Troy falls to Liberty

Published 9:36 am Sunday, October 14, 2018

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Stephen Calvert threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Farrow with just over two minutes remaining to lift Liberty past Troy, 22-16, in non-conference action Saturday at Williams Stadium.

“They played good. Hats off to them. That was bad football. I don’t know how else to say it. Bad football on the coaches, on the players, the entire organization,” Brown said. “That being said, though, this loss won’t change any of our goals. It doesn’t change it at all, actually. We’re back into conference play. We’ve got to figure out a way score some points. We’ve got to figure out a way to not give up yardage on defense and get our kids in a position to win. We didn’t do that today.”

Troy, which saw its nine-game road winning streak snapped, took a 16-14 lead with 12:48 to play in the game on the third Tyler Sumpter field goal of the afternoon.  The Trojans (5-2) forced the Flames (3-3) to punt on the ensuing possession and drove down to the Liberty 31-yard line looking to add some critical insurance points.

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However, a penalty and sack derailed the Troy scoring opportunity and Liberty followed with a 14-play, 89-yard drive in which the Flames converted three third downs before Calvert’s game-winning touchdown pass.

Calvert completed 17-of-32 attempts for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns with Farrow hauling in eight of the completions for 101 yards. Frankie Hickson rushed 23 times for 71 yards for the Flames.

Troy scored on the final play of the first quarter when Sawyer Smith connected with Deondre Douglas for a 23-yard touchdown. The score marked the 15th of Douglas’ career which moved him into seventh place all-time in Troy history; he also climbed into fourth place all-time with 163 career receptions after pulling down six catches for 58 yards.

Smith, who started in place of the injured Kaleb Barker, completed 13-of-25 passes for 135 yards. B.J. Smith rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries to become the first Trojan since 2004 (DeWhitt Betterson) to rush for more than 100 yards in three consecutive game.

Liberty carried a 14-10 lead into the break after Calvert’s first touchdown pass of the game and a 38-yard field goal by Sumpter. The Trojans pulled within one, 14-13, early in the third quarter when Sumpter boomed a career-long 50-yard field goal.

Troy returns to Sun Belt Conference play on Tuesday, Oct. 23, when it travels to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama in the Battle for the Belt on ESPN2.

“We’re going to find out what we’re made of,” Brown said. “We had a lot of guys who were out, a lot of guys who didn’t play, a lot of guys that left the game during the game. Nobody feels sorry for us. Nobody wants to hear excuses. We just didn’t get it done. It was a disappointing afternoon, probably as disappointing an afternoon as we’ve had in a long time.”