Clarksville, Tenn. - Tennessee State University put together an offensive showing of 400-plus yards, but suffered a heart-breaking defeat as a late field goal by Austin Peay gave the Governors the 37-34 victory over the Tigers in front of 8,614 at Governors Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Tigers (1-4, 0-2 OVC) were on top for 58 minutes during the game before Austin Peay (2-2, 2-0 OVC) tallied 10 points in the fourth quarter to win the game. The Governors outscored the Tigers 24-to-7 in the second half to snag the victory.
TSU mustered 466 total offensive yards with 304 yards passing and 162 rushing. Austin Peay notched 431 yards, including 314 in the air. Tennessee State gave up two fumbles in the contest.
Quarterback Michael German completed 21 passes out of 26 attempts for a career-best 304 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt freshman has not thrown an interception in 68 pass attempts this season.
German became the first Tigers quarterback to reach 300-plus yards since Shannon Harris on Nov. 22, 2001. His completion percentage of 80.7 was the second-best performance all-time at TSU and the first since quarterback Antonio Heffner’s 79.3 percent in 2008.
Tailback Trabis Ward inked his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, totaling 101 yards and a touchdown. Ward broke free for a season-long 33-yard rush in the third quarter. Junior wide receiver Devin Wilson caught nine passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Tigers were led by Joseph Wylie and Andrew Taylor with seven tackles each. Antonio Harper and Lamar Wallace also recorded a park of sacks.
Weldon Garlington started off the scoring for the Tigers with a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown to start the game. Garlington became the first TSU player to return a touchdown the full length of the field since Avion Black did so in 1999. The freshman from Antioch became the fourth player in school history to accomplish the feat.
Austin Peay added a field goal, but on the next possession the Tigers pounced again. German threw a 67-yard pass to Travis James. The next play, McNairl caught an 11-yard pass to make it a 14-6 advantage with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
Jamin Godfrey knocked in a 28-yard field goal to put the Tigers' advantage at 17-6 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the passing attack was once again in full effect as German connected to Wilson for a 25-yard touchdown. The Tigers used six plays and 72 yards in 2:52 to take the 24-6 lead.
The Tigers then used nearly five minutes to tack on a 27-yard field goal from Godfrey to take the 27-6 advantage.
Austin Peay recovered a fumble at TSU's six-yard line to have an opportunity to get on the board with 30 seconds left in the first half. The Govs made the most of it with a four yard pass from Jake Ryan to Devin Stark, making it a 27-13 contest at the half.
The Governors answered once again in the third quarter as Ryan went deep with a 72-yard pass to Darryl Clack, closing the gap to 27-20.
Ward added his fourth touchdown of the year, tallying four yards to give the Tigers 34 points with 7:32 left in the third quarter.
APSU added their first rushing touchdown when Ryan broke away for a 21-yard touchdown, narrowing the contest to 34-27. Austin Peay tailback Wesley Kitts ran in for a two-yard touchdown to tie the game at 34.
A late fumble by Tennessee State allowed the Governors another opportunity to attack. With 11 seconds remaining in the game, Stephen Stansell connected on a 35-yard field goal to give the Governors the win.
TSU returns to LP Field on Saturday, Oct. 8 when the Tigers host Southeast Missouri State. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
NOTES: Austin Peay won the toss, deferred to the second half...Captains for the game were QB Mike German, LB Rico Council and LS Hunter Howard....QB Mike German made his second start for the Tigers...TE Wesley Samuels made his first start in his career on Saturday...Freshman Weldon Garlington scored his first kick return touchdown of his career with a 100-yard dash to start the game....Garlington's touchdown return is the first for TSU since Rayshawn Weatherspoon returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score against Alabama A&M on Sept. 4, 2010...Garlington is the first TSU Tiger to score a 100-yard touchdown since Avion Black accomplished the feat twice in 1999...German threw a 67 yard pass to Travis James to set up another touchdown for the Tigers...The reception was the longest in Travis James' career at TSU...Austin Peay attempted a fake punt with 9:00 minutes left in the first half, but failed to convert as the Tigers took over on their own 49-yard line....QB Mike German threw two passes to himself, a 3-yard and 5-yard reception in the first half...Trabis Ward rushed for a season-best 33 yards in the third quarter...The fourth quarter was the latest time this season the Tigers had waited to punt...Mike German has not thrown an interception in 68 pass attempts this season.
-- TSU TIGERS --