Troy State edges Bearkats, 23-12

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 22, 2000

Sports Editor

HUNTSVILLE, Tx. – Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney had just one word for the Trojans 23-21 Southland Football League win over Sam Houston State on Saturday night.


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"It’s getting close to Halloween," said Blakeney. "And the goblins were out tonight but they didn’t get us."

The Trojans (4-2, 2-1) were able to overcome penalties, an inability to score touchdowns in the red zone and a blocked punt returned for a score to hand the Bearkats( 5-1, 2-1) their first loss of the season in conference play.

Troy State led at the half on the strength of three Lawrence Tynes field goals, 9-7. Tynes had field goal kicks of 48, 49 and 27 yards in the first half. The 49-yarder was the longest of Tynes career. The kick also gave Tynes the school’s career record for field goals made with 39, breaking Ted Clemm’s previous mark of 38 set from 1984-87.

"I knew about it coming in, and I am very excited," Tynes said about breaking the record. "I knew it would set both records, so it was an extremely big kick for me and the team."

Sam Houston quarterback Albert Bradley had a 29-yard pass to Jonathon Cooper in the first half for the Bearkats.

Jonathan Carter opened the second half for the Trojans by returning the kickoff 95 yards for the touchdown. With the PAT, Troy State led 16-7.

"That kick return, I felt, took some of the wind out of Sam Houston," said Blakeney. "Jonathan made some great cuts and just out ran everybody and he got a tremendous block from LaQuateus Justice on the return."

But the Bearkats’ special teams, who’ve made a living off blocked punts this season, zeroed in on TSU punter Matt Allen with 4:29 left in the third. Sam Houston’s Keith Davis broke through to block the punt and the ball was picked up at the Troy State seven-yard line DeJuan Davis and returned for the score.

Suddenly, TSU led just 16-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bearkats attempted to keep the ball away

from Jonathan Carter and fellow kick returner Demontray Carter. Instead, the football ended up in the hands of back-up tailback Jabar Dunbar at the TSU 10-yard line. Dubar broke a tackle and was then brought down by Sam Houston State.

About 59-yards later at the Bearkats’ 31-yard line.

Dunbar’s return led to a four-yard touchdown pass by Brock Nutter to Justice and the Trojans took a 23-14 lead.

Bradley scored a three yard touchdown run for Sam Houston with 1:17 left in the game, but the Trojans’ Derick Jackson recovered the onside kick to seal the win with less then a minute left to play.