Dec 18, 2021 | BOCA RATON BOWL


Boca Raton, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2021) – Western Kentucky had a record-breaking performance to win the eighth Boca Raton Bowl defeating Appalachian State, 59-38, on Saturday at FAU Stadium. Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe had a standout game and was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player after totaling a Boca Raton Bowl record six touchdowns and 422 yards on 33-of-47 passing. With those six touchdowns, Zappe surpassed LSU quarterback Joe Burrows all-time single season passing touchdowns record (60 touchdowns in 2019). Zappe first broke the yardage record, which was held by former Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons. The historic moment came on a 42-yard pass to Jerreth Sterns late in the second quarter. Zappe finished with 5,967 passing yards on the season. Jerreth Sterns tied the Boca Raton Bowl most touchdowns receiving record with three and 184 yards on the day. “Our main goal was to come into this game, no matter my records or his (Sterns) records, was to get this championship- and we were able to do that, and also break those records so it makes it that much better,” Bailey Zappe said. The Boca Raton Bowl announced three MVP awards at the end of the game.

  • Bailey Zappe – Most Valuable Offensive Player
  • Antwon Kincaid – Most Valuable Defensive Player
  • John Haggerty III – Most Valuable Special Teams Player

“(It was) just a great day to be a Hilltopper and a great win for our football team,” Head Coach Helton said. “To have the game that we played and to be able to break those records with Bailey on our team, we couldn’t write a better story.” The Hilltoppers came into the game ranking second in the FBS in scoring and total offense, while leading the nation in passing offense. The Mountaineers had one of the best defenses in the country allowing just over 19 points a game before the matchup against the Hilltoppers. The teams traded back-to-back scores throughout the 1st half as WKU led 31-24, but the Hilltoppers pulled away in the second quarter. Western Kentucky outscored the Mountaineers 21-7 in the third quarter. The lone score for App State came from a 62-yard pass from quarterback Chase Brice to Malik Williams. Western Kentucky and App State traded a single touchdown in the fourth quarter. The two-time Boca Raton Bowl Champion, Western Kentucky, handed App State their first-ever bowl game loss (previously 6-0).

For more information about the Boca Raton Bowl visit or follow on social media via Facebook (, Twitter (@BocaBowl), and Instagram (@BocaBowl).


The Boca Raton Bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. The Boca Raton Bowl debuted in 2014 and has been well received in the community through its first seven years. It has twice held the distinction of matching up two conference champions – Marshall University vs. Northern Illinois University (2014), and UAB vs. Northern Illinois (2018). In all, six conference champions and another three conference division champions have played in the game. Among the bowl’s alumni who have moved on to the NFL are current New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (BYU, 2020), Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (FAU, 2017) and Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (Memphis, 2016). For more information about the Boca Raton Bowl visit or follow through social media on Facebook (, Twitter (@BocaBowl), and Instagram (@BocaBowl).


ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes five early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events, and a college softball event, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers, and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

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