History is made every single day. However, nobody in Clarksville or anywhere else for that matter would have predicted the run that the Governor’s football team has been on this season. It could almost be classified as a Cinderella story with how bad they were just three years ago. But instead of reminiscing on history, the APSU Football team has decided to rewrite it with their best season yet.
They continued their journey for country-wide validation Saturday night against the number four seed, Sacramento State; a team that was also making their first appearance in the FCS Playoffs.
The rain had been drizzling all day in Sacramento, but just before the game started the clouds parted and that rain had stopped and never started again. Austin Peay kicked off the game with the first possession which led to a punt with little momentum gained. The Hornets mirrored the same type of drive with little productivity. But in their first possession the Governors showed up to play.
An offense led by JaVaughn Craig seemed to be an offense that was unstoppable against Sacramento State’s defense that had already struggled to defend the run. The first of many first quarter scores came from a 15 yard pass to Deangelo Wilson who had a spectacular night.
After forcing another punt from Sacramento State, the Govs would go on to score again; this time from Baniko Harley who would find the end zone two times more before the game ended and just like that it was 14-0.
Just like that you could feel Austin Peay heating up and then Coach of the Year finalist, Mark Hudspeth, surprised everybody with an onside kick that was recovered by the kicking team. APSU would score their third touchdown of the first quarter on a 4th and 1 run for 45 yards after recovering the surprise onside kick courtesy of Baniko Harley.
The shock on the Hornet’s faces was obvious and hard to miss, they found themselves down 21-0 after having a great year and even more accolades never before seen in school history.
The number one offense in the Big Sky, with the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year in a quarterback, Kevin Thomson had yet to be tamed this season but that was just what the Govs defense featuring Pat Walker did. The interior rush was phenomenal from Josephus Smith and John Wesley Whiteside, and the corners forced coverage sacks all night long.
Hudspeth respectfully outmatched another Coach of the Year finalist, Troy Taylor, by making sure he had an answer for all of their plays. Limiting the Hornets to just 400 yards while APSU was only one yard shy of 500.
The second half started with Kentel Williams rush putting the game at 28-0 and an all but guaranteed win for Austin Peay. The show would go on after a moment of disbelief when Sacramento State finally found the end zone after two and a half quarters. The Govs would go on to score two more times after this to give them 42 points and a win. The Hornets rightfully played until the clock struck zero and put up another 21 points making the final 42-28.
Although this proved to be a huge success story for Austin Peay, there is still a journey to the FCS Championship game to navigate and the next stop on this journey is Montana State in Montana on Friday at 7 P.M. CST. No matter the outcome of the game this season will be a success, but anybody watching these Govs play lately can tell they have one thing and one thing on their mind; winning the FCS Championship.