The UT Martin Skyhawks clinched their third Sgt. York Trophy Saturday afternoon when they defeated in-state rival Austin Peay 37-7.
The Skyhawks (4-5, 3-3 OVC) needed the win to clinch their third Sgt. York Trophy and get to .500 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Austin Peay (1-7, 1-3 OVC) came into the contest with some momentum after they defeated Murray State 20-13 last week, snapping their 18-game losing streak.
With the win, the Skyhawks are now on a three-game win streak after the disappointing start to the season.
“I never saw this team get too low,” said UTM head coach Jason Simpson. “It was hard to come out here to practice but the guys kept it together and kept focused.”
The Skyhawks got on the board first with a 9 yard touchdown run from Abou Toure in the first quarter. Jarod Neal started the game for UTM, but Dylan Favre replaced him in the second quarter.
With Favre under center, the Skyhawks drove down the field on their first drive of the second quarter and capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown run from Trent Garland. The next drive for the Skyhawks was similar to the last, with UTM driving down the field. However, an illegal reciever call nuligated what would be a 30-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Kyle Kerrick, and Jackson Redditt kicked a 34-yard field goal, giving UTM an 17-0 lead. UTM would answer again before halftime, a 19-yard touchdown pass from Favre to William Tanner, and would take a 23-0 lead into the locker room.
UTM opened the third quarter by scoring again on their first drive, a 6-yard touchdown run from Abou Toure. After both squads swapped possessions for most of the third quarter, the Skyhawks extended their lead to 37 points when Farve completed a 48-yard pass to Taylor Higgason, his first career touchdown reception.
Down 37-0 in the fourth quarter, Austin Peay scored their first and only touchdown in the game when Darrien Boone connected a 43-yard touchdown pass to Wesley Thomas. The Skyhawks and the Governors went back and forth for the rest of the fouth quarter until the final buzzer sounded with the Skyhawks coming out with a 37-7 win.
Favre had his best game this season, completing 11 of his 17 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Neal, who played the entire first quarter and some of the fouth quarter, had nine completions out of his 11 passes and one interception. Boone and Mickey Macius both recieved snaps for the Governors and threw for a combined 72 yards and two interceptions.
Abou Toure led the Skyhawk rushing attack, carrying the ball 13 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense was also key for the Skyhawks, holding Austin Peay to 170 yards of total offense and forcing three turnovers.
The Skyhawk will finish the season with three straight road games including next week, when they take on Murray State. Kickoff from Roy Stewart Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.