Troy State gets solid play
Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2000
from both sides at T-Day
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Troy State football’s spring drills came to a climactic conclusion at the annual T-Day festivities Saturday and the even playing field was evident as the Cardinal and White faced off against each other.
It was the White team, featuring the first team defense, that was able to score late and hold on for a 13-12 win over the Cardinal team who featured the first team offense.
TSU head coach Larry Blakeney liked the set up and was pleased with the hustle and depth he saw as the two teams clashed. He also liked that the game was close and not just a roll over by one side.
"We’ve done it both ways, but we feel it’s more competitive this way," Blakeney said. "We put one’s against one’s and two’s against two’s. I was pretty pleased with what happened. We didn’t get anyone hurt bad, a couple of nicks, but we’ll work through that. It showed us a lot of good things, a lot of things we can build on."
The Cardinal squad got on the scoreboard first on a five-yard pass from from Brock Nutter to Heward Skipper with 6:24 left in the first quarter, but the extra point failed by Lawrence Tynes.
The No. 1 defense had its say, however, as the big-play ability of one of its stars, Rayshun Reed got the best of a Derek Bynum pass with under nine minutes to go in the first half catching it on the run and running it back 55 yards for the score. The PAT was good and the White held a 7-6 lead.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter, but Nutter caught the defense napping on a short pass to Jonathan Carter that he turned into the longest play of the day. After an 80-yard gallop by Carter the Cardinal sported a 12-7 lead.
The game-winning play had to be given to Antonio Thompson, however, as he got the ball back for the White in the later stages picking off a Nutter pass at the Cardinal 30. That set up a drive by the White offense and a one-yard plunge by Wayne Thomas to give them the lead and eventually the win.
Facing third and eight yards to go, the White handed off to Auburn transfer Demontray Carter who made it look easy galloping up the middle for a first down with under a minute to go sealing the win for the White.
"The matchups usually go in favor of the defense," Blakeney said. "If we had flipped it the other way it would have been high scoring the other way probably. I would have been disappointed if we had gone the way we’d gone today and they had scored three or four touchdowns each.
"It’s been a very good spring overall," he continued. "We’ve not been a turnover team this spring. We’ve thrown the ball around a whole lot and we’ve taken care of the ball really well. Not a whole lot of interceptions and I can’t remember but maybe one or two fumbles the whole spring. That’s something we can build on, something we’ve got to build on."
Nutter highlighted the offense on the day throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns while completing 14 of 24 attempts. Skipper led the way in the receiving crew with six catches and 50 yards.
Ryan Shirley led the white with 71 passing yards on 7 of 13 passing and Carter finished with 66 all-purpose yards.