Friday night, however, nearly nothing went wrong.
Stiff defense and a steady ground game spotted the Falcons a two-touchdown halftime lead and they rolled to a 34-8 win.
“Last year we thought we matched up well with them and they blew us out,” Donoho coach Shannon Felder “Tonight we had a pretty good idea of how to stop them … and did it.”
Donoho’s defense held Appalachian to less than 3 yards per carry and 177 yards total offense for the entire game to stymie any threat.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons turned to Teddre Williams and Walker Mason to eat away the remainder of the clock.
Williams went for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries, while Mason had 13 carries for 100 yards.
Williams’ three scores all came in the first half, going for 5, 3 and 30 yards, respectively to make it 20-8 at the half.
In the second half, Marshall Ghee scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, and Jackson Hodges, a lineman, took an inside handoff 15 yards for a touchdown with 8:26 remaining.
Felder said the defensive effort was helped along by the continually improving return of Matthew Overton and Justin Foster.
The two players were injured to start the season and both are at or above 80 percent, he said.
Tate Thomas led the Donoho defense with 12 tackles. Hodges and Alec McCormick added seven apiece.
With Parkway Christian forfeiting its season, the Falcons have an off week before the final stretch of the season.
Winless Jefferson Christian shouldn’t be a problem, setting up the showdown with Akron in Week 9 as a make-or-break game for a first-round home game in the postseason.
The game with Akron, which defeated Appalachian 28-22, is at home on Oct. 21.