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Gamecocks Roll over Austin Peay for Homecoming Win

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Robert Wallace - Cable Muse Network

by Robert Wallace

Jacksonville, Al – The JSU Gamecocks were nearly flawless on both sides of the ball on their way to a 56-3 rout over the Austin Peay Governors Saturday at Burgess-Snow Field.

Coty Blanchard (CableMuse.com) Robert Wallace
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The Gamecocks (8-0, 5-0 Ohio Valley Conference) posted their largest Homecoming victory since 1989 in front of a homecoming record 19,707 fans. The Gamecocks won the opening toss and deferred to the second half. It looked as though that decision may have been a mistake as the Govs took the opening kickoff and drove to the JSU 33. The drive stalled and the Govs had to settle for a 50 yard field goal off the foot of Stephen Stansell to jump out to a 3-0 lead with 12:24 to go in the 1st quarter. That lead was short lived as Denzel Cheeks scored on a pass from Coty Blanchard with 7:18 to go and the James Esco PAT gave JSU a 7-3 lead. APSU would go three and out on their next possession before punting the ball away. JSU would start their drive at their own 28 and wasted no time, scoring in 6 plays with the majority of that covering 49 yards on a pass from Marques Ivory to Jeffrey Cameron to set up play at the APSU 3 yard line. Two plays later Alphonso Freeney would run it in to make the score 13-3 and the Esco PAT would put the Gamecocks up 14-3. The JSU kick-off would go out of bounds and the Govs had excellent field position starting at their own 40 yard line. Even with the great field position the JSU defense would only allow 1 yard total on the next 3 plays and the Govs would have to punt it away again. The punt was a good one and pinned the Gamecocks at their own 9 yard line with 0:34 to go in the first quarter. JSU would run two plays before time ran out and would end the first quarter with a 14-3 lead.

James Shaw (CableMuse.com) Robert Wallace
James Shaw

JSU would begin the 2nd quarter at their own 21 yard line and run three plays before backup QB Coty Blanchard would run for a big 46 yard gain to the APSU 3 yard line. The next two plays would lose yardage before Marques Ivory and former Saint Clair County High School standout James Shaw would connect on a 13 yard TD pass. The James Esco kick would make it 21-3 with 11:15 to go in the half.

Following the kick-off the APSU Govs would take over on their 33 yard line and gain only six yards in four plays before punting the ball away yet again.

Marques Ivory (CableMuse.com) Robert Wallace
Quarter Back Marques Ivory

JSU would set up shop at their own 35 and march 65 yards in 7 plays with the TD coming on a 2 yard pass from Coty Blanchard to Jamal Young. The Esco PAT would make the score 28-3 with 3:34 to go in the half. JSU would kickoff to APSU and Terrance Holt would take the ball at the 3 and return it for 25 yards out to the 28 where the Govs would start their drive. It looked as though APSU was going to be able to put together a successful drive after several completed passes from QB Jake Ryan. His hot streak ended as quick as it started with two incomplete passes, a short run from Terrance Holt and then Ryan would get sacked on fourth down for a loss of 9 yards. JSU would take over on downs at their own 40 with 58 seconds to go in the half. Jamal Young pitched in a 19 yard run as quarterback Marques Ivory made quick work of the drive going 5 for 5 and connecting again with receiver James Shaw on a pass of 3 yards for the final score of the half. James Esco split the uprights again to make the score 35-3. JSU would kickoff with 8 seconds to go in the half with APSU’s Terrance Holt bringing the ball out to the 33. APSU would run one play for no gain before the half ended with JSU leading 35-3

To begin the second half APSU would kickoff to JSU’s Cory Freeman  who would bring the ball out to the 44 yard line to set up the Gamecocks with excellent field position. Even with the good field position JSU couldn’t get anything going and had to punt the ball away. Coty Blanchard’s punt was good for 45 yards and pinned the Govs deep at their own 8 yard line. The Govs wouldn’t have any success and have to punt the ball away with 11:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

The Gamecocks would get back on track with their next possession and drive 34 yards with Alphonso Freeney scoring on a 1 yard run. Freeney and Jamal Young would combine for 32 of the 34 yards needed in the drive. James Esco would make the score 42-3 on the PAT with 9:23 remaining in the quarter.

The APSU Govs would start at their own 20 yard line after the kickoff. The Gamecock defense would allow 22 yards before Brannon Byrd would intercept a Jake Ryan pass to give the Gamecocks the ball at the APSU 39 yard line. On the fourth play of the drive Alphonso Freeney would take the ball in from 30 yards out for the final score of the 3rd quarter and the James Esco PAT would make the score 49-3.

The only score in the 4th quarter would come on a 10 yard pass from University of Alabama transfer Thomas Darrah to Kevyn Cooper with 2:46 remaining in the game. The PAT from James Esco would make the final score 56-3.

The Gamecocks shined on both sides of the ball rolling up 539 yards of total offense and only allowing 157 total yards of offense from the Govs.  The Gamecocks Aplhonso Freeney would lead the team with three TD’s, followed by James Shaw with 2 TD’s and Dezel Cheeks, Jamal Young and Kevyn Cooper all pitching in with a TD.  JSU will enjoy a much needed week off next week while Austin Peay will travel to Eastern Illinois for another Ohio Valley Conference matchup.

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