The Trojan football team came, saw and conquered the Idaho Vandals, 34-17, in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday, Nov. 15.
Troy (3-8, 3-4 Sun Belt) outran Idaho (1-9, 1-6 Sun Belt) with 293 rushing yards, while the Vandals ran only 117 yards. On his own, sophomore running back Jordan Chunn contributed 193 of Troy’s rushing yards.
“Its great, man,” Chunn said. “That’s the first thing we gotta get going is the run game so we can hit those goal balls.”
Troy scored first and maintained the lead the entire game. Redshirt freshman Brandon Silvers threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Bryan Holmes early in the first quarter.
The Vandals put points on the board when sophomore kicker Austin Rehkow hit a 23-yard field goal with 2:26 left in the first quarter.
During the second quarter both teams collected 14 points, but Troy managed to stay ahead thanks a 13-yard touchdown run by Chunn and a 51-yard touchdown pass from Silvers to Holmes.
Idaho retaliated with senior wide receiver Joshua McCain catching a 64-yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Linehan and senior running back Jerrel Brown scoring a one-yard touchdown.
Silvers was far more accurate than the Vandals’ Linehan, making 19 out of 25 attempted passes. Linehan was able to complete only 14 passes out of 36 attempts and had three passes intercepted.
“Our kids played better across the board tonight probably than in any game, and I’ve really proud of them,” head coach Larry Blakeney said.
In the third quarter, Linehan’s poor passing cost him when junior defensive back Montres Kitchens, who intercepted Linehan’s other two passes, snatched the ball out of the air and ran 28 yards to give Troy another touchdown.
Kitchens’ interceptions tied him with a school record, and his run was the first defensive touchdown of the season for Troy.
Moving into the fourth quarter, the Vandals were not able to recover. Troy added the final points to the score when sophomore kicker Ryan Kay made his second field goal of the night, from 20 yards.
Troy had possession of the ball for a total of 38 minutes, while Idaho only held the ball for 21 minutes. This also played a part in Troy pulling off a back-to-back win.
Troy closes out its final season with Blakeney as head coach on Saturday, Nov. 29, against Sun Belt rival UL-Lafayette at 11:30 a.m. at home.
“This is a big game,” Chunn said. “First off, you gotta go out with a bang, for this is his (Blakeney’s) last home game of the season and it’s his retirement game, so you gotta go out with a bang.”