JACKSONVILLE, Ala.—Despite a record-setting performance by quarterback Jake Ryan, Austin Peay State University could not stave off a Jacksonville State comeback as it fell to the Gamecocks, 38-23, Saturday in Ohio Valley Conference play at JSU Stadium.
APSU fell to 1-9 on the season, 0-7 in the OVC while Jacksonville State Improved to 6-4 and ended OVC play at 5-3.
Ryan, a senior from Knoxville, completed 40-of-61 passes—both APSU records—for 375 yards and three TDs. But it was Jacksonville State, stung by two first-half Ryan TD passes, taking control in the third quarter. Trailing 16-14 at halftime, the Gamecocks reeled off 21 unanswered points.
The Govs attempted to recover in the fourth quarter when Ryan hooked up with running back Reco Williams for a spectacular nine-yard TD catch. But the Govs also had two other drives deep into JSU territory stopped on fourth-down defensive plays.
The Governors jumped out on top in the first quarter. After JSU intercepted a tipped Jake Ryan pass on APSU’s opening possession, the Gamecocks drove inside the APSU 10-yard line. But the Govs forced a fumble and APSU recovered at the four-yard line.
Methodically, the Govs marched down the field, using 10 plays to get to the JSU 24-yard line. Ryan then found freshman Mikhail Creech on a crossing route. He then forced a pair of JSU defenders to miss tackles while diving into the end zone to give APSU a 7-0 lead. The 96-yard drive was APSU’s longest this season.
The Govs defense forced JSU to punt on its next possession. Again the Govs and Ryan, using the short passing game and Terrence Oliver and Williams runs, marched from their 32 to Jacksonville 20 when Ryan hooked up with favorite target Devin Stark on a crossing route which saw the senior receiver dive I into the pylon to give the Govs a 14-0 lead.
JSU changed momentum when reserve quarterback Coty Blanchard connected with Allen Bonner for 71 yards to the APSU seven. Two plays later the Gamecocks scored to cut the deficit in half.
After the Govs were stifled on their next possession, the Washaun Ealey Show kicked off. He carried the ball five, four in succession including a TD, to tie the game at 14 with 7:46 left in the half.
Govs’ kicker Stephen Stansell failed to convert on two field goals less than 35 yards in the final minutes of the half. But the Govs were able to take the lead into intermission when JSU saw a snap sail over its punter’s head into and out of the end zone for a safety, allowing APSU to take a 16-14 halftime advantage, its first intermission lead in an OVC game since the conference opener at Tennessee State in Week 3.
But the Govs could not maintain the momentum to start the second half.
Ryan finished game completing passes to nine different receivers, including eight apiece by Stark, Terrence Oliver and Williams. Freshman Mikhail Creech had seven.
SectionsAustin Peay State University, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, Dave Loos, football, Govs, Jaemand, Lady govs, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Rick Christophel
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