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Austin Peay State University Governors Football falls to late Tennessee State rally 31-27 spoiling APSU Homecoming

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – Michael German rallied Tennessee State from an 11-point second-half deficit, including a game-winning touchdown toss with 35 seconds left, as the Tigers spoiled Austin Peay State University’s homecoming with a 31-27 Ohio Valley Conference verdict, Saturday, in Governors Stadium

The decision saw the Govs drop to 1-9 on the season, 1-5 in the OVC. Tennessee State snapped a five-game losing streak while improving to 5-6 overall, 2-5 in the OVC.

Austin Peay comes up short against Tennessee State during APSU Homecoming.
Austin Peay comes up short against Tennessee State during APSU Homecoming.

German finished the night with 395 yards passing, completing 30 of 46 passes and four scores. But he played like a fifth-year performer when he completed 22 of 35 for 287 yards and all four scores—three to Weldon Garlington. He was able to overcome 15 TSU penalties for 167 yards.

The Governors owned almost the entire first half’s momentum—they held the ball for 18 ½ minutes. The first score was paced by starting quarterback Darrien Boone, with a 34-yard toss to Wesley Thomas accounting for 34 of the 71 yards. A pass interference penalty gave the Govs first-and-goal at the eight. Otis Gerron, making his first appearance since the first series of the UT Martin game, took it home for a 7-0 lead with 6:38 left in the opening quarter.

APSU's Trey TaylorAfter the Govs stopped TSU on a fourth and two at the APSU 31, the Govs turned to junior Trey Taylor at quarterback for their opening second-quarter series. All he did was niftily drive the Govs 69 yards, using his own legs for 26 of the yards. He also was three-of-three passing, including a sliding eight-yard TD catch by Rashaan Coleman for the 14-0 advantage.

Tennessee State responded by driving 60 yards in 11 plays, resulting with a Lane Clark 41-yard field goal.

But APSU came right back, again with Taylor leading the offense. Taylor again used his legs but also completed passes of 20 and 21 yards to Gerron and Coleman. Taylor rushed the ball to the TSU four with the Govs calling their final timeout.

APSU's Otis GerronIt was APSU’s actually lone called timeout of the half—by wearing the special camouflage jerseys with the respective Fort Campbell unit nicknames across the upper back, APSU was in violation of NCAA Rule 1, Article 5 regarding proper numerals and lettering. For every quarter Austin Peay wore those jerseys, the Govs were assessed a timeout.

Then on third down Taylor was sacked for an eight-yard loss with the clock ticking 15 seconds left. The Govs field-goal unit rushed onto the field and freshman Dakota Vincil, attempting his first career field goal and the Govs initial attempt this season, punched it through the uprights as the horn sounded to give APSU 17-3 halftime advantage.

German immediately got TSU backed into the game to start the second half. On the fifth play he found Garlington for a 58-yard score to cut the deficit to 17-9 after the missed point-after attempted.

Later in the third period APSU again the Govs’ defense stopped TSU on a fourth-and-one and the Govs took over near midfield. Again Taylor led the Govs’ offense to the TSU five-yard line when the drive stalled. Vincil again came on and for the second time he nailed a field goal, this one from 22 yards to give APSU a 20-9 advantage.

To start the fourth quarter German again found Garlington—this one from 24 yards out—to culminate a 13-play, 92-yard drive. Garlington finished with 8 catches for 143 yards.

APSU's Antonio TurnerAfter being unable to move the ball on its next possession, the Govs then took advantage of a fumbled TSU punt reception to regain the ball at the TSU 36. They then took advantage of facemask penalty and an unsportsmanlike penalty to have first-and-goal at the TSU seven. Two plays later Taylor sneaked his way in to give the Govs a 27-16 lead with 7:16 left.

That proved to be more than enough time for German to bring back the Tigers. He first led a 11-play, 65-yard drive, again finding Garlington to cut APSU’s deficit from 15 yards. And despite a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty that pushed the ball back to the APSU 18, German still was able to find Ryan Mitchell for the two-point conversion and a 27-24 deficit, meaning the Tigers needed only a field –goal to tie.

APSU's Ben CampbellAPSU took over the ball at its own 25 after a touchback and a holding penalty immediately moved the ball back to the 15, it put the Govs’ offense under more pressure against the veteran TSU defense. APSU got it back to the original line of scrimmage and no further.

Then a 25-yard Ben Campbell punt into a brisk wind saw TSU take over at midfield with 2:48 left. That was more than enough time for German to lead his fourth TD drive of the second half and third of the fourth quarter. It culminated with him finding Isaiah Freeman on a short pass to the two-yard line with thhe receiver fighting his way into the end zone.

APSU finished the night 344 yards total offense, but only 100 in the second half while TSU rolled up 506, 335 in the final half.

Gerron finished with 62 yards rushing on 21 attempts while Taylor ended 8-of-17 passing for 104 yards. Tight end Trey Salisbury, who recently was converted from defensive end, had two catches for 59 while Coleman had five catches for 54 yards.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Antonio Turner finished with 14 tackles—an APSU season-high this season—while fellow back Adam Noble had 12 stops. Freshman safety Kyran Moore tallied two fumble recoveries.

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Video – Kirby Cannon


Box Score

Austin Peay (1-9 , 1-5) vs. Tennessee State (5-6 , 2-5)

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Tennessee State 0 3 6 22 31
Austin Peay 7 10 3 7 27



Rushing 3 6
Passing 18 8
Penalty 3 6
Rushing Attempts 27 46
Average Per Rush 4.1 3.4
Rushing Touchdowns 0 2
Yards Gained Rushing 116 184
Yards Lost Rushing 5 29
Completions-Attempts-Int 30-46-0 14-25-0
Average Per Attempt 8.6 7.6
Average Per Completion 13.2 13.5
Passing Touchdowns 4 1
Total offense plays 73 71
Average Gain Per Play 6.9 4.8
Fumbles: Number-Lost 4-3 0-0
Penalties: Number-Yards 15-167 8-80
PUNTS-YARDS 0-0 4-126
Average Yards Per Punt 0 31.5
Inside 20 0 0
50+ Yards 0 0
Touchbacks 0 1
Fair catch 0 1
KICKOFFS-YARDS 6 – 344 5 – 264
Average Yards Per Kickoff 57.3 52.8
Touchbacks 2 1
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 1–2-0 0-0-0
Average Per Return -2.0 0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 4-58-0 3-52-0
Average Per Return 14.5 17.3
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 0 0
Possession Time 27:05 32:55
Third-Down Conversions 9 of 15 5 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions 2 of 4 0 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 2-2 5-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards 2 – 15 0 – 0
PAT Kicks 2-3 3-3
Field Goals 1-2 2-2

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