Daniel Mayes, Chanticleer Sports Reporter
Jacksonville State took down Austin Peay 34-14 Saturday in Clarksville, Tennessee to tie the record for consecutive Ohio Valley Conference wins at 26.
JSU tied the record previously held by Eastern Kentucky, whose streak ended in 1995, by shutting down a much improved Austin Peay Governors squad, who came into the game on a three game win streak of their own after losing their previous 29.
The Gamecocks began the contest strong, shutting down the Governor offense on their first possession before a 17 play, 91-yard drive from the offense took 7:54 off the clock and left JSU with a 7-0 lead. Quarterback Bryant Horn finished off the drive with a 6-yard touchdown completion to a leaping Trae Barry.
Horn, who started the game but split time with Kendrick Doss once again, finished 5-9 for 52 yards and one touchdown through the air and picked up 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushing attempts.
The ground attack proved to be the most effective offense for Jacksonville State on the night, as the Gamecocks piled up 296 yards and three touchdowns against a stout Austin Peay defense that had not allowed more than 165 yards on the ground in their previous five games this season.
Roc Thomas, who rushed for 135 of those yards and two of those touchdowns, led the Gamecocks to a quick strike touchdown on their second offensive drive, dashing into the end zone from 23 yards out after a 3 play drive to give the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead.
Thomas would be named OVC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, his third time taking home the honor this season.
Thomas’ second touchdown gave the Gamecocks a 20-0 lead with 1:57 left in the first half.
Jonathan Hagler then intercepted a Peay pass on the first play of the next drive before the Governors forced and recovered a Bryant Horn fumble on the very next play.
The turnover seemed to give the floundering Austin Peay offense some life, as JSU held the Governors to just 42 total yards and prevented them from crossing the midfield stripe prior to the miscue.
JaVaughn Craig’s 21-yard pass to Kyran Moore gave the Govs their first score and made the tally 20-7 at the break.
Horn led the Gamecocks a 27-7 lead after their first drive of the second half, blasting into the end zone from four yards out to cap off the drive with a touchdown.
A Jeremiah Oatsvall pass to DJ Montgomery gave the Govs their second score with 12:38 remaining in the fourth before a quick answer for the Gamecocks put the game away.
De’Marcus Flowers took in the kickoff at the 13-yard line, blasted through a hole up the middle and tight roped down the sideline for an 87-yard return for a touchdown, the first for JSU since the 2011 season, earning Flowers the honor of Co-Specialist of the Week in the OVC.
The 34-14 victory leaves JSU’s record at 4-1, including 2-0 in the OVC, and drops Austin Peay’s turnaround campaign to 3-3 (2-1).
JSU has a chance to break EKU’s OVC consecutive wins record on Saturday, October 14, when the Gamecocks face-off against the Colonels themselves.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.
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