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APSU Football roars back from 17 down to defeat Eastern Kentucky

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU FootballRichmond, KY – Trailing 24-7 in the third quarter, the Austin Peay State University football team rallied back with 24 unanswered points to down Eastern Kentucky 31-24, Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond, KY.

A heroic effort from both the offense and defense paced the relentless Governors, as their march towards an NCAA at-large playoff bid continues with the win.

Austin Peay Football overcomes 17 point deficit to beat Eastern Kentucky 31-24 Saturday in Richmond, KY. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football overcomes 17 point deficit to beat Eastern Kentucky 31-24 Saturday in Richmond, KY. (APSU Sports Information)

From the Top

  • Austin Peay overcame a 17-point deficit, scoring 24 consecutive points to secure its seventh win of 2017.
  • It is the largest deficit overcome for a win since APSU overcame an 18-point deficit against Tennessee State for a 37-34 victory, October 1st, 2011
  • The 31 points scored against Eastern Kentucky were the most by an Austin Peay team in program history.
  • It is Austin Peay’s second win all time in Richmond, Kentucky a feat only previously accomplished by the 1977 OVC Championship team.

First Half Rundown

APSU Football's Jeremiah OatsvallEastern Kentucky opened the scoring with a 10-play 54 yard drive all the way down to the Austin Peay three-yard line. The Governors defense held the Colonels out of the endzone and forced a 21-yard field goal by Lucas Williams to put EKU on top 3-0.

The Colonels followed their opening drive with a 7-play, 35-yard march that was capped off by a nine-yard strike from the Ohio Valley Conference passing leader Tim Boyle to his favorite target Ryan Markush. EKU successfully converted a two-point conversion to take an 11-0 lead into the second quarter.

APSU Football's Kyran MooreEKU tacked on a 31-yard field goal to go up 14-0, which was followed by the Governors best offensive drive of the half. Jeremiah Oatsvall picked up a pair of first downs on the ground before connecting on a 41-yard pass to senior Kyran Moore.

Ahmaad Tanner punched it in two plays later to trim the Colonel lead to 14-7.

Just before the half, the home squad went into their two-minute offense and picked up their second touchdown of the game. Boyle again found Markush to give EKU a 21-7 lead at the half.

Second Half Comeback

The second stanza started with the Governors moving the ball close to midfield before coming up short on third down. Oatsvall was set for his patented pooch punt, but a closing Colonel defender was able to bring down the APSU quarterback giving EKU prime field position.

The Austin Peay defense was up to the challenge limiting the damage from the Colonels to just three points. The last points that EKU would score on the day leading 24-7.

On the following possession, Oatsvall hooked up with “Tiny” one more time. This was a big 59-yard strike as Moore sprinted past the Colonel defense for the score to trim the margin to 24-14.

The fourth quarter was all Governors, starting with another bullet pass from Oastvall. This one connected with Montgomery capping off an eight-play, 91-yard drive bringing the visiting team within one score, 24-21.

APSU Football's Jaison WilliamsThe rejuvenated APSU defense returned to form following the score. Jaison Williams was all over EKU quarterback Boyle, recording hurries on consecutive plays.

Gunnar Scholato got in on the action barreling through the Colonel offensive line for a big-time sack forcing EKU to punt it away.

An unlikely hero was the story of the next drive, as the Governors offense stalled with 5:22 left in the game in EKU territory. Freshman kicker Cole Phillips drilled a career-high 42 yard field goal to tie the contest 24-24. It was just Phillips’ second attempt on the season, both of which resulted in three points for the Govs.

APSU Football's Gunnar ScholatoAfter tying the game and as they had done the entire second half, the Austin Peay defensive unit tore through the embattled offensive line of Eastern Kentucky en route to another stop, handing the ball back to Oatsvall and the offense.

His knack for the big moment was evident once again, as Oatsvall calmly drove his squad down the field for the game-winning score. Oatsvall tallied 26 yards on the ground in the final drive, including his eight-yard scamper into paydirt for the winning touchdown.

In fitting fashion, the Governors closed the game with an interception – the team’s first since Sept. 30 against UT Martin – as Keawvis Cummings picked off Boyle in the endzone to seal the victory.

Final Notes

Oatsvall finished with 307 yards of total offense (209 passing, 98 rushing) and three total touchdowns. Tanner followed up his career-high 105-yard performance last week with 91 yards on the ground against the Colonels.

Moore finished with two, big catches for 100 yards and a score.

Scholato and Malik Davis each finished with 10 tackles. Williams closed with three hurries, while Shaun Whittinghill picked up two.

The victory sealed the Governors first winning season since 2007. It also locked up a perfect 4-0 record on the road in OVC play and kept APSU right in the thick of the NCAA Playoff race­.

Next Up for APSU Football

Austin Peay will wrap its regular season against Eastern Illinois 4:00pm, Saturday, November 18th, at Fortera Stadium.

The Governors will honor all past and present military personnel for Military Appreciation Day. All military personnel with an ID can attend the game for free thanks to CW4 (ret) Joe and Andrea Maynard. The complimentary admission will be made available on game day.

In addition, it will also be Senior Day as the Austin Peay athletics department will honor the seniors in their final regular season home game.

Austin Peay has partnered with Loaves and Fishes to host the “Jingle Bell Food Drive.” Fans are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items in order to help Loaves and Fishes stock their shelves for the upcoming holiday season.


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