SFA Drops Conference Opener to Austin Peay 22-20

NACOGDOCHES, Texas- The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (2-2, 0-1 UAC) faced off against the Austin Peay Governors (2-2, 1-0 UAC) today at Homer Bryce Stadium. The Governors beat the ‘Jacks 22-20.  

The first quarter got started with the Lumberjacks receiving the kickoff.  Both teams went three and out on their first drives. SFA’s offense put together a meticulous 18 play drive for 76 yards that was capped off with a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Brian Maurer.  With 3:55 left in the first quarter the Lumberjacks led the Governors 7-0.

SFA’s defense held the Governor offense scoreless through the first quarter.  The next points came from Mike DiLiello’s 78-yard touchdown pass to Trey Goodman with 9:30 left in the second quarter.  The long passing touchdown evened the contest at 7-7.  

The Lumberjacks responded with a drive that began with Brian Maurer connecting with Kylon Harris for a 47-yard reception.  Preston Weeks came into the contest after Brian Maurer checked out of the game.  Weeks capped off the drive with a 14-yard passing touchdown to Kylon Harris. SFA led 14-7 with 7:26 remaining in the first half.

SFA’s defense held strong through the second quarter.  Bruce Harmon had the Lumberjack’s first turnover of the day after he intercepted Mike DiLiello’s pass with 5:50 remaining in the half.  The Governor offense continued to have problems with the strong SFA defense, after the Lumberjacks forced a turnover on downs.

At the end of the first half SFA led Austin Peay 14-7.  Stephen F. Austin led the Governors in both passing and rushing yards.  The Lumberjacks threw for 136 first half passing yards and one touchdown.  SFA also rushed 66 yards and a touchdown.

The second half began with the Governors receiving the kickoff.  The SFA defense picked up where it left off after Marje Smith recorded the ‘Jacks second sack of the game that forced Austin Peay to punt on their first possession of the second half. 

The first points of the half came after a 35-yard Chris Campos field goal.  The kick extended SFA’s lead to 17-7 with 7:03 left in the third quarter.  Last week Campos became SFA’s all-time leader in total made field goals.

The Lumberjack defense kept their foot on the gas as Dylan Tooker got the ‘Jacks their second interception on the day with 6:45 left in the third quarter.  Chris Campos lined up for a 39-yard field goal with 3:04 left in the third quarter and extended the ‘Jacks lead to 20-7.

Austin Peay found their second touchdown of the day after Brian Maurer’s pass was intercepted and taken into the endzone.  With :14 left in the third quarter SFA still sat on top 20-14. 

The Governors kept their momentum as they were able to put together a 12 play 61-yard drive that ended with a 24-yard rushing touchdown by Jevon Jackson. The missed extra point resulted in the score remaining tied at 20-20 with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter.

SFA’s offense fell stagnant through the beginning of the fourth quarter and struggled to get anything positive going. The SFA defense continued to play the part of the hero as they were able to stop the Governors at the one-yard line, following another fourth down stop.  However, the Lumberjack’s offensive struggles continued as Austin Peay stuffed SFA in their own endzone resulting in a safety.  Austin Peay took their first lead of the game 22-20 with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter.

Following the safety, the Governors began to chew clock on what would be their last possession of the game.  SFA got the ball back following an Austin Peay punt with 2:10 seconds left. The ‘Jacks offense failed to convert on fourth down and the Governors chewed the rest of the clock out.  

Austin Peay won the contest 22-20.  SFA will be back at Homer Bryce Stadium next week as they take on A&M Commerce at 6:00 p.m.

SFA Statistical Leaders:

Passing- Brian Maurer: 20/38 167 yards, 0/2 (TD/INT)
Rushing- Jerrell Wimbley: 15 rushes 57 yards (3.8 ypc)
Receiving Kylon Harris: 8 rec 108 yards, 1 touchdown

Aaron Sears: 3 solo, 7 assisted, 10 total
Jermaine Brown: 1 solo, 8 assisted, 1 assisted tackle for loss, 9 total
Bruce Harmon: 1 solo, 1 assisted, 2 total, 1 pass break up, 1 interception