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Offense proves ahead of young defense during first APSU football scrimmage

 

Austin Peay State University GovernorsAustin Peay State University’s offense seemed to be a little ahead of the defense in the first football scrimmage, held Monday morning in Governors Stadium.

The offense scored four TDs, including one in an organized goal-line situation, while on five other occasions APSU kickers booted field goals after the offense moved into scoring territory.

“Although I won’t know really anything for sure until I watch the film, I thought we ran around pretty good,” APSU Coach Rick Christophel said. “If we stick together and stay healthy, I think we have a chance to be OK near the middle of the season.”

The offense should be ahead of the team as the Governors return the backfield and wide-receiver corps intact and three offensive line starters while the defense has back just three starters.

APSU Football First Scrimmage - ( Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information )

APSU Football First Scrimmage - ( Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information )

Sophomore quarterback Jake Ryan completed 10 of 14 passes for 118 yards. He didn’t throw a scoring pass but did have one of his wide-open passes mishandled in the end zone, resulting in an incompletion. Although the Knoxville native didn’t throw an interception during the morning, he did have a potential “pick-six” pass dropped late in the scrimmage.

“I thought Jake handled himself well,” Christophel said. “There were two or three times I thought the pass could have gone somewhere else, especially one on the goal line—it was a late throw and a bad pass.  Hopefully, he is starting to mature and grow into the offense.”

He and wide receiver Devin Stark, in particular, had an impressive 16-yard hook up near the goal line as the sophomore made a diving finger-tip catch inside the 10-yard line.

However, the TD pass thrown on the day came from T.C. Jennings, the former quarterback-turned receiver-now emergency signal caller. He hooked up with freshman Robert Lemon for a 15-yard score shortly after he took over. When walk-on Trox Greenwade quit last week, the Govs turned back to Jennings as their No. 3 quarterback.

Co-No. 1 running backs Ryan White (30 yards) and Terrence Holt (29 yards) carried the ball just six times before turning it over to junior Wes Kitts and freshmen Patrick Haskins and Ean Pemberton.  The latter duo had to attempt to run against the Governors No. 1 defense for much of the scrimmage.

Kitts, meanwhile, overcame a first-carry fumble, to finish with nine carries for 74 yards, including one 55-yard run. He also had a pair of scores.  Pemberton had APSU’s other rushing TD.

Defensively, senior tackle Steven Johnson tackled Kitts for a five-yard loss and at the same time stripped him of the football. After the ball was batted around by his defensive teammates, Johnson ended up with the ball again and he raced 17 yards for a score, sidestepping one would-be tackler along the way.

The Govs will scrimmage for a second time this week, 9:00am, Saturday in Governors Stadium.

Scrimmage Statistics

Rushing

White 6-30; Holt 6-29; Kitts 9-74. 2 TD; Pemberton 11-10, 1 TD; Haskins 10-9; Forrest 1-6; Caffee 1-3; Jennings 2-(-10); Ryan 1-6; 

Passing

Ryan  10-14, 118 yards; Caffee 3-5, 14 yards; Jennings 3-5, 32 yards, 1 TD

Receiving

Lemon 3-24, 1 TD; Stark 2-20; Rouse 2-24; Pemberton 2-10; Thomas 1-10; Mines 1-6; Forrest 1-4; Litteral 1-24; Kitts 1-11; Jennings 1-19; Earls 1-12;

Field goals

Stephen Stansell 4-4 (31, 20, 22, 23)

Isaac Ziolkowski 1-1 (29)

Punting

Ryan Key  4-43.3


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