The school’s athletics Web site crashed within minutes of the game’s end. Julian Rauch was unavailable by cell phone — not surprisingly, his voice mail was full.

The team left Michigan a couple of hours after the game and was scheduled to return to Boone late Saturday night where a throng of fans were planning to meet them for a rally on campus.

Marshall Rauch estimated that more than 2,000 Appalachian State fans and alumni made the trip. The university had been promoting ticket sales and chartered trips for the game since it was scheduled a few years ago. For the Wolverines, the game was supposed to be an easy way to open the season — they actually paid ASU $400,000 to make the trip.

“I bet nobody’s gonna pay ASU to come play on the road again,” Marshall Rauch said.
The game’s significance will be debated for years to come by the ASU faithful. Most will consider this the biggest win in the history of the school. Others will point to the last two Division 1-AA national championship game wins. But the game is certainly historical — since 1978, when the NCAA began classifying I-A and I-AA, no I-AA team has ever beaten a ranked I-A team in the Associated Press Poll.

Jeanne Rauch, Julian’s grandmother, did not make the trip. Although she had trouble hearing the highlights from her radio at Covenant Village in Gastonia, family and friends kept her posted.

“It didn’t come in clear enough,” she said. “I had people calling in from everywhere helping me keep up with it. … I got so excited, my nurse took my blood pressure.”

Business editor Thomas Monigan contributed to this story. Contact sports editor Derick Moss at (704) 869-1841.

Too bad they didn’t contribute to the typesetter…other than the printing gaffe, congratulations to the Mountaineers and their fabulous start to the 2007 season.  

appalachian_mountaineers.gif

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Entry filed under: Blogs, Community, Front Porch, Gaston Gazette, Gastonia Gazette, Life, News, Small Town, Sports.

Posted on the South Point HS Website -8/28/07 South Point 53 Kings Mountain 3

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