My view from the press box at Fortera Stadium, as Southeast Missouri State squares off against Austin Peay. (Trent Singer)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Southeast Missouri State football team was unable to slow down Austin Peay in the first half of Saturday's game at Fortera Stadium, as the Governors jumped out to a 28-7 lead.
APSU held a 316-149 advantage in total yards at halftime. The Govs averaged 11.7 yards per play in the first two quarters, while the Redhawks were limited to 3.7 ypp.
Quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall hooked up with Daryl Rollins-Davis on a 52-yard touchdown pass that gave APSU a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes, 33 seconds to play in the opening quarter.
Southeast responded with an 11-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard TD rush by Jesse Hosket, pulling the visitors into a 7-7 deadlock with 1:45 left in the quarter.
But the Govs answered with three straight TDs. Kentel Williams scored on a 74-yard run before DJ Montgomery hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Oatsvall, capping a 10-play, 63-yard drive with 9:24 remaining in the first half.
The Govs added to their lead with their third two-play scoring drive of the half. Ahmaad Tanner scored from 1 yard out after Williams carried it 56 yards, giving the hosts a 21-point halftime advantage.
Hosket was 11-of-23 passing for 102 yards but was plagued by several key drops during the second quarter. Kristian Wilkerson had 26 yards on five catches to lead the Redhawks' receiving corps.
Marquis Terry was held to 48 yards on 14 rushes to led SEMO's rushing attack.
Southeast had a chance to cut into its deficit on the final play of the half when kicker Nicholas Litang lined up for a 54-yard field goal attempt, but the kick sailed wide left.
Williams had just four rushes for 142 yards (35.5 yards per carry) to lead the Govs on the ground. Oatsvall added 33 yards on five totes and was 6-of-10 passing for 119 yards and two TDs.
The Southeast Missouri State football team will look to win its third game in a row when it travels to face a much-improved Austin Peay team at 4 p.m. Saturday at Fortera Stadium in Clarksville, Tennessee, part of the Governors' Homecoming festivities.
Southeast Missourian sports reporter Trent Singer will provide live updates from the game.
You can follow along on Twitter @semoballTrent, and you don't have to have a Twitter account to see the tweets.
The Govs (4-3, 3-1 Ohio Valley Conference) enter the game having won four of their last five games. Austin Peay is one of only two schools in the OVC that rank in the top four in scoring offense, total offense, scoring offense and scoring defense. The Govs rank first in the conference and sixth in the country in fumble recoveries, an enormous turnaround after going consecutive seasons without recording a win. Click here for a full preview of Saturday's game.
The Redhawks (2-4, 2-1 OVC) are coming off back-to-back dominant performances in league play, including a 31-3 rout of Tennessee Tech last week in Cape Girardeau. Southeast jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the opening quarter and never looked back, as senior quarterback Jesse Hosket threw three touchdown passes.
Southeast punter Jake Reynolds was named OVC Specialist of the Week after averaging 45.9 yards on seven punts, including a 78-yarder that stands as the fourth-longest punt in school history.