Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011
MONTGOMERY, Ala.– Central Arkansas may have been down but they weren’t out with 34 seconds left to go in Saturday’s college football return Breylin Smith connects with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lujan Winnigham to secure the win for Central Arkansas 24-17 over Austin Peay.
It seemed like college football might not return this Fall and there is still a long road ahead filled with uncertainty and adversity to see if will be here to stay for the long haul. For the time being, it certainly has a different feel to it but for those who missed its debut here’s your quick cap.
There is nothing that says welcome back like a touchdown on the opening play of a ball game. Following an Austin Peay touchback on the opening kick-off the Governors running back C.J. Evans Jr. took it to the house with a 75- yard touchdown from scrimmage to put the Governors on the board first to kick-off the first game of the COVID era at Cramton Stadium in Montgomery.
Even with a strong offensive start and the return of QB Jeremiah Oatsvall to the line up for Austin Peay they couldn’t seem to pull through in the second half of the ball game which ultimately cost them the victory in the season opener. With 1:40 left in the ball game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Oatsvall along with an extra point by Cole Deeds put Austin Peay ahead. It seemed that they had enough steam in the 4th to hunt down those Bears. But it ain’t over till it’s over right?
The battle to the finish continued as Oatsvall again was able to move the Governors across midfield with a 25-yard pass to Eugene Minter who ran for 19 yards on a 4th and 10 play with just a few seconds left. Unfortunately, his attempt to put his team over the mark failed with an interception by Tamaurian Wilson near the goal line.
At the end of the day, it was the Bears offense that was able to prevail in the hunt. Even with two interceptions, Breylin Smith was able to close the deal for his ball club. Smith threw for 283 yards and completed 26 of his 49 passes. The Governors utilized that backfield to get another strong showing from their running back, Kierre Crosley who ran 12 times for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Central Arkansas swift production along with converting some key downs was the difference maker when it was all said and done.
“We probably didn’t deserve to win the game in some aspects,” Central Arkansas coach Nathan Brown said. “But our players didn’t panic. We just kept fighting.”
As for the COVID question neither team commented on the results from each team’s Wednesday testing due to the protection and privacy rights of its athletes. However, it seemed to be handled well on and off the field under the circumstances. The most notable absence was Austin Peay’s start WR De Angelo Wilson along with three long snappers while it seemed Central Arkansas had most of its line up intact.
So on to the next one, it seems. College football may be back but it is far from being in the clear. Day by day folks! Keep on fighting the good fight!
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