Troy’s sweet revenge

Published 12:26 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jerel Jernigan was all over the field as the Troy Trojans got revenge Tuesday night in Boca Raton, Fla. The Trojans took down the Florida Atlantic Owls 30-17 on ESPN2 on the road to avenge a 38-32 loss to the Owls last year that ended Troy’s season.

“Anytime you beat those guys you feel good,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “It wasn’t a pretty game early. There were a lot penalties in the first half, but we got things done and we didn’t squander too much.”

Jernigan caught six balls for 63 yards and rushed seven times for 49 yards in the game. He did not score a touchdown, but he offered a different look that opened up scoring opportunities for Troy.

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Florida Atlantic (1-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) rallied late, but could not overcome the stifling Trojans defense.

The Owls scored the first points of the game on a 34-yard field goal from Warley Leroy, but Troy (3-2, 2-0) stormed back and scored the next 17 points of the game.

Sophomore quarterback Jamie Hampton rushed in from three yards out for Troy’s first points and Sam Glusman added the PAT for a 7-3 lead.

Hampton was 10-of-21 passing for 116 yards and an interception.

He added 57 yards on the ground in 16 tries and two touchdowns, but he left late in the third quarter with a knee injury. Center Danny Franks was also injured and did not return to action Tuesday night.

“I think Jamie Hampton is out for the year but I’m not sure,” Blakeney said. “We will get him fixed in a couple of weeks if it is what we think it is, let him rehab for a while. Danny Franks we think is okay, but he thought he broke his ankle. The doc doesn’t think it is.”

After Brandon Lang sacked FAU quarterback Rusty Smith for a 15-yard loss and the Owls were forced to punt, Glusman put a 20-yard field goal through the uprights for a 10-7 Troy lead on the first play of the second quarter.

The ball bounced off the helmet of FAU’s Rob Housler on the ensuing kickoff and Troy’s Jorrick Calvin recovered the fumble at the FAU 17 yard line. Two plays later sophomore running back DuJuan Harris punched in a 17-yard touchdown run and Glusman booted the PAT giving Troy a 17-3 lead with 13:41 remaining in the first half.

Harris finished the night with 18 carries for 61 yards and one touchdown.

After the teams traded interceptions, FAU cut the Troy lead to 17-10 before halftime. Troy’s Terence Moore intercepted Rusty Smith in the end zone for a touchback, but Hampton returned the favor four plays later.

Smith connected with Jamari Grant for an eight-yard touchdown with 4:32 to play in the second quarter.

After a nine-play drive that ate more than three minutes off the clock, Glusman connected on his second field goal of the night, a 35-yarder, to give Troy a 20-10 lead.

The sails blew further out of the Owls chances when the snap went over the punter’s head and was kicked out of bounds at the FAU 4 yard line.

Hampton rushed twice, scoring from one yard out on the second attempt and Glusman hit the PAT for a 27-10 Troy lead.

Glusman connected on a 30-yard field goal with 12:00 showing on the clock in the fourth quarter for his third field goal of the night to give the Trojans a 30-10 advantage.

Smith led the Owls down the field and scored on a one-yard keeper. The PAT was true and FAU trailed 30-17.

Tyler Clark alertly covered a Harris fumble on the Trojans’ 43 yard line late in the quarter and after a turnover on downs with 2:45 remaining in the game, Troy ran the clock out for the win.

The Troy sports information department contributed to this article.