Huntsville, AL – The Austin Peay State University football team defense once again scored a touchdown on a fumble return and intercepted two passes in a 28-3 non-conference win over Alabama A&M on Saturday , at Louis Crews Stadium.
On a day when the Governors’ attack struggled to find its rhythm, the defense held the fort. Highlighted by the recovery of a 60-yard fumble from Antoine Williams for a game-sealing score, the Governors defense rolled up 12 tackles for loss, five sacks, two interceptions and a fumble while holding Alabama A&M without touchdown and 283 offensive yards.
The APSU Governors offense took the lead twice later with a quick strike. After picking up the ball at the AAMU 37-yard line, quarterback Mike DiLiello found James Burns for a 58-yard touchdown pass and a 7-3 lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter. .
Neither defense would score another point for the remainder of the first half. The Austin Peay State University defense held Alabama A&M to 194 yards in the first half while ending three downhill drives and intercepting a pass to stop another drive. The Bulldogs returned the favor, forcing five punts and a fumble on the Governors’ other six drives in the first half while holding APSU to 138 offensive yards.
Austin Peay State University’s defense helped open the game in the second half. On Alabama A&M’s second drive, Shamari Simmons intercepted a pass at the Austin Peay State University 41-yard line. APSU Governors put the pitch on the pitch in the ensuing practice, with CJ Evans rushing seven times to pass the ball inside the AAMU 20-yard line. Two plays later, DiLiello blasted his way through the Bulldogs defense for an 18-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
Alabama A&M (0-3) had another scoring opportunity on the next drive, reaching Austin Peay’s 28-yard line. But again, the Governors defense limited the Bulldogs to a no-win run, a yard run and an incomplete pass to force a long field goal try. The 44-yard field goal attempt sailed away, and the Bulldogs’ final opportunity went with it.
Austin Peay State University would turn around on two touchdowns in 1:38 of the fourth quarter to seal the victory. The Governors defense forced a turnover on the lows inside AAMU territory. The APSU Governors’ methodical follow-up took 11 plays to cover for 39 yards, DiLiello finding Trey Goodman for a 13-yard touchdown on a cross road.
APSU governors shelved the game on Alabama A&M’s next possession. The Bulldogs entered Austin State University Peay territory, but Kwame Sutton fired the Bulldogs quarterback and forced a fumble. Antoine Williams caught the fumble and rumbled 60 yards out for the score.
DiLiello completed 7 of 22 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns while adding a touchdown on an 11-carry, 72-yard rushing performance. CJ Evans Jr. made 18 carries for 76 yards to pace the running game.
Cedarius Doss led the APSU Governors defense with nine tackles, a career high, three for loss and a sack. Antoine Williams had nine tackles, a sack and the fumble recovery. Sutton added eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
Alabama A&M was limited to 89 offensive yards in the second half and finished the game with 283 offensive yards. Xavier Lankford completed 15 of 33 passes for 187 yards to lead the AAMU offensive effort.
APSU 0, AAMU 3 – In the game’s opener, Alabama A&M rushed for 66 yards on 12 plays, but the Governors defense held firm inside their 20-yard line and forced a 30-yard field goal. Cedarius Doss’ tackle for a loss on a 1st and a side goal ended practice. Josh Rudolph then stopped the run for 2nd and the scoreless, and two games later the Bulldogs settled for three runs.
APSU 7, AAMU 3 – Austin Peay State University’s second drive of the game took just three plays to cover for 63 yards. After two runs from CJ Evans covered for nine yards, Mike DiLiello threw a season-best 58-yard bomb in midfield to James Burns, who got behind the Bulldogs defense and sprinted for a touchdown in his third straight game.
APSU 14, AAMU 3 – Governors took over in midfield after Shamari Simmons interception on the APSU 41-yard line. Governors powered the field with running back CJ Evans carrying the ball seven times for 41 yards. After an incomplete pass – the only pass attempt on the disc – DiLiello ran 18 yards and found the end zone for the touchdown.
APSU 21, AAMU 3 – The Governors’ defense forced a turnaround on lows deep inside Alabama A&M territory. Austin Peay State University, taking over at the AAMU 39-yard line, used 11 plays and burned nearly five minutes behind to score. DiLiello used a 12-yard run on 3rd-and-9 to keep the drive alive. Six plays later, DiLiello used his arm, finding Trey Goodman on a crossover pattern, and the APSU Governors wide receiver made the left turn to the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
APSU 28, AAMU 3 –The APSU Governors defense struck again for the game’s fourth touchdown on the ensuing Alabama A&M drive. One play after Alabama A&M entered Austin State University Peay territory, Kwame Sutton fired Alabama A&M quarterback and forced a fumble, which Antonine Williams picked up and scolded 60 yards for the touchdown.
Next step for APSU football
The Austin Peay State University football team returns to Clarksville for its third home game in the past four weeks when it hosts nationally ranked Eastern Kentucky in a Saturday game at 3:00 p.m. which is also APSU’s 76th return game.