APSU Sports Information
Cookeville, TN – With a chance to claim the first Sgt. York Trophy in program history, the Austin Peay State University football team picked up a 35-28 victory over in-state rival Tennessee Tech to improve to 3-0 in the series and capture the title, Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Cookeville Tennessee.
The Governors (6-4, 5-1 OVC) rushing attack was once again dominant, racking up 423 yards – the most in any contest between two Ohio Valley Conference teams this season – en route to 522 yards of total offense.
Freshman Ahmaad Tanner led the way, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. The Dalton, GA native piled up a career-best 105 yards against the Golden Eagles.
While freshman signal caller Jeremiah Oatsvall took a small step back in efficiency, he was extremely effective. The Brentwood, TN standout piled up 157 total yards, including his first collegiate touchdown reception on a 27-yard pitch from fellow freshman Baniko Harley in the third quarter.
The Governors defense was stout against the Golden Eagles, limiting them to 271 yards of total offense. Jaison Williams picked up his OVC-leading 9.5 sack late in the fourth quarter to help salt away the victory.
Austin Peay kicked the game off in style, forcing a fumble on the very first offensive play of the game. Emerging defensive leader Juantarius Bryant ripped a ball away from Tech quarterback Luke Ward allowing Malik Davis to recover and set the Governors up in prime field position.
Oatsvall and company capitalized with a quick six-play drive, capped off by a Tanner one-yard run to put APSU out in front 7-0. The Golden Eagles responded quickly with a 9-play, 75-yard drive to square the game 7-7 after one quarter.
The two teams traded possessions in the second, before the Governors put together their longest drive of the game. Oatsvall connected with DJ Montgomery on a 35-yard play down to the TTU five-yard line.
The freshman quarterback scampered into the endzone two plays later to reclaim the lead 14-7.
The Govs carried that lead into the locker room, notching the third-straight OVC game that Austin Peay has held the lead at the half.
A crafty play out of the locker room ignited the Governors offense early in the second stanza. JaVaughn Craig handed off to fellow quarterback Harley who then tossed it to the final quarterback in the lineup Oatsvall on an option pass.
The back-to-back OVC Newcomer of the Week took it to the house from 27-yards out and gave the Govs the 21-7 lead.
Tech refused to go away, putting together a four-play, 54-yard drive with six minutes remaining in the third to trim the Governors lead to 21-14.
Tanner broke off a 52-yard run, before Tre Nation capped off the ensuing drive with a two-yard score extending the lead to 28-14.
Tennessee Tech’s leading receiver Dontez Byrd caught a 23-yard pass in the back of the Austin Peay endzone on the following drive to bring his squad closer, 28-21.
Reigning STATS FCS National Special Teams Player of the Week Kyran Moore took over from there. The senior ripped off 40-yards on the next drive including his one-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep to extend the lead back out to 14.
Austin Peay seemed to be in control until a funny bounce resulted in a fumble recovery for a touchdown for Tech. However, that was all the home team could manage as the Govs held on for the 35-28 victory.
It was Austin Peay’s first win in Cookeville since 2007 and first win in the series since 2012. The win also secured the Governors an OVC-winning record for just the second time since returning to the league in 2007.
Next Up for APSU Football
The Governors will continue their playoff march next week when they take on Eastern Kentucky 12:00pm, Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond, KY.