APSU Sports Information
Murray, KY – In one of the most dominant defensive performance in Austin Peay State University football history, the Governors held rival Murray State to just 88 offensive yards en route to a 27-7 victory on Saturday afternoon at Roy Stewart Stadium.
The win was the first in Murray since 2007 and propelled the Govs to 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference for the first time since 2011.
The Governors could not have asked for a better start, as the defense forced a quick three-and-out, followed by a 10-play 67-yard drive from the APSU offense on the opening possession to give the visiting squad a quick 7-0 lead.
Another strong defensive stand by the Govs, followed by an errant punt from the Racers, gave Austin Peay the ball on the Murray State 29-yard line. Logan Birchfield was the hero on the second drive, knocking home a career-best 45 yard field goal to give APSU the 10-0 lead midway through the first.
Gunnar Scholato picked up two quick tackles leading to another three-and-done for the Racers. From there Javaughn Craig stole the show, capping off an efficient six-play, 71-yard drive with a pitch-and-catch to backfield mate Kentel Williams from 14-yards out to give the Govs a 17-0 lead. In total, Austin Peay outgained the Racers 173 to minus-two in the first quarter.
Logan Birchfield converted a Gunnar Scholato interception into three more points at the 11:47 mark of the second stanza. His 22-yard boot improved his total to 2-2 on the night and gave Austin Peay a 20-0 advantage.
From there it was all Governors defense as the stranglehold of the Murray State offense continued throughout the first half. The Racers were limited to zero first downs and just eight total yards of offense through one half of play.
It was a strong running game and sound defense that ultimately put the game away for APSU. Craig capped off an impressive 14-play, 57-yard drive, that ate up 7:13 off the clock, with a three-yard keeper into the end zone to salt away a 27-7 victory. Ahmaad Tanner, Tre Nation, Kentel Williams and Prince Momodu all helped seal the victory with touches on the decisive drive.
Craig finished the contest with 111 yards rushing, followed by Williams (80) and Tanner (71) as the Govs piled up 297 to build on their OVC-best rushing attack.
Malik Boynton tallied seven stops in the win, followed by Gunnar Scholato with six and Juantarius Bryant with five. The miniscule 88-yard allowed for Austin Peay marked the first time since 2012 the Govs have held an opponent to under 100 yards.
Up Next for APSU Football
The Governors win sets up a showdown with nationally ranked UT Martin at 6:00pm next Saturday at Fortera Stadium.