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Miami bests Austin Peay in home-opener

Angelo Gelfuso - The Miami Student
Angelo Gelfuso - The Miami Student

The Miami University football RedHawks were victorious in their home-opener against the Austin Peay State University Governors. Offense, defense and special teams all played well yesterday en route to a 31-10 victory for the RedHawks.

Miami struck first as Redshirt junior quarterback Gus Ragland found Redshirt junior running back Kenny Young for a 5-yard touchdown. Head coach Chuck Martin used an aggressive strategy by converting twice on the fourth down on the scoring drive.

APSU responded on their next drive with some chuck-yardage plays. It ended with a 22-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback JaVaughn Craig that tied the game at seven.

Ragland and company fired back with two unanswered touchdown connections to junior wide receiver James Gardner, giving MU a 21-7 lead at halftime.

Austin Peay scored first in the second half capitalizing on a Miami fumble, with a 37-yard field goal by freshman kicker Cole Phillips. That was the last time the Governors would score as senior safety Tony Reid led a 'Hawks defense -- Reid nicknamed them "The Mob" -- that held a shutout for the rest of the game.

The offense tacked on 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 31-10 win.

The Governors struggled to move the ball in the second half as QB Craig was injured just before the half. Craig's backup Jeremiah Oatsvall threw for 75 yards and added 35 more on the ground, but that wasn't enough to budge the stifling MU defense.

Gardner and Reid were the stars in the RedHawks' first win of the 2017 season. Gardner finished with 117 yards on five catches and two touchdowns. Reid, battling illness all week, put on a gutsy performance and finished with an interception, five tackles and a fumble recovery.

Miami looks to host the Cincinnati Bearcats (1-1) at Yager Stadium next Saturday at 8 p.m.

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