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APSU Football falls at home to Jacksonville State 34-14

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU FootballClarksville, TN – In a battle of unbeatens, only one can emerge the victor.

Austin Peay State University’s defense hassled fourth-ranked Jacksonville State all night, Saturday, forcing multiple Gamecock turnovers, including a crucial one in the red zone late in the first half. But an upset was not to be for the Governors, who fell 34-14 at Fortera Stadium.

Austin Peay Governors Football loses battle of the unbeatens to Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday night at Fortera Stadium. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Governors Football loses battle of the unbeatens to Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday night at Fortera Stadium. (APSU Sports Information)

Reigning Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week Jaison Williams threw his name into consideration for back-to-back honors.

The sophomore from Trussville, Alabama led the Govs with 10 tackles—most by a Governors defensive lineman since the 2014 finale (Nii Lartey)—including 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack, giving him 5.5 sacks for the season.

He forced two fumbles—one recovered by junior Gunnar Scholato to snuff out a Gamecock drive inside the Austin Peay five-yard line, and one he recovered himself on a strip-sack of Bryant Horn late in the second quarter.

From The Top

Jaison Williams remained second in the OVC sack race with another sack against Jacksonville State. He now has 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. 

Punter Devin Stuart had the best punting performance in the OVC this season, averaging 48.3 yards per punt on seven boots.

On offense, the Governors faced a stout Gamecock front seven, which forced Austin Peay to find space on the edges when space was tight between the tackles. The Governors used big plays as catalysts for their scoring drives, with the first coming to fruition late in the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, sophomore Kentel Williams broke free for 26 yards to get the Govs into Gamecock territory.

Although the drive stalled at the Gamecock 21-yard line, Austin Peay elected to go for it on fourth-and-four, and sophomore quarterback JaVaughn Craig hit senior Kyran Moore for a 21-yard touchdown pass to get the Govs on the board.

In the fourth quarter, freshman Jeremiah Oatsvall led a Governors scoring drive, hitting a streaking DJ Montgomery for 39 yards to get the Govs down inside the Jacksonville State five-yard line. After three plays with minimal gain, the Govs again faced a fourth-down situation, again head coach Will Healy elected to trust his offense and again the offense delivered, with Oatsvall hooking up with Montgomery from three yards out for a score.

Another late drive featured a pair of big plays from the Govs. Craig, back under center, scampered for 22 yards to get into Jacksonville State territory, then gave way to Oatsvall, who hit Williams for 35 yards to get back inside the Gamecock 10-yard line. However, the Gamecocks forced a fumble on the next play and recovered it to end Austin Peay’s night on offense.

Austin Peay’s punt unit provided a big boost for the Governors, giving the Gamecocks a long field on multiple occasions. Sophomore Devin Stuart averaged 48.3 yards on seven punts—the best single-game average by an OVC punter in 2017 and second-best single-game showing in program history. Twice, the Govs downed punts on the Jacksonville State one-yard line—on a 53-yard Stuart punt and an Oatsvall quick-kick, both in the third quarter.

The Govs get back on the road next weekend, making the trip down I-24 to face off against Tennessee State. That contest kicks off at 6:00pm from Nissan Stadium.


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