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Slow Start hinders APSU Football at Southeast Missouri

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Football - Austin Peay State UniversityCape Girardeau, MO – The Austin Peay State University football team totaled 250 rushing yards in Saturday’s Ohio Valley Conference contest, Saturday, but a 21-point third quarter by Southeast Missouri proved to be the difference in a 41-21 loss at Houck Stadium.

Austin Peay Football falls at Southeast Missouri 41-21. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football falls at Southeast Missouri 41-21. (APSU Sports Information)

Offensively, the Governors were led by freshman quarterback JaVaughn Craig, who rushed for 126 yards and threw for an additional 90.

He was 12-of-17 with a TD pass through the air.  His TD pass late in the fourth quarter was the first touchdown pass of his Gov career. Craig also scored APSU’s first touchdown of the game, a 70-yard burst on a read option play.

The Govs scored all of their points in the second half, with freshman Kentel Williams scoring from 68 yards out and junior Jared Beard catching a four-yard touchdown from Craig.

Turning Point

The Govs closed the deficit to 10 points following Williams’ 68-yard touchdown, but on the ensuing kickoff, the Redhawks returned the kick 93 yards, increasing their lead to 31-14.

Inside the Box Score

Austin Peay’s 250 yards on the ground is the highest single-game total since October 3rd, 2015, which came against Eastern Illinois.

Craig and Williams both surpassed APSU’s longest run entering Saturday, which was previously at 33 yards.

APSU Jared BeardWilliams, who saw the majority of his reps at the running back position for only the second game, ran 10 times for 87 yards and a score.  Williams did eclipse the century mark with 100 all-purpose yards for the second straight game. He had added 18 receiving yards and 31 kick return yards for a team-high 136 all-purpose yards.

Jared Beard caught nine passes for 59 yards and a score. The touchdown catch gave the junior wide out 14 for his career moving him into a tie for 5th place on the Govs all-time career touchdown reception list.

Linebacker Gunnar Scholato continued to rack up tackles in bunches, recording 18 on Saturday – the 6th best mark in the NCAA this season. He also accounted for a team-high three tackles for loss on the day.

It matches his career-high, and Scholato now has 104 total tackles in 2016. With three games to go Scholato is tied for 48th on the Govs single-season tackle list.

Sophomore safety James Bond recorded 10 tackles, the third time he has reached double figures this season.

The Govs continued their streak of limiting opponents on third down. SEMO went just 4-of-12 on third down in the contest. Over the last three games, APSU opponents have gone a combined 5-of-34 for 15 percent conversion rate.

Quotes

Head Coach Will Healy on the turning point

“At 17-7, we felt pretty good about it. You have to give a lot of credit to them. I thought they outplayed us, and every time something positive happened for us, they came back with another knockout punch. When it was 24-14, they came back with the kickoff return.”

Head Coach Will Healy on JaVaughn Craig

“I’m proud of him. He stepped into a tough situation, basically taking him off redshirt in game six and doing what was best for this team. The fumble killed us, and we have to take care of the football better than that. I think he’s throwing the deep ball well, but I don’t think he’s very accurate right now with the short passes, so we have to continue working on that.”

Head Coach Will Healy on Gunnar Scholato

“Gunnar plays hard. I thought he did some good things. He looked to me like he ran on contact and pushed guys back, which is something we haven’t done a very good job of this year. He’s attacking the football a little bit more than he has been.”

Summary

1st quarter

SEMO 9:01 – Ryan McCrum converted on a 23-yard field goal attempt.

SEMO 0:05 – SEMO’s first touchdown came on a 14-yard pass from Jesse Hosket to Chase Abbington.

2nd quarter

SEMO 2:48 – Tremane McCullough scored from on a 22-yard run to begin the second quarter.

3rd quarter

APSU 12:37JaVaughn Craig broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive.

SEMO 5:23 – McCullough scores once more for the Redhawks, this time on a 16-yard touchdown run.

APSU 4:54 – On the second play of APSU’s next drive, Kentel Williams took the handoff and found paydirt, a 68-yard touchdown by the freshman.

SEMO 4:41 – On the ensuing kickoff, SEMO’s Cameron Sanders returned the kick 93 yards for a touchdown.

SEMO 1:52 – SEMO mounted a quick three-play drive, with Will Young scoring on a seven-yard run.

4th quarter

SEMO 12:27 – McCrum split the uprights once more, this time on a 30-yard field goal attempt.

APSU 3:26 – Austin Peay ended the game with a late score – Craig hitting Jared Beard on a four-yard fade route for a touchdown.

What’s Next

Austin Peay returns to Fortera Stadium to begin back-to-back home games, hosting Tennessee State, 4:00pm, Saturday, as part of Military Appreciation Day.

Fans can also follow all the action from the 2016-17 season on www.LetsGoPeay.com, on Twitter @LetsGoPeay & @AustinPeayFB and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LetsGoPeay

Box Score

Austin Peay (0-8 , 0-6) at Southeast Missouri (3-5 , 3-2)

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Austin Peay 0 0 14 7 21
Southeast Missouri 10 7 21 3 41

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