Austin Peay Rallies Past Butler, 40-23
Oct. 12, 2002
Tailback Jay Bailey rushed for a career-high 207 yards and two touchdowns to lead visiting Austin Peay to a 40-23 victory over Butler at the Butler Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 12. The road victory lifted the Governors to 4-3 on the year, while Butler fell to 2-4.
Bailey ignited the Austin Peay offense with 138 rushing yards and both of his touchdowns in the final 30 minutes. He scored on a 66 yard run late in the third quarter to give Austin Peay the lead for good at 27-23, and then added an insurance touchdown on an 11-yard run with less than three minutes to play in the contest. Bailey, the younger brother of Chicago Bulls forward Trenton Hassell, averaged 8.0 yards per carry on 26 attempts in the game.
Austin Peay took a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard pass from Pat Murphy to Justin Henry early in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs tied the game on a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Ian Nelson with 1:15 to play in the half. Nelson was getting his first start as a Bulldog.
The Bulldogs then stopped Austin Peay and a 20-yard punt return by Russ Mann set up a 20-yard field goal by Matt Taber to end the half. Taber's first career field goal gave Butler a 10-7 lead after 30 minutes.
The third quarter was a fan's delight. The two teams traded leads five times, until Bailey gave Austin Peay the advantage for good. Henry had a 25-yard touchdown run to open the third period and Murphy later tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Pat Curran. Butler countered with a 12-yard TD run by tailback Dale Jennings and a 12-yard Nelson to Adam Lafferty scoring toss. The Nelson to Lafferty pass gave Butler a 23-20 lead with 1:22 left in the third quarter.
Austin Peay rolled up 477 yards in the game, while Butler finished with 368. Nelson completed 21 of 38 passes for 249 yards, but he was intercepted twice. His final interception ended Butler last drive at the Austin Peay two-yard line with 17 seconds remaining. Murphy, also getting his first start, hit on 19 of 29 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Lafferty led Butler's receivers with six catches for 139 yards, while Jennings paced the ground game with 21 carries for 78 yards. Linebackers Parker Smith and Lou Capizzi topped Butler's defense with nine tackles each.
The Bulldogs continue their three-game homestand against San Diego on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 1 p.m.