Troy falls to Arkansas State in Sun Belt Conference opener

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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

 

The Arkansas State Red Wolves defeated the Troy Trojans 50-43 at Veterans Memorial Stadium Saturday night in the opening Sun Belt Conference game for both teams.

Troy’s offense drove down the field inside a minute remaining. With nine seconds remaining and no timeouts, the Trojans got the 8-yard line before an offensive lineman suffered an injury.

Per NCAA rules, if an offensive player is injured with under a minute left in the game, a 10-second runoff occurs on the game clock.

Since there were only nine seconds remaining on the game clock, the game ended on that play.

For the second time in three weeks, the Trojans gained over 500 yards but also allowed over 500 yards on defense.

Tonight, the offenses combined for over 1,000 yards in a shootout led by quarterbacks Layne Hatcher of Arkansas State and Kaleb Barker of Troy.

Hatcher completed 25 of 34 passes for 440 yards and four touchdown passes. Barker completed 28 of 51 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

Hatcher, an Alabama transfer, earned the starting quarterback job this week after a season-ending injury to quarterback Logan Bonner.

Omar Bayless led the Red Wolves in receiving with 10 receptions for 213 yards.

Troy’s wide receivers were led by Kaylon Geiger and Reggie Todd, who combined for 12 receptions, 211 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Eight different receivers caught a pass from Barker in the game.

For the second-consecutive game, D.K. Billingsley reached the century mark with 103 rushing yards.

Defensively, Carlton Martial remained the team’s catalyst on that side of the ball. Martial forced a fumble in the second quarter and caught a fourth-quarter interception to set up the Trojans’ final drive.

Will Sunderland caught the second interception of his career in the fourth quarter.

Dell Pettus led the defense in tackles with 10 total, including five solo tackles.

Travis Sailo, Jarvis Hayes and Jeremiah Jones all recorded sacks on the night.

The Trojans started the game giving up a 92-yard touchdown pass and a 40-yard fumble return for a score.

The Trojans fell by as many as 11 points in the first half before tying the game just before halftime.

In the second half, Troy took its first lead in the third quarter on a Tyler Sumpter field goal. Sumpter connected on three for the game.

The Red Wolves quickly took the lead back at the 7:50 mark of the third quarter and didn’t look back.

Next week, the Trojans go on the road to take on the Missouri Tigers of the SEC at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.

 

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