T-Day; Trojan football is back with Troy’s annual spring game

Chris Wallace photo

Sophomore running back DK Billingsley (top right) breaks through the secondary of the white squad, shedding a diving defender.

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

Troy football held its annual T-Day Spring Game at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday where fans got their first look at the 2019 squad.

Defense ruled much of the first half, but in the second half, the gray team scored 19 unanswered points to win 26-7 over the white team. 

After the game, head coach Chip Lindsey spoke about the team this spring.

“I’m really excited about the way we ended spring ball today,” Lindsey said. “Today, in a controlled atmosphere, we did a nice job on defense early on, and the offense got going as the game moved on; both sides showed flashes.

“The best thing about today was that we got to sing the fight song in the locker room for the first time as a team.”

One of the focal points of spring practice has been the quarterback battle.

On Saturday, the quarterbacks were split on the two teams. 

Returning quarterbacks Sawyer Smith and Gunnar Watson received many snaps, and newcomers Jacob Free and Gavin Screws saw playing time, too. 

Watson, a redshirt freshman, threw a game-high 148 yards and a touchdown. 

“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable out here,” Watson said. “Our quarterback group has gotten deeper. 

“We compete every day and make each other better.”

After the game, Lindsey talked about the quarterbacks and mentioned Watson’s performance.

“I thought Gunnar came in and did a nice job,” Lindsey said. “He may be the most improved out of the five.”

Troy has six quarterbacks on the roster, and all but senior Kaleb Barker saw the field.

Barker did not play as he continues to recover from his knee injury suffered last October.

Outside of the quarterbacks, Lindsey also noted the performances of players such as receiver Luke Whittmore.

Whittemore led the gray team with 94 yards and a touchdown on the day.

Timmie Gibson also posted three catches for 64 yards. 

Tray Eafford led all receivers with six receptions on top of his 46 yards.

Junior college transfer Reggie Todd caught a touchdown pass from Sawyer Smith.

Texas A&M transfer Charles Strong had one of the longest runs of the day in his 28-yard touchdown run to give the white team its lone score of the game.

Defensively, seven different players recorded a sack, including John Hines, K.J. Robertson, Trevon  Mathis, Ahdarrious Gee, Doug Salter, Patrick Richardson and Zo Bridges.

Position battles will continue to sort themselves out over the summer and in fall camp.

Troy will open the season Aug. 31 at Veterans Memorial Stadium against Campbell University from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). 

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