Trojans top Idaho 24-21 at home

Wesley Kirchharr

Staff Writer

The Troy Trojans picked up their seventh win of the year, beating Idaho 24-21 at home to keep a three-game win streak alive.

Troy now improves to a 4-1 record in Sun Belt play and a spot in third place in the conference. The 7-2, bowl eligible Trojans racked up 397 yards of total offense, while tallying 185 yards on the ground.

The Trojans were led by running back Jordan Chunn, who missed the last two games to injury. Chunn rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, moving him within two touchdowns of the school record for most total touchdowns. He also needs four more rushing touchdowns for the most ever in Sun Belt history.

Troy’s defense also made a stand against the Vandals, recording six sacks and holding Idaho to 90 yards rushing. Linebacker Tron Folsom led that defensive performance with nine tackles and 16 total.

In the early going, the two teams locked into a defensive battle after the opening kickoff, as no team was able to put any points on the board until the three-minute mark in the first quarter.

That score came after a Brandon Silvers fumble on Troy’s second drive, leading to an Idaho five-play, 50-yard drive with a seven yard score through the air. After the extra point, Idaho then took a 7-0 lead over the Trojans with 3:02 remaining in the first.

The Trojans answered on the ensuing drive, piecing together a 66-yard drive of their own, but came up short of the end zone. Silvers’ try for the end zone was picked off on the goal line and returned to the 10 to deny the Trojans once again with 12:42 remaining in the first half.

However, Troy marched down the field on its next drive, capping off a 59-yard drive with a 16 yard touchdown run by Chunn. Kicker Tyler Sumpter’s extra point evened the teams at seven points each with 6:01 remaining in the first half.

Sumpter sent the teams to the locker rooms with a 40-yard field goal, a career long for him. Troy took the 10-7 advantage heading into the third quarter.

Troy wasted no time scoring after the halftime break, finding the end zone after a drive that took just 3:05 off the clock. Silvers found a wide open Tevaris McCormick for a 14 yard score through the air to take a two-score advantage, 17-7.

Silvers threw for 212 yards in the game, completing 20 of 30 attempts for that touchdown and one interception.

The remainder of the third quarter was scoreless as the teams exchanged three and outs and sent the 10 point game into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was scoreless as well, until the Vandals pieced together a scoring drive after starting on their own nine yard line.

Quarterback Matt Linehan found Kaden Ellis for a 45 yard gain through the air to set up a scoring play just three plays later. Linehan found wide receiver Alfonso Onunwor 14 yards deep in the corner of the end zone to chip away at Troy’s lead with 8:55 remaining. After the extra point, Troy’s lead was cut to three, 17-14.

Troy answered back within the next drive, cushioning its lead late in the fourth quarter. Silvers found Damion Willis 47 yards downfield to put Troy in scoring position on the 18 yard line.

Chunn punched it in from seven yards out to give the Trojans the 24-14 advantage with 4:12 left on the clock.

Idaho drove 81 yards down the field, matching the Trojans with a score of their own with 0:23 remaining. The Vandals attempted an onside kick, trailing 24-21, but Troy recovered, sealing the three point victory.

Troy looks ahead to next Saturday, traveling to Conway, South Carolina to take on Coastal Carolina with hopes of keeping its conference win streak alive. The Veteran’s Day action on the teal colored turf is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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