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Troy tops ULM on the road, 35-27

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Quarterback Kaleb Barker scored four touchdowns as the Troy football team opened Sun Belt Conference play with a 35-27 road win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

On its final drive, Louisiana-Monroe got deep into Troy territory, but an interception by Marcus Jones sealed the game for the Trojans and stopped a second-half comeback by the Warhawks.

Troy punted on its first possession, and the Warhawks drove the field 73 yards for a touchdown. But the Trojans responded with five unanswered touchdown drives in the first half, including 28 points in the second quarter alone.

In the first half, Barker and Sawyer Smith combined for three touchdowns off 272 yards and 20-21 passing.

But it was a tale of two halves for the Trojans.

The Warhawks held the Trojans scoreless for the entire second half and scored 20 unanswered points, including two fourth-quarter touchdowns, to pull within one score with 6:18 left in the fourth quarter.

On Troy’s final drive, the offense advanced into Warhawk territory, but a missed field goal from 46 yards out by placekicker Tyler Sumpter set up Louisiana-Monroe for a final drive with no timeouts.

Troy went the entire game without a turnover, and for the first 59 minutes the Warhawks did, too.

But for the second-consecutive week, the Trojans used a late-game interception to seal the game on the opponent’s final drive.

ULM quarterback Caleb Evans threw a pass to the end zone, but Jones earned his first interception of the season with just 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans accumulated 469 total yards of offense compared to 490 for the Warhawks.

Barker accounted for 50 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and 273 yards and two touchdowns through the air off 23-28 passing.

Running back B.J. Smith had 16 rushes for 63 yards and led the team in rushing for the third consecutive game.

Wide receiver Sidney Davis led the receiving core with six receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown, and receiver Damion Willis picked up his third and fourth touchdowns of the season.

For the Warhawks, Caleb Evans, the Sun Belt’s leading passer, finished with 290 yards and two touchdowns. Evans also crossed the century mark rushing with 101 yards on the ground.

Next, the Trojans return home to take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in a Sun Belt East matchup.