Shannon, Blakeney pleased with offensive output

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Sports Editor

On Saturday afternoon in Memorial Stadium, Troy State fans caught a glimpse of what the ‘Trojan Spread’ could do.

Quarterback Brock Nutter threw for 339 yards and running back Demontray Carter rushed for 164 yards as the TSU offense totalled 523 yards on 73 snaps in the Trojans’ 44-31 win over Cal-State Northridge.

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First-year offensive coordinator John Shannon was pleased with the play of the offense and in the overall balance which the unit exhibited. The Trojans had 23 first downs during the game. One first down came courtesy of a Matadors’ penalty. The other 22 conversions were split equally between both the run (11) and the pass (11).

"Brock did a nice job of handling the tempo and threw the ball well," he said. "We felt like we could run the ball on the Matadors and they weren’t very good tacklers. That proved to be especially true."

Carter’s stutter-step style of rushing the football allowed the senior to break touchdown runs of 65 and 23 yards in the first half of play. He also hauled in a 32-yard pass from Nutter for the Trojans’ second touchdown of the game.

The Matadors had cut the TSU lead to 14-10 with 13:33 left in the second, when Carter made his most spectacular run of the day. Carter took the ball from Nutter on a delay, picked up a first down, and then spun his way through a Matador player’s arm tackle to get to the outside. Once there, Carter’s speed took over and down the left sideline he went for the touchdown.

"I told him (Carter) after he’d scored, I’ve seen him make some great plays, but that run was just incredible," Nutter said.

"They (Cal-State) had a hard time tackling Demontray," said Blakeney. "He is a playmaker. He missed two days of practice with the flu last week and he came back and played a great game. He makes so many of those 10, 12-yard runs…it’s amazing how he eases his way through holes that aren’t there."

Receiver Heyward Skipper also had a good day for TSU, catching six passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Blakeney was happy with Skipper’s performance, he wasn’t too pleased with the junior’s showboating after a 90-yard touchdown catch.

"He did a little duck walk and posed for this teammates to join him. It just happened that the official was right there and flagged him on it. Then we were pushed back on the extra point and Drew (Boetler) missed it," Blakeney said. "You can’t let the male ego get in the way. It could have cost us the game. I’ve seen worse, but the officials had seen enough."

Skipper has been the Trojans’ best threat at wide receiver this season, but on Saturday, at least, Shannon found he could rely on someone else as well. True freshman Jason Samples (6-3, 185) also has six catches for 66 yards.

"He (Samples) had never played receiver until this year," said Blakeney. "He played quarterback in high school. He has been pretty sure-handed all season and that has given Brock another strong option."

"That’s what we’ve been waiting for – another receiver to step and help Heyward out," said Shannon.

The Trojans entertain Southern Utah for homecoming this

week. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.