Huntsville, AL – The Austin Peay State University football team’s defense came up big again, scoring a touchdown on a fumble return and intercepting two passes in a 28-3 nonconference victory against Alabama A&M, Saturday, at Louis Crews Stadium.
On a day when the Governors’ offense was battling to find its rhythm, the defense held down the fort. Highlighted by Antoine Williams’ 60-yard fumble recovery for a game-sealing score, the Governors’ defense rolled up 12 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble while holding Alabama A&M without a touchdown and 283 offensive yards.
The APSU Govs’ offense took the lead two drives later on a quick strike. After getting the ball at the AAMU 37-yard line, quarterback Mike DiLiello found James Burns for a 58-yard touchdown pass and a 7-3 lead with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Neither defense would yield another point for the rest of the first half. Austin Peay State University’s defense held Alabama A&M to 194 yards in the first half while ending three drives on downs and intercepting a pass to stop another drive. The Bulldogs returned the favor, forcing five punts and a fumble on the Govs’ other six drives of the first half while holding APSU to 138 offensive yards.
Austin Peay State University’s defense helped open the game up in the second half. On Alabama A&M’s second drive, Shamari Simmons intercepted a pass at the Austin Peay State University 41-yard line. The APSU Govs powered down the field on the ensuing drive, with CJ Evans rushing seven times to get the ball inside the AAMU 20-yard line. Two plays later, DiLiello bullied his way through the Bulldogs defense for an 18-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
Alabama A&M (0-3) had another opportunity to score on the following drive, getting to the Austin Peay 28-yard line. But again, the Govs’ defense limited the Bulldogs to a rush for no gain, a rush for one yard, and an incomplete pass to force a long field goal try. The 44-yard field goal attempt sailed wide, and the Bulldogs’ final opportunity went with it.
Austin Peay State University would tack on two touchdowns in a 1:38 span of the fourth quarter to seal the win. The Govs defense forced a turnover on downs inside AAMU territory. The APSU Govs’ methodical follow-up drive took 11 plays to cover 39 yards, with DiLiello finding Trey Goodman for a 13-yard touchdown on a crossing route.
The APSU Govs put the game away on the next Alabama A&M possession. The Bulldogs drove into Austin Peay State University territory but Kwame Sutton sacked the Bulldogs quarterback and forced a fumble. Antoine Williams caught the fumble and rumbled 60 yards for the score.
DiLiello completed 7-of-22 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns while adding a touchdown on an 11-carry, 72-yard rushing performance. CJ Evans Jr. had 18 carries for 76 yards to pace the run game.
Cedarius Doss led the APSU Govs’ defense with a career-high nine tackles, three for loss, and a sack. Antoine Williams had nine tackles, a sack, and the fumble recovery. Sutton added eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and forced a fumble.
Alabama A&M was held to 89 offensive yards in the second half and finished the game with 283 offensive yards. Xavier Lankford completed 15-of-33 passes for 187 yards to lead the AAMU offensive effort.
APSU 0, AAMU 3 – On the game’s opening drive, Alabama A&M drove 66 yards on 12 plays, but the Governors’ defense held firm inside its 20-yard line and forced a 30-yard field goal. Cedarius Doss’ tackle for loss on a 1st-and-Goal lateral brought the drive to a halt. Josh Rudolph then stopped the 2nd-and-Goal run for no gain, and two plays later, the Bulldogs settled for three points.
APSU 7, AAMU 3 – Austin Peay State University’s second drive of the game needed just three plays to cover 63 yards. After two CJ Evans runs covered nine yards, Mike DiLiello unleashed a season-best 58-yard bomb down the middle of the field to James Burns, who got behind the Bulldogs’ defense and sprinted for a touchdown in his third consecutive game.
APSU 14, AAMU 3 – The Governors took over at midfield after Shamari Simmons’ interception at the APSU 41-yard line. The Govs powered down the field with running back CJ Evans carrying the ball seven times for 41 yards. After an incomplete pass – the lone pass attempt on the drive – DiLiello scrambled 18 yards and found the end zone for the touchdown.
APSU 21, AAMU 3 – The Govs’ defense forced a turnover on downs deep inside Alabama A&M territory. Austin Peay State University, taking over on the AAMU 39-yard line, used 11 plays and burned nearly five minutes off the clock to score. DiLiello used a 12-yard rush on 3rd-and-9 to keep the drive alive. Six plays later, DiLiello used his arm, finding Trey Goodman on a crossing pattern, and the APSU Govs’ wide receiver made the left turn to the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
APSU 28, AAMU 3 – The APSU Govs’ defense struck again for the game’s fourth touchdown on the ensuing Alabama A&M drive. One play after Alabama A&M entered Austin Peay State University territory, Kwame Sutton sacked the Alabama A&M quarterback and forced a fumble, which Antonine Williams picked up and rumbled 60 yards for the touchdown.
Next Up For APSU Football
The Austin Peay State University football team returns to Clarksville for its third home game in the past four weeks when it hosts nationally-ranked Eastern Kentucky in a Saturday 3:00pm game that also is APSU’s 76th Homecoming Game.