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APSU Football defeats Murray State 48-23 at Fortera Stadium

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU FootballClarksville, TN – Sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall threw a pair of touchdown passes to DeAngelo Wilson and DJ Montgomery as the Austin Peay State University Football team pulled away from Murray State, 48-23, Saturday night, in an Ohio Valley Conference contest at Fortera Stadium.

Austin Peay Football defeated Murray State 48-23 during Ohio Valley Conference action Saturday at Fortera. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Football defeated Murray State 48-23 during Ohio Valley Conference action Saturday at Fortera. (Robert Smith, APSU Sports Information)

The Senior Day victory was the second straight by the Govs in the series. Coupled with its 27-7 win a year ago in Murray, Austin Peay has won two straight in the series for the first time since 1977-78.

It also was the third highest point total by the Govs in the series and the most since 1968.

The win also allowed the Governors to finish 5-6 overall, the same as Murray State. It was the Governors third Ohio Valley Conference victory this season while the Racers ended 5-3.

APSU Football's Jeremiah OatsvallOatsvall finished the contest 15 of 23 for 193 yards and four TDs. The sophomore Wilson finished with a team-best seven catches for 99 yards—his two TD passes gave him seven for the season while the senior Montgomery had a trio for 49 yards—his two touchdown hauls gave him 10 in 2018. They became the first pair of Governors in history to tally seven or more TD catches in the same season.

Junior running back Kentel Williams also helped balance the offense with 118 yards on 18 carries, his 46-yard fourth-quarter TD run breaking open the contest at 34-23. Williams finished with 964 yards rushing this season, despite missing two early–season games.

2018 APSU Football - Kentel WilliamsDefensively, the Govs limited graduate transfer quarterback Drew Anderson to 23-of-47 passing for 247 yards—he threw for 412 yards last week against Southeast Missouri. APSU also picked off Anderson three times, the last by Trent Taylor being returned 71 yards for the final score.

In addition, the Governors limited Murray State’s running game to just 80 yards and outgained the Racers 447 yards to 327.

After stopping Murray State on a fourth-and-one on the game’s first possession, the Governors took over just short of midfield. It took just six plays for the Governors to take the early lead. Taking advantage of their running game—38 yards of the drive came via the rush—the final 12 came from Prince Momodu, who picked his way through the Racer defense to go untouched for the score—his fifth rushing TD this season.

After stopping Murray State on its second drive, the Governors, after a penalty, started on their own 5-yard line. But the Govs would not be deterred by the field position. On first down, Oatsvall quickly moved the Govs from their hole, throwing 16 yards to tight end Trey Pruitt, who made his season’s first catch out to the 21.

He hit DJ Montgomery for 14 yards after another Govs penalty. Then Oatsvall hit Wilson with back-to-back passes, including a 23-yard catch and run.

After three consecutive runs put the ball at Races’ 32, Oatsvall found Wilson across the middle, and like Momodu earlier, picked his way into the end zone untouched for another Governors score, his sixth this season.

2018 APSU Football - Prince MomoduThe Govs had an early 14-0 lead.

But the Racers finally answered with a season-high 50-yard goal by Gabriel Vicente. And then Murray took advantage of an APSU fumble in its own territory, with Don Parker returning it to the APSU five-yard line. Although the defense and a penalty forced the Racers back to the 14, Anderson erased the issues with a 14-yard TD pass to Malik Huneycutt to cut the deficit to 14-10 as the first quarter ended.

After the Governors were forced to punt, with Murray State taking over at the 40-yard line, Keawvis Cummings speared a one-handed interception on a tipped pass, giving the Govs the ball at the Murray State 46.  Seven plays later, Oatsvall found Montgomery on a jump ball in the end zone. That ensuing extra point gave the Govs a 21-10 lead.

Right before half, Murray State cut the deficit to 21-17 as Anderson connected for two yards for a score to Rodney Castille, culminating a seven-play, 71-yard drive in just 50 seconds.

In the third period, it appeared Murray State was poised to take the lead when an Austin Peay bad handoff exchange gave the Racers the ball at the APSU 45. But one of those “you had to see it to believe” plays occurred.

On first down from the APSU 28, the Racers’ Rodney Castille ran for two yards to the Govs’ 26. Junior defensive end Jaison Williams stripped him from the ball, recovered it and started the other way.

Racer receiver Sylvaughn Turner caught up to Williams across midfield and stripped him of the ball, falling on it. But during Williams return a personal foul penalty was called, negating the Racer recovery and giving the Govs the ball at the Racer 33 after the penalty.

The Govs then returned to the run game on six of the next eight plays, but it was one of the two passing plays that resulted in an APSU score as Oatsvall found Wilson for a second time, this one from four yards out to give the Govs a 28-17 lead.

An 80-yard Malik Huneycutt punt return kept the Racers in the game at 28-23, but Williams’ TD run with 6:32 left returned momentum to the Govs and they never relinquished it. Two more Governors touchdowns followed to send out the 18 APSU seniors on a winning note.


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