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Early missed opportunities costly as Govs fall at Memphis

 

APSU Sports Information: APSU Football

Austin Peay State University GovernorsMemphis, TN – Austin Peay State University was unable to cash in on some early scoring opportunities and then watched Memphis rip off 20 straight points as the Governors fell, 27-6, Saturday night in a non-conference game played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

The loss drops the Govs to 0-2 on the season extended their losing streak to 10 games. Memphis snapped an 11-game losing streak to push its record to 1-2. It also was the Governors  10th straight loss to Football Bowl Subdivision teams. APSU’s last win came in 1987 when it defeated Kansas State.

Junior quarterback Jake Ryan threw for a career-best 245 yards against Memphis. APSU Football. (Courtesy: Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

Junior quarterback Jake Ryan threw for a career-best 245 yards against Memphis. APSU Football. (Courtesy: Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

It was a frustrating first half for the Govs, who moved the ball with regularity but came away empty on two occasions deep into the red zone.  On the game’s first drive the Governors moved the ball from their own 30 to the Memphis 16, but junior placekicker Stephen Stansell shanked a 33-yard field goal attempt.

Later in the half with the game still scoreless, the Governors drove from their own 17 to the Memphis 26-yard, only to see another Stansell field goal go wide on the second quarter’s initial possession.

Memphis took advantage of the opportunity to drive 74 yards, the last 42 coming on a Taylor Reed pass to Tannar Rehrer for a 7-0 advantage with 8:14 left in the half.

Ryan WhiteThe Tigers then took advantage of a Jake Ryan interception to boot a 30-yard field with 25 seconds remaining in the half to take a 10-0 lead heading into halftime.  That margin quickly increased early in the second half.

In fact, the Tigers good fortune continued on their first possession of the third quarter when Kevin Wright picked up a fumble of a completed pass to Andrew Ene-Ita and ran it the final 22 yards for a 17-0 lead.

The Tigers benefitted from another kicking game issue when they were able to take advantage of a 21-yard APSU and turned into another Paulo Henriques field goal, this one from 44 yards out to make it a 20-0 contest.

The Govs finally responded, going 80 yards on 12 plays, with Devin Stark’s 25-yard and Darryl Clack’s five-yard catches being key-Clack’s being a third-down reception that gained a first down by inches, only after APSU asked for a measurement. After a penalty, Ryan hooked up with Ryan White with a pass near the eight yard line and the preseason All-OVC selection picked his way to the goal line. But the kicking game woes continued when Ryan was unable to handle the extra-point snap, leaving the game at 20-6 with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

The Governors threatened to make a game of it in the fourth period, driving down to the Memphis one-yard line with just under four minutes left. But the Govs were unable to push the ball across with a trio of passes and one run, the last incomplete all but snuffing out the Govs’ bid to win its first game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in 24 years.

A short pass from Taylor Reed to Billy Foster turned into a 93-yard catch and run for the game’s final score.

Jake RyanThe Governors finished with 368 yards total offense, including a career-best 245 passing yards from quarterback Jake Ryan, who completed 24 of 44 passes.  Fellow junior Devin Stark led the receiving corps with a career-best nine catches for 107 yards-his first career 100-yard receiving contest.

White, the Governors senior back, finished with 87 yards rushing on 16 carries and added another 37 in receptions, including his first career TD catch.

Meanwhile, the freshman Reed for Memphis, in just his second start, threw for 332 yards, completing 20 of 30 passes. The Tigers ended the night with 445 yards in total offense.


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