APSU (3-3, 2-1 Ohio Valley Conference) hosted the Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday afternoon on Oct. 7, falling short against the fourth ranked team in the FCS 34-14.
The Govs opened up with the ball, but managed to only get one first down before punting away to Jacksonville.
The Gamecocks looked to claim the early momentum, casually strolling down the field on a 17-play, 91-yard drive, capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass from Byrant Horn to Trae Barry.
The Gamecocks got the ball back after APSU’s next drive resulted in a three-and-out. The Gamecocks looked to exploit a tired APSU defense and did just that. The drive went only three plays and 49 yards. The drive ended as JSU running back Roc Thomas found the end zone on a 23 yard carry.
JSU led at the end of the first 14-0.
The second quarter saw a slow start, until JSU found the end zone on the legs of Thomas with two minutes left in the half. JSU missed the extra-point however, making the score 20-0.
APSU responded and finally put up a touchdown as JaVaughn Craig found Kyran Moore for the 21-yard strike. This made the halftime score 20-7.
“We had to make a play. Tiny [Kyran] is a great player. In big time situations he will make big plays,” Craig said.
JSU scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, as Horn capped off a 77-yard drive with a four-yard scamper for six.
The Govs trailed 27-7 in the fourth and were looking for a surge. They found it after Jeremiah Oatsvall connected with DJ Montgomery for Oatsvall’s first career passing touchdown. The Govs lessened the gap to 27-14.
Immediately after the touchdown, the Govs and their home crowd had the air taken right out of them as De’Marcus Flowers ran back the kick return for a Gamecock touchdown.
The Gamecocks capitalized on a couple of Gov turnovers in the fourth and found a way to run out the rest of the clock, securing their 34-14 victory over a previously red-hot Govs squad.
The loss snaps a three game winning streak for APSU.
“We have to play with more energy and more passion then anyone else on our schedule to have a shot,” Head Coach Will Healy said.
The Govs lost two fumbles and threw an interception, however the defense recovered two JSU fumbles.
“We got to bounce back,” Craig said. “We did not get the result we wanted, but we can not dwell on it. We have goals to make it to the playoffs and goals to win the Sgt. York trophy, so we have to be ready to play right.”
Jeremiah Oatsvall and JaVaughn Craig both had a touchdown toss each.
Kentel Williams finished with 54 yards on the ground, while Craig finished with 34.
The Govs travel to Tennessee State (4-2, 1-2 OVC) next weekend where they plan to get back on the winning side of things, while JSU hosts Eastern Kentucky.