Trojans use big plays to down Aamp;M

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2000

Sports Editor

NORMAL – The Troy State offense came out on Saturday night and struck like lighting on the first series of their 28-13 victory over Alabama A&M

Just five minutes into the first quarter, junior quarterback Brock Nutter found senior wide receiver Heyward Skipper on a corner route for a 59-yard touchdown .

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But that was about all the fire power the Trojans’ offense could muster in the first half, even when an Antonio Thompson interception gave Troy State the ball deep inside Bulldog territory at the 27-yard line. TSU had a first and goal on the five-yard line, but on third down A&M cornerback Brandon Reed picked off a Nutter pass in the endzone.

Instead of a two touchdown lead, Troy State led just 7-0 going into the locker room at the half.

In the second half the offense was a bit more productive.

The tailback triad of LeBarron Black, Demontray Carter and Jabar Dunbar got most of the attention during the preseason, but it was senior fullback Thad Buttone who broke a 58-yard run straight up the gut of the Bulldog defense to give the Trojans a first and goal at the five yard line. From there Carter took it over to make it 14-0 Troy State.

Back came Alabama A&M late in the third with wide receiver Neil Lindsey catching a 35-yard touchdown from halfback Curtis Donnell. The extra point attempt failed.

Nutter came back and hit Jonanthan Carter for a 32-yard pass on a post pattern to put the Trojans up 21-6 with 13:20 left in the game.

The TSU offense had one more opportunity to score in the fourth quarter. Carter broke a long run to the Bulldogs’ 4-yard line, but Reed hit the junior running back causing him to fumble the ball out of bounds. The Trojans maintained possession, but four tries at the goal netted just three yards and Alabama A&M took over on downs.

"We just did a poor job with our big team," said TSU head coach Larry Blakeney talking about the Trojans’ goaline offense. "We got down there and should’ve punched two scores in, but we fooled around and let them get back in it."

A&M scored with 51 seconds left in the game as backup quarterback Chris Gunn found Kordell Robinson in the endzone for a touchdown pass, making the score 21-13. The onside kick attempt failed, but the Trojans were forced to punt the ball to the Bulldogs with under 30 seconds remaining.

Punter Matt Allen pinned A&M deep on the 4-yard line and then a lateral by Gunn behind the line of scrimmage gave the Trojans their last touchdown of the game. Sophomore defensive lineman Shelton Felton batted the ball down and fell on it in the endzone for the score.

" I told our players before we came in that Alabama A&M has a good tradition and a storied history when it comes to football," said

Blakeney. "A&M had a

good game plan and they fought us until the end. I’m just glad to get out of here with a win."