Trojans come back to defeat Appalachian State
Jordan Chunn scored with 1:02 remaining in the ball game to give Troy a 28-24 win over Appalachian State Saturday night.
With the win the Trojans improve to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference.
“It’s a huge win for our program,” said Troy head coach Neal Brown. “This was a big win. Appalachian State in the last couple of years has been at the top of our league. I thought it was a great college game with a great atmosphere.”
The Trojans jumped out to an early lead on Saturday when Chunn rumbled in from one-yard out to give Troy a quick 7-0 lead. Tevaris McCormick set the Trojans up with a 30-yard completion before being tackled at the one-yard line.
The Trojans added another score on the next possession when Deondre Douglas hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass to give Troy a 14-0 lead with 3:20 remaining in the first quarter.
The half turned when the Mountaineers stripped the ball out of the hands of Sam Letton and A.J. Howard returned it 71 yards for a score making the score 14-7.
They evened the score at 14 after Jalin Moore rushed for 31 yards at the 6:06 mark of the second quarter.
The Trojans attempted to even the score at the end of the half, But Ryan Kay missed on a 43-yard field goal sending the game into halftime tied at 14.
The Mountaineers got their first lead of the game when they embarked on a 14 play drive that lasted 5:38 and ended with a 47-yard field goal by Michael Rubino to bring the score to 17-14 with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter.
The Trojans came back and called an option play and Silvers kept the ball and sprinted for 51 yards for the score to give the Trojans a 21-17 lead with 1:59 remaining in the third. It was the longest run of Silvers career.
“It was a zone option and my read went with the option guy,” Silvers said. “I cut up and I looked at the big screen to make sure I wasn’t going to get caught.”
The Mountaineers hushed the Trojan faithful when Jalen Moore dived over the goal line for a five-yard touch down run to give them the 24-21 lead with 3:29 remaining in the game.
The Trojans got the back with just under 3:20 remaining and went on an eight-play drive that went 85 yards. On fourth and six and the game on the line, Sydney Davis hauled in a 43-yard catch to set the Trojans up at the 11-yard line.
“It was fourth down, you either make it or you lose,” Davis said. “As he called the play I thought the ball wasn’t going to come to me. I ran my route and I looked back and Silvers was looking at me. I knew he was going to throw it and I made the play.”
Chunn took the ball into the end zone to give the Trojans the lead with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers had the ball on the Troy yard line with enough time to run one more play. Quarterback Taylor Lamb slung the ball into the end zone but the ball fell harmlessly to the ground.
Chunn had a game high 133 yards rushing with two touchdowns on the night and also broke through the 1,000-yard mark on the season.
“The O-line, I can’t thank those guys enough,” Chunn said. “They were the ones that got me to that point.”
Silvers finished 21-35 for 229 yards and had a throwing and rushing touchdown.
The defense also had a good game, specifically against the run. Saturday’s game marked just the second time this season that neither Jain Moore nor Marcus Cox rushed for 100 yards.
“They ran the ball for over 200 yards on us last year. Our mainstay of our defense is that we want to be able to take care of the run, so that hurt,” Brown said. “I thought our guys came back and stepped up and answered the challenge.”
With the win, the eye’s of the Trojan faithful shift the to the new Associated Press rankings to see if the Trojans cracked the top-25.
“I think it’s still to be determined,” Brown said. “What this win does is validate us with our league. Nationally, I don’t know yet. I know this, we are 8-1 and our only loss is to the number two team in the country at their place. We lined up and played everybody that we were supposed to and besides that game we won all of them.”
The Trojans will be back in action on Thursday night when they host Arkansas State at 8:30 p.m.