The Troy football team fell to rival South Alabama 24-18 on Saturday, Oct. 3, in front of a blacked-out crowd in Veterans Memorial Stadium.
With the defeat, the Trojans (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) conceded the first Battle for the Belt in their Sun Belt opener.
The Jaguars (3-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) started fast, intercepting sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers’ third pass of the game. Two drives later, South Alabama earned a spot on the scoreboard with a one-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Xavier Johnson.
Sophomore wide receiver Emanuel Thompson put Troy right back in it, however, with a touchdown catch followed by a successful two-point conversion.
Fueled by an offensively efficient second quarter, South Alabama raced ahead to a 21-8 lead in the first half. But again, the Trojans bounced back before halftime with a 20-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Andre Flakes.
The two sides traded punches in the third quarter, but they were scoreless with the exception of a Jaguar field goal in the closing seconds.
Senior kicker Jed Solomon put the Trojans within striking distance on a field goal early in the fourth quarter, making the score 24-18.
In the end, the game was decided on a fourth-and-2 call by South Alabama with 41 seconds left to play. Junior running back Tyreis Thomas came up huge for the Jaguars, gaining three yards and securing the victory for the visitors.
Troy will return to action next week when it travels to play at Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 10. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.