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Trojans get defensive in homecoming win over Georgia Southern

The Troy Trojans put up over 600 yards of offense in their 49-28 win over Georgia Southern on homecoming Saturday afternoon.

The Trojans (2-3, 4-5) scored on eight of their 13 drives in the game. The Trojans finished with 603 yards, most since they put up 641 yards against Texas State in 2017.

“Excited about getting this win,” coach Chip Lindsey said. “We made some plays that we needed to. We stayed in control of the game most of the time. We talked about playing a complete game in all three phases. I don’t think we have done that until tonight. 600 yards is really something special. For us the long runs there at the end helped us.”

The Troy defense also got into the act on Saturday night. They picked up nine sacks, the most since they had nine sacks against Coastal Carolina last season. It’s the fourth most in the country heading into this week’s slate of games. Marcus Webb finished with three sacks.

“Defense, I think is the story of the night,” Lindsey said. “Those guys continue to fight their butts off. Tonight, they put it all together.”

The Trojans outgained the Eagles 390-166 in the opening half and scored on five of their six possessions.

Following a 20-yard run by DK Billingsley that set the Trojans up at the 13-yard line, Receiver Brett Clark hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass for the game’s first score.

Receiver Kaylon Geiger had 84 receiving yards in the opening half. 54 of them came on a pass that set the Trojans up inside the Eagle 20-yard line. Billingsley rumbled his way in for an 18-yard score to give the Trojans a 14-0 lead.

Following an Eagle touchdown by Wesley Kennedy, the Trojans lead went back to 14 when Tray Eafford scored his third touchdown of the season on 15-yard catch.

The Eagles answered with another touchdown on a catch by Malik Murray. Troy kicker Tyler Sumpter was successful on two field goals in the half. The first came on a 24-yard field goal to put Troy up 24-14. Sumpter ended the half with a 23-yard field goal sending the game into halftime with the Trojans leading 27-14.

After combining to score 41 points in the first half, the two teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. The Trojans were held to just six plays in the quarter, one of which resulted in a turnover.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Shai Werts connected with Darion Anderson on a 26-yard touchdown pass to bring the Eagles to within six at 27-21 with 14:54 remaining.

Barker threw his 24th touchdown pass of the season when he connected with Reggie Todd for a 7-yard touchdown. He sits fourth all-time in program history with 24 touchdown passes.

Geiger connected with Barker in the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the Trojans a 14-point lead with 9:37 remaining.

Billingsley broke the century mark for the fourth time this season when he broke a 70-yard touchdown run to officially put the game out of reach in favor of the Trojans.

“I think it shows a lot of character. We answered the bell in the fourth quarter when we needed to put a drive together on offense,” Lindsey said.

“We knew it was going to happen (big run). We were gashing them and I had an opportunity to run and that’s what I did,” Billingsley said.

Billingsley finished with 163 yards on 14 carries.

Trevon Woolfolk scored Troy’s final touchdown on a 12-yard run.

Barker finished the game with 17 completions in 41 attempts. He had 330 yards and three touchdowns.

“Other than one decision, I thought Kaleb Barker was almost flawless again tonight,” Lindsey said.

Geiger broke the century mark for the fifth time this season with 110 yards and 7 receptions.

The Trojans will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to San Marcos to take on Texas State beginning at 2 p.m.