The Tennessee State Tigers returned to Nissan Stadium to take on the Austin Peay Governors in their 2019 Homecoming game. And from the beginning of the game, the Governors pounced on the Tigers.
The Governors got out to a quick lead after a stop and a two-play drive that was capped off by a JaVaughn Craig sprint to the endzone. And after a field goal from the Governors, Austin Peay had a 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Tigers would get on the board in the second quarter on the strength of a Antonio Zita 43 yard field goal, but the Governors answered swiftly with a 12 play, 68 yard drive that led to another score, putting Austin Peay up 17-3 early in the second quarter.
From there though, the Tigers began to claw back into the game. The Tigers would get two drives together in the second quarter, getting two more field goals from Zita to pull them within 17-9 at the half.
Also in that second quarter, senior wide receiver Chris Rowland ended the broke the single-season receptions record with his 73rd reception of the season.
"He (Chris Rowland) has been doing it all year." said TSU coach Rod Reed of his star senior wide receiver.
In the second half, the Governors came out and with a drive to try and assume control, going up 24-9 on a pass from JaVaughn Craig to Baniko Harley. After that score, it was the last time the Governors would score in this game.
" We felt like we could play good defense. We had some young guys step up tonight, but being able to stop the run tonight was huge against this team." said Reed.
The second half was also was the time where the other star wide receiver for Tennessee State, Steven Newbold, stepped up and showed out. The senior wide receiver scored two touchdowns in the second half, including one that had him catching a pass in the back of the endzone that required him to get both feet down while catching the ball in the back of the endzone. That final touchdown catch put the Tigers up 26-24. And from there, the defense played big.
The Tigers would get an interception by Josh Green with five minutes left as well as force two missed field goals by the Governors as the Tigers would get a gutsy win versus the Governors to move to 1-3 in the conference and 2-6 overall.
Reed had this to say about his dynamic duo at wide receiver of Newbold and Rowland.
"These two guys make a dynamic duo. We couldn't do it without them. I'm glad they are on our team. I can tell you that."
As far as the pride of this team, considering how the season has gone so far, it really showed up in this game.
"This win just shows you the resilience that these guys have. "
The Tigers have a week off before next facing the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at TSU's Hale Stadium on November 2nd.