CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Michael German threw a game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left, and the Tennessee State football team snapped its five-game losing streak with a, 31-27, win over Austin Peay.
The Tigers trailed 17-3 at halftime, but German threw four second-half touchdowns to lead the comeback.
On the go-ahead scoring drive, German found Ryan Mitchell over the middle to convert a third-and-15 and later hit Isaiah Freeman to make good on a second-and-10. His final throw was caught by Freeman on a five-yard slant to seal the win for Tennessee State (5-6, 2-5 OVC).
German finished the game 30-of-46 for a career-high 395 yards – 287 in the second half – in addition to the four scores.
Weldon Garlington caught eight of German’s passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
TSU looked like a different team to start the second half and scored its first touchdown of the game when German found Garlington wide open on a go-route. Garlington waltzed into the end zone for a 58-yard score and the Tigers trailed by just eight after the missed PAT by Clark.
After a field goal by APSU (1-9, 1-5 OVC), German hit Garlington again on an uncovered deep route for a 24-yard touchdown. This time, Clark nailed the point, making the score 20-16, with 11:03 left.
Riding high off the momentum from the offense, the TSU defense forced APSU to punt from its own 23-yard line. For the second straight week, the punt hit a Tiger and the kicking team recovered. Three personal foul penalties on TSU later, Taylor snuck into the end zone to raise the lead to 27-16 at the 7:16 mark.
For the third time in the half, German and Garlington connected on a touchdown and German then hit Mitchell for the two-point conversion. TSU trailed by just three, 27-24, with 4:50 to go in the game.
The TSU defense forced a punt on APSU’s next offensive possession, setting up the game-winning drive.
The game started rough for TSU and after a missed field goal on the Tigers’ first drive, APSU marched down the field and scored the game’s first touchdown via an eight-yard run off of left tackle by Otis Gerron. The strike put the home team up, 7-0, at the 6:38 mark of the first quarter.
After two TSU turnovers, Austin Peay found the end zone again in the second quarter when Trey Taylor hit Rashaan Coleman with a 10-yard pass to give his team a two-touchdown lead with eight minutes to go in the half.
The Tigers finally were able to cobble together a scoring drive thanks to 76 yards through the air by German. Once again, however, the offense stalled on the APSU side of the field, but Lane Clark kicked a 41-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 with just under four minutes to play in the half.
The Governors responded with a field goal of their own as the clock hit zeros, and went into the locker room with a two-touchdown lead that they could not hold.
Nick Thrasher once again led the defense with 12 stops and the TSU defense recorded seven tackles for loss.
Tennessee State will finally welcome its bye week this upcoming Saturday, but will return to the field at Murray State on Nov. 22.
NOTES: Lane Clark booted a 46-yard field goal off of the left upright in the first quarter, no good. TSU kickers are now 9-of-20 on the season… APSU failed on a fourth down try in the first quarter, making opponents 2-of-15 on the decisive down on the season… TSU is now 2-5 when it turns the ball over two or more times… German became TSU’s all-time leader in completions with an 18-yard throw to Hall in the second quarter. He now has 627… German is also third all-time in touchdown passes with 58… TSU’s 167 penalty yards were the most since Sept. 1, 2012 when the Tigers had 178 against Florida A&M… The Tigers have not allowed a sack in three straight games...