Richmond, KY – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team saw its four-game win streak against FCS opponents come to an end as it fell 35-20 to Eastern Kentucky, Saturday, at Roy Kidd Stadium.
Trailing 35-20 late in the fourth quarter, No. 19 Austin Peay (2-2) narrowed the deficit to eight points with an eight-play, 79-yard drive, capped with running back Ahmaad Tanner’s one-yard run with 4:12 remaining.
The Governors could not make positive gains on its final drive, retreating to midfield after a sack and pair of incomplete passes set up a long third down. Draylen Ellis‘ throw toward the goal line with 47 seconds remaining was intercepted, sealing the result.
Eastern Kentucky (2-2) rallied with 21 consecutive points after APSU built a 20-14 lead on Maddux Trujillo’s 36-yard field goal early in the third quarter. After a five-play, 75-yard drive gave the Colonels a 21-20 lead with 7:53 left in the third, EKU took advantage of an interception and a shanked punt to score on drives that needed only 39 and 23 yards to build a 35-20 lead with 12:34 left in the contest.
Austin Peay State University outgained Eastern Kentucky 400-268 thanks to a 91-54 advantage in play count. Harley amassed 136 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions. Ellis completed 27 passes on a career-high 55 attempts for 298 yards but was intercepted three times.
Eastern Kentucky saw running back Da’Joun Hewitt finish with 103 rushing yards and a touchdown while Parker McKinney went 12-for-20 for 160 yards and threw for two touchdowns in the win.
Govs 3, Colonels 0
Antoine Williams recovered a muffed punt to set up the Govs near midfield after their opening drive stalled deep inside their own territory. APSU’s second drive nearly stalled again at the EKU 28 with the Govs facing 4th-and-9.
However, Baniko Harley earned a critical pass interference penalty to keep the drive alive. The Govs could not take advantage of the penalty and with the ball inside the EKU 10-yard line and settled for a 29-yard Maddux Trujillo field goal.
Govs 3, Colonels 7
After an Austin Peay State University three-and-out, a 34-yard punt into the wind let EKU setup at its own 45-yard line. The Colonels converted a 3rd-and-3 at the Govs 16-yard line.
After two incompletions, the Colonels faced 3rd-and-10 when Parker McKinney connected with Jyran Mitchell, who shed a tackle at the five-yard line to get into the end zone for the touchdown.
Govs 10, Colonels 7
After EKU saw a punt knocked down by the wind, the Govs set up their drive on the EKU 46-yard line. However, the Govs nearly went three-and-out before Ellis found Harley wide open in the middle of the field and the APSU senior wideout went for 41 yards, shedding a tackle, to get the ball to the 5-yard line. Three plays later, Tanner took a direct snap into the end zone for the Govs first touchdown of the day.
Govs 17, Colonels 7
Ellis showed off his arm on the Govs third scoring drive of the day. He found Joshua DeCambre for a 16-yard completion early in the drive that started on their own 41-yard line. Then six plays later – including a pair of completions – he found Harley for a 22-yard touchdown completion – the 18th of Harley’s career – to extend the Govs lead to 10 points.
Govs 17, Colonels 14
Eastern Kentucky’s Davion Ross picked off Ellis and returned it 33 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. It was Ellis’ third interception of 2021.
Govs 20, Colonels 14
On their opening drive of the second half, the Govs got a 34-yard burst from Ahmaad Tanner to move the ball into EKU territory. Austin Peay State University drove inside the red zone again, getting to the EKU 19-yard line but could not get a first down on 3rd-and-10 at the 19. Trujillo connected on the 36-yard attempt to get APSU points on the drive.
Govs 20, Colonels 21
Eastern Kentucky responded with a quick drive on its second possession of the half. McKinney completed a pair of 31-yard passes, the first to Matt Wilcox Jr. and the second to Jayden Higgens to get to the APSU 2-yard line. Two plays later, McKinney took the keeper into the end zone for EKU’s second offensive touchdown.
Govs 20, Colonels 28
The Colonels second interception of the day included a 23-yard return to set up the EKU offense on the APSU 39-yard line. McKinney converted a 3rd-and-10 courtesy a 29-yard completion to Dakota Allen at the APSU 10-yard line. McKinney went to the other side of the field on the next play for a 10-yard touchdown completion to Jaden Smith to extend the EKU lead.
Govs 20, Colonels 35
A shanked punt out of bounds gave EKU its best field position of the game at the APSU 23-yard line. EKU converted on the miscue three plays later with Da’Joun Hewitt’s eight-yard run to extend the EKU lead to 15-points.
Govs 27, Colonels 35
After avoiding certain disaster when Brodie Williams recovered a muffed punt, Austin Peay State University drove 79 yards in eight plays to get within a score late in the fourth. After being held without a first down for more than 20 minutes, Ellis connected with Harley for a receptions of 28 and 12 yards and added a 34-yard connection to Eugene Minter to get to the 1-yard line. From there it was Ahmaad Tanner’s dive into the end zone to complete the scoring drive.
Next Up For APSU Football
The Austin Peay State University football team returns to Clarksville to close out their nonconference schedule with a 7:00pm, Saturday contest against Tennessee State in the first of two-straight games at Fortera Stadium.
Austin Peay 27, Eastern Kentucky 35
Austin Peay Stats
|23||C. EVANS JR||4||9||7||1.8||0||6|
Eastern Kentucky Stats
|Game Stats||Austin Peay||Eastern Kentucky|
Kick Return Yards
Punt Return Yards
3rd Down Eff
4th Down Eff