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Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University football team completed its final scrimmage of the 2016 preseason with a 102 play scrimmage Saturday morning at 9:45am after the the threat of weather derailed the original start time of 2:45pm.
Austin Peay Football held final scrimmage of the season Saturday morning. (APSU Sports Information)
“I was very impressed with how our guys handled the sudden change in practice times aspect today,” APSU head coach Will Healy said. “That is something we preach, be adaptable to the situation, but to haven’t had to implement it like we did today by changing from 2:45pm to 9:30am. It was a test for them and I felt like we passed. We had a ton of energy and enthusiasm and played well on both sides of the ball.”
The Govs managed to get in 14 series and 102 plays before the rains came and halted play. Both sides of the ball put up highlights including a 14-play scoring drive by the offense and a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by the defense.
“Our young guys have done a great job stepping in and helping us with our depth issue,” added Healy. “There are a lot of them that will have to step in and play meaningful snaps for us this season so we’ll look forward to seeing their improvement at each and every practice.”
With Timarious Mitchell under center for the first series, the offense marched down the field in seven plays for a touchdown. Mitchell hit Jared Beard from 19 yards out in the end zone for the score. Marvin Franklin picked up a crucial 3rd-and-2 from the 44 yard line with an eight yard run keeping the drive alive and Kyran Moore hit on a 22-yard end around for a big gainer.
On the second drive, the defense came up with a crucial stand inside the red zone after a missed field goal. Facing a 3rd-and-1, Demarion Allen broke through the line for a huge tackle for loss to force the field goal try. Quarterback Mickey Macius found Jermer Braswell for 25 yards for the drive’s big play and Macius connected with Julian Franklin out of the backfield on a 4th-and-5 for 15 yards to keep the chains moving on the drive.
The Govs defense stepped up and stopped the third drive in five plays highlighted by a pass break up from Chris Hopkins on 3rd-and-7.
On the fourth series, with Javaughn Craig under center, the Govs marched down the field in 13 plays for a touchdown. Craig looked calm under pressure on the drive. Facing a 3rd-and-10 on the drive’s third play he scampered up the ride side for 13 yards and a first down.
On 3rd-and-6, Craig invited the pressure from the defensive front and found Carlos Walden on a screen for 11 yards and another first down. This time facing a 4th-and-1, Craig rolled out right and lofted a pass down the sideline to Braswell for 27 yards and a first down moving the ball down to the six yard line. The offense punched it in on the ensuing play when Craig scored on a QB keeper.
The defense rose to the challenged on the fifth and sixth drives with stops. On 2nd-and-16 during the fifth drive, Tyler Schneider came up with a big sack to force a 3rd-and-long ultimately ending the drive. The sixth drive ended on a 4th-and-5 when Tyler Reid and Dekeivis Perry met in the backfield recording a tackle for loss ending the drive.
The seventh series turned out to be the defense’s signature series of the day. On 1st-and-10 from the 39 yard line with the offense rolling, Gunnar Scholato made back-to-back-to-back tackles forcing a 4th-and-8 situation. Tyler Reid jumped up in the air on the fourth down pass and came down with the interception. Reid didn’t stop with just the pick, the linebacker rumbled down the sideline for 70 yards and the score.
The final seven drives went to the defense after a big sack on 3rd-and-12 ended the eighth series on six plays. The ninth series lasted nine plays before a false start penalty forced the Govs into a long field goal situation that was missed. Series 10 ended on a Lloyd Tubman, while series 13 ended on a Shaun Whittinghill sack.
“Now it is time to put camp behind us,” commented Healy. “I think we got better from practice one to practice 18. Each day we came out on a mission to get better, and I feel like we accomplished that. These guys want to be great and that is half the battle.”
With classes starting on Monday morning, the Govs will head into their 20-hour a week, 4-hours a day schedule for the next two weeks as they prepare for the season opener at Troy on Saturday, September 3rd at 5:00pm.
“We’ll turn our focus to Troy and make sure we can execute at very high level by the time September 3rd rolls around,” Healy concluded. “I am really confident in the direction we are heading and feel like our players have bought into what we are trying to teach as a coaching staff. As long as we, continue to keep the same energy and enthusiasm throughout the next couple of weeks we’ll be prepared to go play against a really tough Troy team.”
The Govs will hold their home opener on Saturday, September 10th in Fortera Stadium when Ohio Valley Conference opponent Tennessee Tech comes to Clarksville. For tickets call 931.221.PEAY or go to www.LetsGoPeay.com/SportTix to order yours online.
Austin Peay State University Sports Information provides the latest news and updates on the Athletic endeavors of the student-athletes at APSU. Under the direction of Brad Kirtley, the APSU SID’s office consists of Cody Bush, and Colby Wilson. To contact the APSU Sports Information office, contact, 931.221.7561.