Demons knock of TSU in SFL opener

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2000

Sports Editor

Missed opportunities.

Troy State lost to Northwestern State on Saturday night, 24-10, but it wasn’t that the Trojans didn’t have their chances.

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Late in the fourth quarter and down 24-17, the Trojans were knocking on the door at the Demons’ 12-yard line.

A pass on third down from Troy State quarterback Brock Nutter to Heyward Skipper moved the ball to the three, but on fourth down receiver Jonathan Carter was pushed out of bounds by NWS cornerback Kendrick Llorens at the one-yard line on a reverse.

The Demons took over but were unable to get a first and punted to the Trojans with 4:10 left in the game. Nutter found Carter on 37-yard pass and tailback LeBarron Black broke several Northwestern tackles to take it to the one-yard line on a pass reception.

It was first and goal for Troy State.

And the Demons took it personal.

TSU fullback Thad Buttone was stopped on first down, Black was stopped twice and on fourth down Nutter kept the ball on an option play, tried to extend it forward across the goaline and fumbled into the endzone.

The Demons recovered with less then two minutes remaining and killed the game on the ground. The Trojans were out of time outs.

"This was just a bitter loss," said Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney. "I knew once we got in conference play it was going to get tough. We had a chance to win late and we didn’t get the job done. It was a great effort by Northwestern State."

The game was shaping up to be a defensive struggle in the first half. The Trojans were ahead 3-0 at halftime, while the Demons’ offense could muster just one first down in two quarters of play.

But in the second half, Northwestern took the opening kickoff and drove it straight at the Trojans, taking the lead on tailback Tony Taylor’s 15-yard touchdown run with 11:58 remaining in the third quarter

After TSU went three and out, NWS quarterback Ben Beach hit T.J. Sutherland for a 41-yard gain inside Troy State territory. Clint Sanford kicked in a 31-yard field goal to put the Demons up 10-3.

On Troy State’s next possession, Black, filling in for the injured Demontray Carter, broke six Northwestern tackles and went down the left sideline for a 43-yard touchdown run to tie the game up 10-10.

Back came Beach and the Demons’ offense, however, with the junior quarterback finding Sutherland behind the TSU secondary for a 34-yard TD strike.

"They came out and threw the ball out of a double tightend set in the second half, which gave us some problems on defense," said Blakeney.

Carter took a reverse from Nutter 51 yards to the Northwestern five-yard line on third and four, but the play was called back on a holding penalty. TSU had to punt and Terrence McGee returned it 81 yards to give the Demons a 24-10 lead at the 4:10 mark of the third quarter.

Carter also had a 68-yard touchdown reception called back in the second quarter because of an offensive pass interference penalty.

"It kills me to see our kids fight as hard as they do and then get beat," said Blakeney. "But there’s still a lot of football left to be played."