APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Will Healy was brought in to provide direction to Austin Peay State University football team, but part of his appeal was his experience coaching the offensive side of the ball.
If Saturday’s Red-and-White Spring Game was any indication, Healy (and new Governors offensive coordinator Wes Satterfield) have got the Midas Touch.The Governors annual spring finale, which saw the Red team emerge victorious in a 35-0 win at Fortera Stadium, featured offensive fireworks nearly as potent as the ones on display outside the stadium later that evening as part of the stadium’s renaming ceremony.
In slightly less than a half’s worth of football, the offensive units combined for nearly 400 yards, including 250 through the air.
Jared Beard was a favored target in this one, particularly when Timarious Mitchell was under center. Mitchell found Beard for the game’s first two scores, a 23-yarder that ended a seven-play, 53-yard drive for the Red team and a 38-yard toss that capped a four-play, 55-yard drive. Both drives took less than two minutes off the game clock for the Governors.
“After the end of the first quarter, I thought we got into a little bit more of a rhythm offensively,” Healy said. “We started moving a little faster and our tempo got better. We were a little lackadaisical early, I didn’t know what that was about. After the first quarter, I thought we moved pretty well.”
Carlos Walden, a newcomer to the squad this spring, plunged in on a two-yard dive in the second quarter as the Red squad put together a seven-play, 60-yard drive—the longest scoring drive of the day.
While Walden, Mitchell, Marvin Franklin and Kendall Morris averaged a healthy 4.4 yards per carry for the Red Team, a lack of run game hurt the White Team’s ability to move the ball. Four ball carriers combined for 15 yards on 16 carries, which limited Mickey Macius‘ opportunities downfield—while under center for the White Team, Macius was 8-of-14 for 62 yards and an interception.
That interception came after Macius and the White Team moved deep into Red territory, marching down to the 11-yard line. But Jeremiah Mitchell stepped in front of pass and returned it untouched, 92 yards for a score.
Beard made a third trip to the end zone late, this time with Macius under center for the Red Team. An eight-play drive ended on a five-yard slant to Beard in the back of the end zone; he concluded his day with five catches for a game-high 108 yards.
After the contest, Healy was in no hurry to name a starter under center heading into fall camp.
While the offensive side of the ball clearly shone brightest Saturday, the Governors defense had its share of stand-outs as well. Antonio Turner and Jamel Jackson led the defense with nine tackles each, with Jackson, Byron Carver, Benedict Louis and Tyler Schneider each earning sacks.
Gunnar Scholato made five tackles on the day, but may have had the most important afternoon. The Hendersonville Tennessee native was awarded a full scholarship at the conclusion of the scrimmage after impressing the coaching staff with his work during the spring.
At the close of his first spring practice as head of Austin Peay’s program, Healy was pleased with what he had seen from both sides of the ball.
“There were times this spring where our offense got after our defense, and there were times our defense got after our offense,” Healy said. “In spring, I think you want some give and take, you don’t want one side to dominate the other. I thought today, we did some good things with our first offense, and we saw some good things from our second team defense. I was pleased at the competition; I think that was the main thing.”