Clarksville, TN – Quarterback Mike DiLiello threw for 307 yards and five touchdowns in the first half as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team opened up a 41-0 halftime lead en route to a 41-0 nonconference victory against Mississippi Valley State, Saturday, at Fortera Stadium.
After shutting out Presbyterian a week ago, Austin Peay (2-1) has shut out back-to-back opponents for the first time since the 1964 season. It also was the Governors’ fourth-consecutive win at Fortera Stadium dating back to last season.
Austin Peay State University’s second score came on a six-play, 80-yard drive that DiLiello punctuated with a 36-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Drae McCray with 4:04 left in the first quarter. The APSU Govs closed the quarter with a five-play, 48-yard drive that saw DiLiello connect with wide receiver Trey Goodman for a 37-yard touchdown with five seconds left for a 21-0 lead.
After a 188-yard first quarter, Austin Peay State University found a different gear in the second frame, amassing 220 yards as they scored on all four drives. Kicker Maddux Trujillo opened the quarter with a 36-yard field goal and closed the half with a 30-yard field goal. In between, DiLiello hit wide receiver Kellen Stewart for a nine-yard touchdown pass and found McCray for another 34-yard touchdown pass.
Mississippi Valley State (0-2) held Austin Peay State University off the scoreboard and limited their hosts to 104 yards in the second half. However, the Delta Devils only advanced into APSU territory once in the second half. They drove to the Austin Peay State University eight-yard line late in the fourth quarter but the 15-play, 71-yard drive died at the APSU eight-yard line when a pair of passes went incomplete in the endzone.
DiLiello played three quarters and completed 25-of-33 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns. McCray caught 10 of those passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns with three other Govs receivers ending the night with a touchdown reception.
The Governors’ defense held Mississippi Valley State to 121 yards of total offense. The Delta Devils had just 50 passing yards between a pair of quarterbacks and had seven runners finish with 71 rushing yards.
Austin Peay State University also recorded a pair of interceptions in the game with defensive backs Kam Ruffin and Ethan Caselberry each recording a pick in the first half.
APSU 7, MVSU 0 – Austin Peay State University needed just two plays to convert its opening drive into points. After CJ Evans Jr. was held to two yards on the opening carry, Mike DiLiello’s RPO read turned into a short pass to James Burns that he caught at the Mississippi Valley State 41-yard line. However, the APSU Govs’ wide receiver was behind the entire Delta Devils defense and turned on the burners for a 58-yard touchdown completion.
APSU 14, MVSU 0 – The Governors’ third drive of the day saw it throw up a couple of big plays to march down the field. Starting on its own 20-yard line after a missed field goal, DiLiello’s 21-yard completion to Drae McCray moved the APSU Govs to midfield. Three plays later the DiLiello-to-McCray connection hit again with the pair combining for a 36-yard touchdown completion.
APSU 21, MVSU 0 – A Kam Ruffin interception set the Governors up in Mississippi Valley territory and the APSU Govs drive needed just five plays to extend the lead. Josh Samuel opened the drive with a gain of nine yards and converted a 4th-and-1 with a two-yard run. On the next play, DiLiello completed a 37-yard pass to Trey Goodman, who got behind the MVSU defense for the touchdown.
APSU 24, MVSU 0 – After an Ethan Caselberry interception, the Govs set up at the Mississippi Valley 45-yard line. On the third play from scrimmage, DiLiello found Goodman for a 28-yard completion to move inside the 20-yard line. A holding penalty wiped a first-down off the board and Austin Peay ultimately relied on Maddux Trujillo‘s leg to supply three points courtesy of a 36-yard field goal.
APSU 31, MVSU 0 – Kam Thomas’ 16-yard punt return again put the Governors inside the Mississippi Valley State territory to start a drive. DiLiello ran for 17 yards on the opening play of the drive then completed passes of 16, 7, and 9 yards to Stewart, Burns, and Stewart, respectively, for the touchdown.
APSU 38, MVSU 0 – Austin Peay State University overcame a pair of big penalties to score its fifth touchdown. The APSU Govs appeared to have a touchdown on a 54-yard DiLiello to McCray connection, but a holding penalty nullified the play. Two plays later, the Govs were called for a second holding penalty, pushing them back to their own 40-yard line. DiLiello connected with Kam Thomas for completions of 10 and 12 yards to get the first down. On the next play, he found McCray on the home sideline and the Govs’ receiver dashed down the line for a 34-yard touchdown.
APSU 41, MVSU 0 – The Govs’ defense forced a three-and-out and Austin Peay State University took over on its own 29-yard line. Jevon Jackson quickly brought the ball into Mississippi Valley State territory with runs of 26 and 29 yards. The APSU Govs did not gain another yard on the drive and Trujillo was called on to kick a 30-yard field goal to end the first half’s scoring.
Next Up For APSU Football
After back-to-back home games, the Austin Peay State University football team returns to the road for a Saturday 2:00pm contest at Alabama A&M in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.