Trojans take top spot in East

Daniel Hunt

Staff Writer

Troy showed Veterans Memorial Stadium just how dominant a team it can be in Saturday’s game.

Troy (4-1, 2-0 Sunbelt) capped off the 45-21 win over Coastal Carolina (3-2, 1-1 Sunbelt) in large part due to nine total team sacks, the most against any team in any game in the NCAA this season.  

The first time a Trojan touched the ball it was returned for a 96-yard touchdown.

Defensive star Marcus Jones, who had two kickoff returns last year against Coastal, ran back yet another kick in the first 15 seconds of the game to give Troy the 7-0 advantage. 

Troy’s offense would tack on two more touchdowns in the first quarter. 

Down 21-0 and in danger of being blown out, Coastal answered with two touchdowns in the second quarter, which included a 13-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. 

An eight-play, 42-yard drive set up a 46-yard Tyler Sumpter field goal as the Trojans took a 24-14 lead into the halftime break. 

Even with the cushion, there was an unspoken thought on the sideline as the third quarter began. After almost allowing a comeback against ULM because of zero points scored in the second half, the Troy offense needed to show it could close out games.

“We had a nice little discussion at halftime with both phases and really challenged our football team to put the foot on the gas,” said Head Coach Neal Brown following the game. “I thought we did that.

“We have a chance to have a real quality offensive football team.”

What would happen next is what Brown described as the play of the game. 

With a chance to bring the score within one possession as play resumed, Coastal quarterback Brett Carpenter was intercepted by Tyler Murray. 

Murray’s 46-yard return put the ball on Coastal’s 30-yard line. A 22-yard haul in by Damion Willis gave Troy a clean look at the end zone inside the 10-yard line. 

Four plays later, Kaleb Barker’s (12-15, 143-yards) lone touchdown pass of the day was caught by Deondre Douglas for a 2-yard score. 

Up 31-14, the Trojans allowed a touchdown on the following possession but did not allow a score for the rest of the contest. 

Troy would tack on two more scores gifted by the half-back duo of B.J. Smith and Jabir Daughtry-Frye. Both players eclipsed 100 yards rushing.

The final touchdown of the game, a 72-yard rushing touchdown by Daughtry-Frye, put Troy ahead 45-21 in the fourth quarter. 

Daughtry-Frye, a junior, was awarded Sunbelt player of the week for his 140-yard rushing performance along with teammate Marcus Jones. 

Troy’s nine-sack performance put the team at third in the country in total sacks in 2018. Both Carlton Martial and Jarvis Hayes had eight tackles and two sacks each. 

 Troy will take on Georgia State this Thursday, Oct. 4th, at 6:00 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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