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Austin Peay Governors Football’s Running game was impressive at first Scrimmage

 

APSU Sports: Austin Peay Football

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Wesley Kitts made an early statement and Reco Williams later delivered a punctuation mark in Austin Peay State University’s first scrimmage, a rain-delayed event Monday that was moved to late afternoon because of thunderstorms.

The day saw the offense gain the upper hand on the defense, thanks to a strong running game along with sharp passing from senior quarterback Jake Ryan.

Austin Peay Football. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

“I really like our depth at running back,” APSU coach Rick Christophel said. “The running backs ran hard.  I think Wes Kitts showed today he can run the football. He is one of the three fastest guys on this football  team. If he can stay healthy, he is primed to have a really good year.

“Reco and Ean Pemberton are two young backs with really good potential.”

It was the running game that set the tone from the outset. Seeking a replacement for departed Ryan White, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards a year ago in leaving as APSU’s second all-time leading rusher, Kitts raced 63 yards for a touchdown on the scrimmage’s second play. The senior, who rushed for more than 450 yards a year ago, finished with two TD runs and 132 yards on 11 carries.

As impressive as Kitts was, Williams may have owned the scrimmage’s most impressive run, a 20-yarder which saw the 6-1, 248 pounder shun several would-be tacklers and even leveling his former Northeast High School teammate J.J. Rutledge, a hit that energized the offensive sideline. Williams finished with 11 carries for 66 yards.

But not to be left out, Pemberton ended with 66 yards on 13 carries, 45 in the scrimmage’s second half while freshman walk-on fullback Filo Langkilde, who has joined fellow Samoans Iosua Siliva and Isaiah Tuisasosopo, had a one-yard TD run.

The running game opened things up for senior quarterback Ryan, who completed 11 of 17 passes for 150 yards, including one TD, a seven-yard fade route to sophomore Darryl Clack in the second half.

“I thought Jake really did a good job today,” Christophel said. “He threw the ball very well and he made good decisions out there—he did not throw into traffic all day long and that is something we have been working on. “

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jacob Sexton finished the day 8-of-18 for 86 yards, including 6-of-12 for 60 yards in the first half.

Senior wide receiver Robert Lemon led the way with four catches for 56 yards while senior tight end Ashlon Adams, who has dropped more than 20 pounds since last season, finished with three catches for 55 yards. Clack had two catches for 17 yards while the usually reliable Devin Stark had just one catch for 15 yards but mishandled a couple other passes.

Defensively, redshirt freshman linebacker Adam Noble led the way with eight stops while junior linebacker Rip Rowan and redshirt freshman safety Brad Wilmer each had three stops.

However, junior defensive end Earnest Smith, a local product, continues his emergence as a defensive force with six tackles, including two for loss, and a pass break up. Senior safety Antwaun Majors added six stops, including one for loss, while forcing one fumble.

“I thought Earnest really showed up today,” Christophel said. “He is going to make a lot of plays.

“We held out our two starting linebackers today in Josh Carroll and Darrick Dilliard, who that hurt us some. We also are a little thin in the secondary as we were without (sophomore safety) Steven Rich and (cornerback) Mookie Clark had some personal things he had to take care of. Once we get those guys back and healthy, I think we are going to be OK.”

The kicking game saw the Governors convert four of five field-goals attempts.

The Governors will scrimmage again, 9:30am, Saturday in Governors Stadium.


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