Missouri was thinking blowout, Troy was looking helpless and Brad Smith was seemingly unstoppable. Then, everything flip-flopped and the Trojans upset the 19th-ranked Tigers 24-to-14 Thursday night with gadgets, luck and guts.
In the beginning it looked like the Missouri team would walk all over the football team from Troy and its new logo.
Missouri opened the game with an 11 play, 80 yard drive capped by a Damien Nash 6-yard touchdown run to lead 7-0. Following the Missouri kickoff, Aaron Leak was intercepted and Missouri started its next drive from the Troy 39.
It took the Tigers 8 plays to score as Brad Smith passed to Victor Seay for the 10-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0. Troy finished the first quarter with 5 total yards. But the Trojans fought back in the second quarter by opening up the razzle dazzle playbook.
Starting at their own 27, the Trojans drove to the Missouri 26. Aaron Leak took the snap from center and threw a backward pass to receiver Jason Samples who then lofted a pass into the end zone caught by Jermaine Richardson and the Trojans were on the board.
As the Trojans tried to dig themselves out of a hole from their own 7-yard line with 5 minutes left in the first half, DeWhitt Betterson was running hard and got the team out to the 27 with a couple of nice runs. On first and ten from the 27, it looked like Betterson was stopped after another 9-yard run, but the ball came out and was caught in the air by 6-1, 276 pound Junior Louissant, who did his best Priest Holmes imitation and left smaller men standing in his wake as he rambled 60 yards for the equalizer.
In less time than it takes to say cheese the Trojans had tied the score and just a couple of minutes later, Greg Whibbs kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Trojans a lead 17-14 at the end of the first half. The second half was no where near as exciting as both teams had trouble in the 3rd quarter.
With Missouri still in shock and a national audience watching on television the Trojans but the knife in the Tigers' hopes. Following a Thomas Olmsted 61-yard punt which pinned the Tigers on their own 2-yard line and forced a Tiger punt, the Trojans scored again.
Starting at the Missouri 31 following the punt exchange, Aaron Leak hit Jason Samples for a 33 yard touchdown to make the score 24-14. The Missouri offense could get nothing going against the stingy Trojan defense and that's the way the game ended. Fans stormed the field and the goal post came down.
The question now is 'Can a goal post be back in place for Friday night high school football?' For the Trojans, Aaron Leak was 6 for 19 and 90 yards and 1 TD. He threw three interceptions. DeWitt Betterson was the leading rusher for the Trojans, gaining 82 yards on 20 carries.
Jason Samples threw a touchdown pass and caught another one. The Trojans only had 236 yards for the entire game, whereas the Tigers gained 338 yards. Troy gained 89 yards through the air to Missouri's 211.