MARTIN, Tenn. — Injuries to key offensive contributors on the Austin Peay side led to a one-sided contest on Saturday.
A veteran UT Martin team used its experience against a banged up Govs roster, with the Skyhawks prevailing to win 37-7 at Hardy M. Graham Stadium. Things went downhill early on for APSU, with starting running back Otis Gerron suffering concussion-like symptoms following a big hit in the backfield. Later on, quarterback Mickey Macius went out with a thumb injury, along with receiver Jared Beard having a minor tweak.
None of the three freshmen returned to the field, and injuries at other positions also occurred.
“We got beat up pretty good today,” APSU head coach Kirby Cannon said. “We lost two starting lineman there at one time, and we’re down a strong safety. It’s just one of those games during these six or seven ball games in a row where you start to have nicks and knocks.”
This gave the Skyhawks an advantage up front on the line, as evidenced by the 496 yards of offense by UTM compared to APSU’s 170. At halftime, the Govs had just 70 yards with four punts and three turnovers.
The APSU defense held the Skyhawks to seven points in the opening quarter, with tailback Abou Toure rushing for a nine-yard touchdown seven minutes into the contest. But in the second, UTM scored three times. Trent Garland capped off a 99-yard drive with a two-yard run, while Jackson Redditt converted a 34-yard field goal. The host offense was more-efficient with Dylan Favre at quarterback, going 7-for-12 with 126 yards at half, including a 19-yard strike to William Tanner to pull ahead 23-0.
Favre continued to move the ball effectively, finishing the game with 205 yards, along with a second touchdown in the third quarter to Taylor Higgason.
“I think we faced a better football team today (compared to last week),” said leading tackler Adam Noble. “We’ve got to get better practicing during the week. The biggest thing for us is getting used to the speed of the game during the week so when we come out on Saturday, we’re not shocked by the tempo.”
With Macius on the sideline, redshirt freshman Darrien Boone stepped in at quarterback, recovered from an injury of his own. Early in the fourth quarter, Boone quickly gave APSU its lone score of the game on a three-play drive, hitting Wesley Thomas in stride for a 43-yard touchdown. The Govs totaled just 70 yards in the passing category, with 50 yards receiving coming from the freshman Thomas.
APSU will go back on the road next Saturday, taking on the Gamecocks from Jacksonville, Ala. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. from JSU Stadium.
Photo: Montez Carlton (Chris Malone/The All State)