Troy routs ULM at Veterans Memorial Stadium

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy football team picked up its third win of the season at home against UL-Monroe by a score of 51-14 on Saturday, Nov. 7.

The Trojans (3-6, 2-3 Sun Belt) jumped out to a quick start and never looked back, racking up 493 yards of offense to go along with two defensive touchdowns against the struggling Warhawks (1-8, 0-5 Sun Belt).

“This is the first time we’ve played a good football game at home, and our fans deserve that,” head coach Neal Brown said after the game. “To do that and to put that together on Military Appreciation Day was special.”

Senior kicker Jed Solomon got the home team on the board first with a 20-yard field goal, putting the Trojans up 3-0 at the 10:53 mark in the first quarter. Solomon made three of four field goal attempts in the game, earning him the title of Sun Belt special teams player of the week.

On the ensuing ULM drive, freshman quarterback Garrett Smith was sacked and fumbled the ball. It was scooped up by senior safety Darrin Derrick, who returned the ball 27 yards for a touchdown.

Following another field goal from Solomon, the Warhawks got on the scoreboard with a 47-yard pass from Smith to freshman wide receiver Marcus Green.

The quarterbacks from both sides swapped scores. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers tossed a 43-yard touchdown pass, and Smith threw his second of the night on a 30-yard passing score.

It was the last time that the visitors scored against the Trojans.

Troy proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game, scoring 31 unanswered points to ensure the rout. Senior running back Brandon Burks took a screen pass from Silvers and raced down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left in the first quarter.

The score capped a wild 41-point first quarter, with the line reading 27-14 in favor of the Trojans. Burks finished the game with 206 total yards of offense on 19 carries and three receptions.

In the second quarter, Silvers found sophomore wide receiver Emmanuel Thompson for a pair of scores through the air before halftime. Silvers went 22-for-33 for a career-high 326 yards and four touchdowns.

Solomon capped off the scoring in the game with a 33-yard field goal to achieve the final score.

Brown stressed the necessity of winning the turnover battle, which the Trojans did 6-0.

“We finally got turnovers defensively,” he said. “That’s something we stress on an everyday basis, and they usually come in bunches.”

The Trojans will stay at home for next week’s matchup against Georgia Southern, who is currently third in the Sun Belt. Kickoff on Larry Blakeney Field is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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