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Big plays highlight APSU’s first full Football Scrimmage


Austin Peay State University Governors Sports - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s offensive came out aggressively, August 17th at Governors Stadium, attempting almost 40 passes, while recording two touchdowns of 40 yards or more during their morning scrimmage.

Austin Peay’s Offense breaks a big play.

Austin Peay’s Offense breaks a big play.

Junior Andrew Spivey and redshirt sophomore Jacob Sexton continued their battle to see who will be the Govs starting quarterback when the season opens, with Spivey taking most of the first-team plays under center, and finishing the day by hitting 10 of his 21 pass attempts for 136 yards – including a 40-yard strike down the middle to freshman Ladarius Chatman – while Sexton was 7-of-11 passing for 34 yards.

“I thought both quarterbacks played well at times, but they both made a critical mistake too,” first-year head coach Kirby Cannon said. “Jacob killed a drive by taking a sack instead of throwing it away and Andrew in a two-minute drive threw an interception, when we needed a field goal to be successful, and he throws an interception on first down.

“Both of those plays are ones that they will learn from and hopefully (August 23th) in the next scrimmage they won’t make the same mistake.”

Redshirt freshman Timarious Mitchell also saw some action, completing three passes on six attempts for 20 yards.

The Governors also ran the ball effectively; gaining 175 yards on 30 carries – for a5.8 yard per attempt.

An early highlight of the running games came on a 51-yard touchdown run by redshirt junior Ean Pemberton, who took the ball and looked to go around the right side of the Govs defense, but was blocked up, reversed his field and with a couple of great backside blocks broke through and raced into the end zone for the score.

Pemberton had two carries for a team-best 55 yards.

“(Ean) is a hard target to find sometimes defensively,” Canon said. “We had some problems defensively on the backside early by over pursuing by giving too much effort, but not enough angle.

“I thought later on in the middle of the scrimmage we did a better job and got that fixed.”

Fifth-year senior Tim Phillips was also impressive carrying the ball, finishing with 52 yards on eight carries.

“He’s very good and highly conditioned has great vision,” Cannon said. “Two of his runs were cutbacks on plays where I don’t think we blocked anybody at the point of attack and he sees a crease on the backside and he hits it. The next time you block those people and he stays on point of attack.”

Freshman Omar Williams added 44 yards on 11 carries.

“Typically a defense will normally win a first scrimmage because they will play on emotion and simplicity, sometimes overwhelm an offense that is not quite ready to go,” Cannon said. “If you have any offense success — and I thought we had a lot of offensive success early — that is a very good sign that your offense is coming around.

Receiving wise, Chatman finished with two catches for 58 yards while freshman Rashaan Coleman had the most receptions, six, for 41 yards. Sophomore Mikhail Creech had three catches for 21 yards and junior Jamaar Embry had two catches for 38 yards.

But the scrimmage wasn’t all offense, as the defense had a pair of big plays themselves, with junior cornerback Buddy Mitchell picking off a pass in the two-minute drill back for 48 yards, while walk-on junior defensive end Nii Lartey returned a fumble 44 yards for a touchdown — including leaping one tackler on the way into the end zone.

Also having strong efforts on defense were, senior linebacker Craig Salley had six tackles — including three of loss and senior defensive end Iosua Siliva, preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference by the Phil Steele constantly made his presence felt by tipping three passes.

APSU kickers junior Walter Spears (2-of-3/36, 37) and freshman Chase Dunlap (2-of-3/ 23, 35), converted on four-of-six field goals, with one block by Montez Carlton.

The Govs will scrimmage for a second time on August 23rd before making preparations to open the 2013 season at the University of Tennessee on August 31st.

About Chris Austin




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