Trojans lose Reed for rest of season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Sports Editor

With the 23-21 win over Southland opponent Sam Houston State on Saturday night, the Troy State Trojans (5-2, 2-1) now find themselves in a four-way tie for second place in the conference.

Northwestern State, 24-17 winners over TSU two weeks ago, sits atop the SFL, a perfect 3-0 in conference play and 6-1 overall.

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But the victory over Sam Houston didn’t come without a cost.

The Trojans lost one of their starting cornerbacks, sophomore Rayshun Reed, for the season with a knee injury. Reed tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee against the Bearkats. Reed was leading the Trojans’ secondary with 13 passes broken up and was also TSU’s punt returner.

Reed is the second Trojan to go down with a torn ACL. Freshmen defensive back Derrick Ansley was also lost for the year with an ACL tear during the Trojans’ 62-19 win over Alabama State.

Reed’s injury deals yet another blow to an area of the Trojans’ defense which wasn’t very deep to begin with.

"Ray going down is a big loss for us," said TSU head coach Larry Blakeney.

Blakeney said he felt the biggest reason for Reed’s injury, was because of the AstroTurf surface the Bearkats play on at Bowers Stadium.

"The collisions in the game are tough enough with the speed and the size of the players today," said Blakeney. "Then you put them out there on a concrete pad with nothing but a thin piece of sponge on it. I don’t think the game of football was meant to be played on a surface like that."

Sophomore David Philyaw will likely move into Reed’s left corner spot according to Blakeney.

"Rayshun was our best corner," said Trojans’ linebacker Jimmy McClain. "He was getting ready to break out and become an all-conference performer. When we had Rayshun out there we knew he could shut anyone down. Now that he’s gone, it puts a little more pressure on our front seven."

The Trojans overcame a poor offensive performance against the Bearkats with two things; defense and special teams.

The Troy State defense gave up 247 passing yards, but held Sam Houston to just 53 yards on the ground.

"Our defense wants to stop the run first," said Blakeney. "That’s going to give someone a chance to complete some passes and get some yards through the air. We just gave up one big play on defense against Sam Houston, so overall I was pleased with our performance."

On special teams, Lawrence Tynes kicked three field goals, which included a career long 49-yarder, Jonathan Carter returned a kick 95 yards for a touchdown to open the third quarter, Travis Bozeman blocked a Bearkat field goal attempt and Jabar Dunbar had a kick return of 59 yards which set up the Trojans’ only offensive touchdown of the game-a four-yard pass from Brock Nutter to fullback LaQuateus Justice.

"Jabar is probably one of the strongest players on the team and he was able to break a couple of tackles to get that return," said Blakeney. "Travis’s block was big – as was Lawrence’s three field goals."

However, Sam Houston was able block a punt against Troy State and return it for a score. The Bearkats have blocked six punts this season.

"Special teams was one of my main concerns going into the game" said Blakeney. "It was just a total physical breakdown by our line on that block. We left one guy alone and he came in there and took it off Matt’s (TSU punter Matt Allen) foot."