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HomeSportsAPSU Football defeats Sacramento State 42-28

APSU Football defeats Sacramento State 42-28

APSU Football

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.

Austin Peay State University Football beats Sacramento State 42-28 in the FCS Playoffs. APSU advances to face No. 3 seed Montana State in quarterfinals. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay State University Football beats Sacramento State 42-28 in the FCS Playoffs. APSU advances to face No. 3 seed Montana State in quarterfinals. (APSU Sports Information)

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.

Sacramento State (9-4) would keep applying pressure late, following the APSU Govs scoring drive with another of their own to close the third quarter’s scoring. But Craig and Austin Peay State University again had an answer for the Hornets push, recovering an on-side kick and then driving 51 yards in 10 plays while consuming over six minutes of clock en route to its sixth touchdown.

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

JaVaughn Craig’s season-best 36-yard run opened the Govs first scoring drive, putting the Govs deep into Sacramento State territory. Five plays later Craig found DeAngelo Wilson deep in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown completion. It was Wilson’s 14th touchdown pass of 2019 and Craig’s record-breaking 26th TD completion.  

GOVS 14, SAC 0
Another big play opened a drive as Craig found Wilson for a 40-yard completion on a play where Wilson was held on the pattern. That play set up the Govs in the red zone and they converted six plays later, with Craig finding Baniko Harley on a fade route to the far corner. It was Harley’s seventh touchdown catch this season.

GOVS 21, 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
After the Hornets missed a field goal, the Govs drove 80 yards in six plays, with the assistance of a personal foul for the touchdown. The drive opened with a 28-yard Craig-to-Kentel Williams completion and was brought inside the Sacramento State five-yard line thanks to a Craig-to-Wilson 22-yard completion. Kentel Williams took the direct snap on second down from the 1-yard line for his first touchdown of the night.

GOVS 28, SAC 7
Sacramento State broke up the Govs shutout bid midway through the third quarter. The Hornets used a little of the Govs own game plan, with Thomson finding BJ Perkinson for a 40-yard completion to get deep in Govs territory. After another 24-yard completion to Parker Clayton put the ball at the one, Thomson dove in for the touchdown.

GOVS 35, SAC 7
JaVaughn Craig. Full stop. A scintillating 58-yard run by the APSU quarterback put the Govs inside the Hornets’ red zone in the blink of an eye. He then eluded three would-be sack attempts and scampered for 18 yards to find pay dirt for the fifth Govs touchdown.

GOVS 35, SAC 14
Sacramento State methodically moved the ball down the field in its 15-play, 75-yard drive as Thomson was involved in 14 of the 15 plays during the drive, including a two-yard rush for a touchdown after a Governors pass interference penalty put the ball on the two-yard line.

GOVS 42, SAC 14
Austin Peay State University unleased its “Wild Gov” formation throughout its sixth scoring drive. Craig had one decisive throw in the series, a 21-yard completion on third-and-9 to DeAngelo Wilson to move the chains. A pass interference penalty in the end zone put the ball on the two-yard line and Harley followed the Govs offensive line into the end zone.



GOVS 42, SAC 21
Another Thomson-dominated Hornets’ scoring drive that went 75 yards in nine plays. Thomson’s 23-yard strike to Parker Clayton on third-and-10 kept the drive alive and he finished the push with a 20-yard touchdown strike to Isaiah Bailey to get back within three touchdowns.

GOVS 42, SAC 28
The Thomson display continued on the next Hornets’ drive which opened with him rushing for 10 and 28 yards against the APSU Govs second-line defense. A Govs offsides penalty kept the drive alive and Thomson struck quickly, finding Bailey for another 34-yard completion to get the ball inside the 10-yard line. Thomson-to-Bailey connected again for a five-yard touchdown run and Sacramento State was within two touchdowns.


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