ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Joey Aguilar threw for 211 yards and scored on an 8-yard run in the third quarter as Appalachian State beat Miami (Ohio) 13-9 on Saturday in the rain-soaked Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl.

Aguilar's scoring run capped an 11-play, 73-yard drive and gave Appalachian State (9-5) a 13-3 lead after Michael Hughes kicked field goals of 29 and 22 yards in the first half.

Miami (11-3) running back Rashad Amos answered Aguilar’s TD with a 23-yard score late in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 13-9. He finished with a career-best 180 yards on 33 carries.

But the RedHawks squandered a potential chance to take the lead when backup running back Keyon Mozee fumbled on a short carry near midfield with 2:39 remaining. Miami never got the ball back.

Aguilar was named the MVP. He completed 19 of 33 passes and spread the ball around, hitting seven receivers. Kaedin Robinson caught nine passes for 118 yards in the difficult conditions.

“We just want to stay true to ourselves,” Aguilar said. "The weather is going to be however the weather is going to be.”

The rainy weather forced both teams to try to focus more on ball security and stick to the ground.

The game was played as a steady rain soaked Central Florida and pools of water formed around midfield over the bowl logo and in the endzone at FBC Mortgage Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Florida.

Officials with the Cure Bowl reported an inch of rain fell before the game started and another inch fell between kickoff and the final play.

The conditions certainly affected play. There were 13 fumbles, with Appalachian State losing two and Miami losing three.

“Ball security is at a premium and it didn’t seem like either team managed to do it,” Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin said. “Just kind of have to plod through it and make the last play.”

Appalachian State rushed for 151 yards in the second half to put the game away. Anderson Castle had 119 yards on 18 carries for the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers had a 332-227 advantage in total yards. Amos accounted for most of the RedHawks' total.

Miami kicker and Lou Groza Award winner Graham Nicholson kicked a 34-yard field goal in the first quarter. He missed his lone PAT attempt.

“The elements were rough,” Appalachian State coach Shawn Clark said. “We had to make one more play than they did. And we did. Toward the end, our running game started to wear them down.”

Appalachian State celebrated its victory the only way it could, by sliding through the water and mud covering the midfield logo.


Miami quarterback Henry Hesson made his first career start after regular starting quarterback Brett Gabbert sustained a season-ending right leg injury in October and second-string Aveon Smith opted to sit out the game and enter the transfer portal.

Hesson completed 5 of 8 passes for 16 yards.

Sophomore quarterback Maddox Kopp also came in during the second quarter for his second collegiate appearance and threw his first passes for the RedHawks. He completed only one pass for 28 yards.

The RedHawks had 44 total passing yards in the game.


Miami will be looking to settle its quarterback position with the hopeful return of Brett Gabbert after a season-ending injury. The RedHawks' schedule next year features Power 5 conference road trips to Northwestern, rival Cincinnati and Notre Dame.

Appalachian State looks to build off a strong season with the return of junior quarterback Joey Aguilar as they look for their first Sun Belt championship since 2019. Next season's schedule includes includes a trip to play Clemson.


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