The Trojan football team suffered a tough loss to the Idaho Vandals this past weekend in its homecoming game, in front of a crowd of 21,400.
The Vandals (2-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) were up 19-16 against the Trojans (1-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) in the last quarter when the home team unsuccessfully attempted a field goal, missing the mark just slightly as the ball hit the upper portion of the right post and fell to the side.
Though the last quarter had Troy fans on the edges of their seats, the game did not begin with a promising start. The first quarter ended with a tie of 0-0, though the Vandals managed to maintain possession of the ball for three more minutes than the Trojans.
By halftime, Vandals junior kicker Austin Rehkow kicked two field goals within five minutes of each other, making the score 6-0.
The second half saw the Trojans put together a comeback, cutting the Vandals’ lead to just three. On the first play of the third quarter, senior running back Brandon Burks rushed for a 51-yard gain to spark some life into the home team.
Backup freshman quarterback Jake Luton scored the first touchdown of the game, scoring on a four-yard rushing play to make the score 13-3. A 40-yard field goal from later in the third extended Idaho’s lead to 16-3 going into the final quarter.
Troy overcame this disappointing score in the fourth quarter, led by backup senior quarterback Dallas Tidwell.
Tidwell threw for an impressive 168 yards, even though he played only the last 17 minutes of the game. He led the Trojans in their comeback, which produced two field goals from senior kicker Jed Solomon and a touchdown from senior wide receiver Teddy Ruben.
Tidwell found Ruben on a short pass play, and Ruben broke tackles on his way to a 43-yard score early in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 16. The Vandals put another field goal on the board, and ultimately, the game came down to a 32-yard field goal attempt from Solomon.
With 31 seconds remaining in the game, this would have tied the score and likely led the game into overtime. The attempt was missed, however, and the Vandals held on to claim victory.
“I thought Dallas gave us a spark,” said head coach Neal Brown. “We just didn’t get it done, and there are a lot of reasons why. I told the team, and I believe this — we didn’t lose the game on that last field goal that went off the (upright).”
The Trojans will travel to New Mexico State and take on the Aggies on Saturday, Oct. 24, in a 7 p.m. game.