The Racers’ hope of finishing at .500 has been demolished after a 42-7 blowout loss to the Austin Peay State University Governors on senior night.
The final home game of the season started off sour when the Governors scored first after senior running back Prince Momodu powered his way into the endzone on a one-yard rush.
With six minutes left in the first quarter, just shy of the red zone, redshirt sophomore quarterback Preston Rice’s pass fell right into the hands of defensive lineman Marquise Griffin and the Racers potential touchdown drive was shut down.
The Racers remained scoreless in the second quarter. Austin Peay senior quarterback JaVaughn Craig completed a 40-yard pass to junior wide receiver DeAngelo Wilson for the second touchdown of the game.
The Governors scored first once again in the third quarter. With nine minutes remaining, Momodu took off on a 10-yard rush which led to a touchdown.
Six minutes later, the Murray State offense finally showed some signs of life after Rice found senior wide receiver Jonathan Moss for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Moss is truly grateful for that he was given to opportunity to play one last time in front of the home crowd after recovering from a knee injury.
“I’m so thankful for Coach Stewart and Coach Suber to give me the opportunity to go out there and compete,” Moss said. “It feels real good to be back out there competing with my brothers.”
Moss’ touchdown was the Racers’ first and only of the game.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Craig connected on an eight-yard pass to Wilson to increase the Governors’ lead to 21.
Murray State still couldn’t get anything going offensively as that next drive led to sophomore defensive lineman Kwame Sutton sacking Rice for a loss.
Austin Peay scored again on their next drive from a seven-yard rush by junior running back Ahmaad Tanner.
The Governors looked to score once more with 6:05 remaining but Craig’s pass was intercepted by redshirt senior T.J. Warren at the Murray State two-yard line.
Redshirt senior quarterback Brendan Bognar took to the field. His first play of the game ended in a fumble in the endzone and was recovered by junior defensive back Kordel Jackson for Austin Peay’s final touchdown of the game.
Rice ended the game going 18-38 on passing, gaining 229 yards and two interceptions. Warren led the Racer defensive with 12 total tackles.
Head Coach Mitch Stewart is upset with the outcome of tonight’s game as he wanted to give the 19 seniors on the team a happy farewell in Roy Stewart Stadium.
“I’m heartbroken for them that we didn’t play better on the last night that they’ll ever get to do this,” Stewart said. “However we have one more opportunity. We’re going to have an awful lot of fun with those 19 guys and this football team this next week moving forward into our next challenge.”
Stewart is making sure this loss doesn’t have a lasting effect on his team as they have one more game this season.
“Let’s move forward,” Stewart said. “You can’t let it defeat you. You can’t drop your head and want to walk off the field. This was just bad luck; things happen. Let’s go, let’s move on.”
The Racers play their final game of the season at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to take on Southeast Missouri State University.