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APSU Governors Football’s Defense dominates first scrimmage


APSU Sports: Austin Peay Football

Austin Peay State University Governors SportsClarksville, TN – A stingy defense and solid run game highlighted Austin Peay State University’s first scrimmage, Friday, under new head coach Kirby Cannon.

The Govs defense intercepted four passes, with Tyreon Clark and walk-on Nicholas Smart returning two for touchdowns, in the roughly 60-play scrimmage at Governors Stadium that worked on multiple situational packages. According to Cannon, the defense’s dominance was hardly a surprise.

Austin Peay Football. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

“A defense should be ahead at this point in time,” Cannon said. “The offense hasn’t seen anything close to this kind of speed during practice. That said, I was disappointed in some of the quarterback decisions, but they’re expected to have low points since none of them have played.”

Freshman Timarious Mitchell hit Jamaar Embry on a screen for a 64-yard gain, one of few bright spots through the air for the Govs. Mitchell, Jacob Sexton and Gage Scurlock split time under center, with none completing more than four passes. Sexton and Scurlock each threw two interceptions, although Scurlock did hit Justin Adams-Turner on a six-yard fade to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

LaDarius Chatman, who redshirted the 2012 season, made an early case for a look in the wide receiver rotation, catching a team-high three passes for 16 yards.

With Reco Williams, an All-Newcomer honoree last season, sidelined with an injury, Terrence Oliver and Ean Pemberton took reps with the first-team offense on Friday. Oliver led the charge, netting 102 yards on 12 carries, highlighted by a 47-yard scamper during a third-down situational play. Pemberton chipped in with 35 yards on five carries.

But it was the defense that shined the brightest Friday afternoon. On a tipped ball, Smart snatched it out of the air and rumbled 40 yards for the defense’s first score. Montez Carlton snared an overthrow and Adam Noble grabbed a tipped pass for two other interceptions, and Clark jumped a route during two-minute drills and took the ball untouched 45 yards for the second touchdown return.

While the defense is ahead of the offense at the moment, Cannon sees bright spots all over the roster.

“Our run game is a little ahead of where I expected it to be,” Cannon said. “We’ve got good offensive and defensive line play right now.”

The Govs continue practice next week, with the annual Red-and-White Game scheduled for April 20th.




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