Tech shuts out APSU in second half in Homecoming win

Tennessee Tech linebacker Tra'Darius Goff (30) attempts to bring down Austin Peay quarterback Trey Taylor (8) during the Golden Eagles' 42-24 Homecoming win on Saturday at Tucker Stadium. Photo: Shea HaileOracle Sports Editor

A win’s a win.

Saturday’s first half wasn’t the prettiest, but a win’s a win.

The Golden Eagles overcame several first-half, defensive blunders and a slow offensive start to defeat the winless Austin Peay Governors (0-11) 42-24 in Saturday afternoon’s Homecoming game at Tucker Stadium.

Trailing 24-21 at halftime, the Golden Eagles rallied to score 21 unanswered points in the second half, giving up just 58 yards to the APSU offense.

After missing several games with a broken hand injured in Tech’s last win on Sept. 26 at Murray State, quarterback Jared Davis entered Saturday’s game as the starter. His day ended quickly, though, passing 0-for-3 before being pulled in favor of receiver Brock McCoin after Davis’s second series.

McCoin finished with an impressive performance, giving the Golden Eagles gains in the air and on the ground.

The redshirt sophomore finished the day passing 8-of-12 for 206 yards and three touchdowns, adding 115 yards rushing on 19 attempts.

McCoin’s stats produced one of the best performances for a Tech quarterback in recent years, as his 200-plus passing, 100-plus rushing numbers were the first combo of its kind since Darian Stone’s 277 and 190 in an overtime win over UT Martin on Nov. 10, 2012.

The local Livingston native made things happen for the Golden Eagles on offense, but running back Ladarius Vanlier, Tech’s Swiss Army Knife, did a little bit of everything, in typical Ladarius Vanlier fashion.

The senior finished with 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries — his longest a 51-yard, third-quarter touchdown run — and 74 receiving yards and a touchdown on two catches — the score a 69-yard pass from McCoin early in the fourth.

Late in the first quarter, before rushing for a 46-yard score, Vanlier marked his name on a less-climactic play. After a 10-yard run on the play before, the senior passed former Tech receiver Larry Shipp (2004-07) on the school’s all-time list of all-purpose yards for a single career. Vanlier’s 272 on Saturday now ranks second on the list at 5,196. Saturday also marks his fourth 200-yard all-purpose game in his career and his third 100-yard rushing performance.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Golden Eagles (3-7, 2-5 OVC), ending the Governors’ season — for the third season in a row — with a loss.

More from this game, including post-game quotes from Tennessee Tech head coach Watson Brown, can be read in Tuesday’s sports section of The Oracle.