It took three overtimes, but the Troy football team eventually fell 44-41 at Appalachian State on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Boone, North Carolina.
The Trojans (2-6, 1-3 Sun Belt) refused to be put away by the top-ranked Sun Belt team, and were able to tie the game in the closing minutes of regulation, forcing the game into overtime. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers had another productive outing, going 27-of-41 for 265 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Mountaineers (7-1, 4-0 Sun Belt), following a key victory over Georgia Southern last week, continued their conference success against Troy at home. Appalachian State wasted no time getting on the board, as senior defensive lineman Ronald Blair intercepted a Silvers pass and returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown. The score came just 55 seconds into the contest.
Senior running back Brandon Burks responded with a six-yard TD run of his own, capping off a seven-play, 75-yard drive. This drive tied the game 7-7 at the 8:11 mark in the first quarter.
Appalachian State was able to maintain a slim lead throughout the rest of the first half, and senior kicker Austin Matics’ 29-yard field goal with 1:09 left in the half gave the home team a 17-10 lead going into the locker room.
Right away, the second half showed itself to be an offensive shootout, with both teams combining to score 58 points after halftime.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb led the Appalachian State offense in the second half, throwing for one touchdown and running for another. Lamb finished an impressive showing for the Mountaineers by completing 16 of 24 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with another pair of rushing touchdowns.
Likewise, Silvers was responsible for all three touchdowns that the Trojans put on the board in the second half. In the closing minutes of the fourth, Silvers found senior wide receiver Teddy Ruben on a screen pass, which Ruben then took 11 yards for a touchdown. Ruben’s touchdown came with just 3:49 left in regulation.
As the game went into overtime, the shootout continued, with both sides swapping touchdowns and field goals in the first two overtimes, respectively.
In the crucial third overtime, the Trojans attempted a fake field goal on fourth-and-2 at the Mountaineer’s 5-yard line. The play went for no gain, and on Appalachian State’s ensuing drive, Matics put a 24-yard field goal attempt in between the uprights to secure the victory for the home team.
“I’m just really proud of our team,” head coach Neal Brown said. “I knew they were ready to play… These games are never lost or won on a single play.”
Troy will return to Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 7, when it takes on UL-Monroe. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.