Trojan Topple FIU

Published 10:04 pm Saturday, October 17, 2009

MIAMI – Troy quarterback Levi Brown started completing passes early against FIU Saturday night, and kept completing throws all night in leading the Trojans to a 42-33 victory over the Golden Panthers at FIU Stadium.

Brown finished the game hitting 28-of-37 passes while narrowly missing his second 400 yard game this season with 391 yards and three touchdowns.

Troy broke on top with a quick scoring drive on the Trojans’ first possession of the night. Facing a third and short inside the FIU red zone, Brown hooked up with TeBiarus Gill for a 13-yard scoring pass wit 10:31 left in the first quarter.

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Michael Taylor, subbing for an injured Sam Glusman for a second straight week, nailed the PAT for a 7-0 Troy lead.

After the teams exchanged punts twice, FIU took advantage of two 15-yard penalties against the Trojans and drove 75 yards in eight plays, with Daunte Owens covering the final four yards on the first play of the second quarter. The PAT knotted the score at 7-7.

FIU got the ball right back when sophomore Dantavious Parker, in for a third and short, was ruled to have fumbled, even though he appeared down on the play. The Panthers took over at the Troy 24 but could not move the ball and settled for a 41-yard field goal from Dustin Rivest, giving FIU a 10-7 lead with 13:05 left in the half.

Troy answered right back with a quick 80 yard drive that was highlighted by a 40-yard catch and run by Jerrel Jernigan for the score with 10:52 left. Jernigan caught the short pass over the middle, split defenders to get to the sideline, then made a spin move and a leap to get into the end zone.

Jernigan also picked up 20 yards on the ground during the six-play drive on a double-reverse.

The Trojans poured it on before the end of the half, getting into the end zone with two quick scoring drives as Brown completed pass-after-pass and the Troy ground game gained momentum.

Troy pushed to lead to 21-10 with 5:55 left in the half on a seven-yard pass from Brown to DuJuan Harris. That was followed quickly by a 47-yard run by Maurice Greer for a TD with 2:17 left in the half.

The Trojans came unglued in the final two minutes. FIU drove for a quick score on a nine-yard pass from Paul McCall to Kendall Berry. After the kickoff, Brown was sacked and fumbled on the first play, with FIU recovering deep in Troy territory.

Despite two major penalties against Troy, the Trojans held FIU to a 22-yard Rivest field goal, and took a 28-20 lead into halftime.

The Trojans struck quick twice in the third quarter. Troy opened with a 12-play drive that covered 64 yards, with Harris getting the final four for the touchdown.

After a short kickoff and good return, FIU started in Troy territory, but Bryan Willis recorded his second interception of the year on the first play and set the Trojans up at the FIU 48. Brown connected with Josh Jarboe down the the Panthers’ three on the first play, and freshman Shawn Southward did the rest to give Troy a 42-20 lead with 9:57 left in the third quarter.

FIU made things interesting when Darrian Mallary capped a fourth quarter drive with a five-yard touchdown run cutting the lead to 42-27. After a Trojan punt, FIU’s Ty Frierson setup the Golden Panther offense in Troy territory with a 32-yard punt return.

McCall found Hilton for a first down on 4th-and-5 to keep the drive alive. FIU then found themselves facing a 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. The Golden Panthers were flagged for a false start backing them to the six where McCall over threw a receiver in the back of the end zone turning the ball over on downs.

After a bizarre sequence of events with the game clock, Troy was forced to turn the ball over on downs while trying to run out the clock. FIU took over on the Troy four-yard line and on the last play of the game, McCall tossed a two-yard touchdown to Frierson for the final margin of 42-33.

Harris led the Trojans with 86 yards on the ground, his highest total of the season, while eclipsing 100 yards total by adding 18 receiving yards. Troy rushed for 174 yards total as a team. 12 different receivers recorded receptions for Troy, while Jernigan led the pack with five grabs for 97 yards.

The Trojans are in action next on October 24 for Homecoming when they host North Texas. Game time is 2:30 pm.