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Sacramento, CA – Do you believe in the Govs yet? Behind quarterback JaVaughn Craig’s 158-yard rushing performance, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team scored early and often then salted the game away late to stun No. 4 seeded Sacramento State, 42-28, Saturday night in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division I Football Championship at Hornet Field.
APSU (10-3) won a program-record tying seventh consecutive game and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs quarterfinal round where they will face No. 3 seed Montana State at a time and date to be announced later.
The day was Craig’s as he used his arm and legs to befuddle the Sacramento State defense. He ran for a career-high 158 yards on 11 carries, including his two longest runs of 2019. Craig’s arm was good for 197 yards and two touchdowns on while complete 17-of-27 passes.
Austin Peay State University used the big play to great effect in the opening quarter. Craig used his legs for the first Govs’ big play, a then-season best 36-yard run that set the Govs up deep in Sacramento State territory where a 15-yard pass to DeAngelo Wilson provided the game’s first points.
After the APSU Govs defense held the Hornets without a first down on the ensuing drive, Austin Peay State University again got a big completion – this one a 40-yard connection from Craig to Wilson to get into the Hornet’s red zone. Six plays later, Craig added Baniko Harley to the scoring ledger with a three-yard touchdown pass and Austin Peay State University was up 14-0.
But the Govs weren’t done causing havoc, surprising many with an on-side kick that Harley recovered to put the offense back on the field. Four plays later, Harley took a direct snap on fourth-and-1 and burst through the line for a 40-yard touchdown run to put the Govs were up 21-0 before the first quarter expired.
Meanwhile, Austin Peay State University’s defense did its part to keep the Sacramento State offense silenced and pitched a first-half shutout. The defensive unit faced its sternest test of the opening frame after Sacramento State intercepted a pass in the second quarter and set up shop at the Austin Peay 35-yard line.
But after a 19-yard pass completion to open the ensuing drive, the Govs offense surrendered just three more yards before ending the drive courtesy a fourth-down stop at the 13-yard line.
The third quarter saw the teams trade touchdown drives. APSU extended their lead to 28-0 as Craig led a 6-play, 80-yard drive capped by Kentel Williams’ one-yard touchdown run. After Sacramento State scored midway through the third quarter to end the shutout bid, Craig responded by rushing for 76 yards in a 4-play, 80-yard drive to push the lead back to 28 points.
The Hornets would strike for two fourth-quarter touchdowns after the Govs scored, but Austin Peay State University recovered a third on-side kick with 3:59 left and then drained the remaining clock. Appropriately, Craig took the final snap and kneeled out the final seconds and the Govs playoff run extends another week into December.
Wilson caught eight Craig passes for 132 yards – his seventh 100-yard outing this season – and a touchdown. Harley ran for two touchdowns and caught another and amassed 90 all-purpose yards.
Quarterback Kevin Thomson led Sacramento State with 306 passing yards and 87 rushing yards, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another pair to account for all of the Hornets scoring. Eight different Sacramento State receivers caught a pass in the contest.
Scoring Drive Recap
GOVS 7, SAC 0
GOVS 14, SAC 0
An on-side kick recovery by Baniko Harley, on Austin Peay’s first on-side attempt this season, set the Govs up at their own 46. The big play reared its head again four plays later – Harley taking the ball in the “Wild Gov” formation and breaking through a gap in the line for a 45-yard touchdown run, his longest of the season.
GOVS 28, SAC 0
GOVS 28, SAC 7
GOVS 35, SAC 7
GOVS 35, SAC 14
GOVS 42, SAC 14
GOVS 42, SAC 21
GOVS 42, SAC 28
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Football, APSU Men's Football, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Baniko Harley, DeAngelo Wilson, FCS, FCS Playoffs, Governors, Govs, Hornets, JaVaughn Craig, Kentel Williams, Montana State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Sacramento CA, Sacramento State
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