The ETSU football team took control when it counted Saturday night.
The Bucs scored 10 unanswered points in the final 6:58 of the game to take a 20-14 victory over Austin Peay inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium.
Former Elizabethton standout Logan Birchfield was 2-for-2 on extra points for the Govs as he had the opportunity to play in his old stomping grounds during his senior season.
Austin Peay jumped out early as DeAngel Wilson caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from JaVaughan Craig two and half minutes into the game, and the Birchfield extra point gave AP a 7-0 lead.
On their first possession of the night, ETSU went on a nine-play drive that ended with a 48-yard field goal from Tyler Keltner with nine minutes to play. The Govs marched into field goal position on the next drive, but the kick was unsuccessful as AP maintained a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Neither team was able to get back on the board in the early going of the second quarter.
The Bucs took their first lead of the game as they went on a 12-play drive that covered 73 yards and six minutes off the clock that was capped when Malik McGue scored on a six-yard run.
Austin Peay, however, went on a lengthy drive of their own that was capped by a one-yard run from Kente Williams and the Birchfield kick gave the Govs a 14-10 advantage at half.
ETSU, however, wasn’t going to be denied.
After a scoreless third quarter, ETSU regained the lead with 6:58 remaining when Quay Holmes broke into the end zone on a two-yard run. The Bucs pushed the lead to 20-14 with a 37-yard Keltner field goal with 1:38 to play.
The ETSU defense rose to the occasion on the game’s final drive as Artevius Smith jumped in front of a Craig pass for an interception at the ETSU 30. From there, the Bucs were able to milk the clock and set off the celebration.
Trey Mitchell finished the game 17-of-33 with 176 yards passing for the Bucs, while Holmes finished with 60 yards on 17 carries. Jacob Saylers added 12 carries for 58 yards to go along with seven receptions and 56 yards receiving.
ETSU now turns their attention on a road trip to Furman. Kickoff next Saturday in Greeneville, SC is set for 1 p.m.
For more photos, click here.