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APSU Football loses to Cincinnati Bearcats 26-14

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU FootballCincinnati, OH – Quarterback JaVaughn Craig finished with 155 yards and threw for a touchdown as Austin Peay State University’s football team opened the 2017 with an impressive statement in a 26-14 loss to Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.

After the teams played to a scoreless stalemate in the first quarter, Cincinnati took advantage of a short field to score the game’s first touchdown.

Austin Peay Football has strong performance at Cincinnati Bearcats Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football has strong performance at Cincinnati Bearcats Thursday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Bearcats quarterback Hayden Moore found Thomas Geddis for a 16-yard catch-and-carry touchdown for an early 7-0 lead.

However, Austin Peay responded on the ensuing drive as Craig marshaled the Governors to an impressive 10-play, 81-yard scoring drive that was the longest of the contest.

The Bearcats assisted Austin Peay with two personal foul penalties during the drive. Craig made Cincinnati pay for the second penalty, completing a 13-yard pass to Josh Alexander and then a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kentel Williams to tie the game.

Cincinnati (1-0) would again capitalized on a short field, needing just five plays to score from a drive that started on the Austin Peay 43-yard line. Bearcats running back Mike Boone did the heavy lifting on the drive, opening with a 25-yard rush and running for 37 yards. Moore found paydirt with a pass to Kahlil Lewis from six-yards out for the 14-7 lead.

The Governors got the ball back with 2:06 left in the first half and marched down the field in just nine plays, getting to the Cincinnati two-yard line. But Craig’s pass was intercepted leaving the Govs trailing by seven at the halftime break.

Cincinnati would add to its lead on the fifth drive of the second half – another short 58-yard push that required only eight plays. Moore was responsible for the bulk of the work, completing 4-of-6 passes for 49 yards, including a six-yard dart to Tyler Cogswell for a 20-7 lead.

Austin Peay turned to quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall for its second touchdown drive, again in an immediate response to the Cincinnati score. He completed 2-of-4 passes for 26 yards and ran for another 15 yards. But it was his handoff to Josh Alexander that narrowed the deficit as the Govs running back slashed his way 11 yards to the end zone.

Cincinnati’s defense pinned the Govs deep in their own territory on their next drive and made the defensive stand pay off with their best field position of the contest. Starting from the APSU 42-yard line, Boone opened the ensuing drive with a 26-yard run and capped it with a three-yard dash for a 26-14 Bearcats lead.

The Governors had one more opportunity to close the gap, with Cincinnati gifting a drive that started on the Austin Peay 40-yard line. With Craig under center, Austin Peay moved down the field in 10 plays, getting to the Cincinnati three-yard line with a 4th-and-1 opportunity. However, Cincinnati stacked up the Govs running back to deny the score and seal the contest.

Austin Peay’s defense held Cincinnati to just 248 offensive yards and the Bearcats could only muster 97 rushing yards against the Govs. It was the first time since 2012 the Govs held an opponent to under 100 rushing yards and the first time since 2015 it held a foe under 300 total yards.

Craig’s 155-yard outing paced the Govs 313-offensive yard performance. His 92 rushing yards led a running back corps that saw nine runners amass 224 yards. Williams finished with 74 yards – 40 rushing and 34 receiving.

The Governors now have 10 days to prepare for their next trip to Ohio –a 2:30pm (CT) kickoff at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Box Score

Austin Peay (0-1) 14 – Cincinnati (1-0) 26

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Austin Peay 0 7 0 7 14
Cincinnati 0 14 6 6 26

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