TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Trojans are still on track to becoming bowl eligible. Troy (4-5, 2-3) picked up a huge 49-28 win over Georgia Southern (5-4, 3-2) on homecoming.
Georgia Southern entered Saturday with its last win coming over a ranked Appalachian State team, but the Trojans cared for that none. Just playing their game, the Trojans were out and running early.
Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker collected his fifth 300-yard game of the season in a 330-yard three-touchdown performance. He threw the first of his three touchdowns on Troy’s opening drive. Barker found an open Bret Clark for a 13-yard score on Troy’s opening possession. Clark was wide open after running a wheel route of sorts up the right sideline.
The 7-0 lead became 14-0 after DK Billingsley’s 18-yard touchdown run with 3:53 to play in the first quarter. Billingsley virtually broke two shoestring tackles for the score and the Trojans were looking primed for a big game offensively.
Not to be overshadowed was the Troy defense. One of the best rushing offenses in the conference - and country - was held in check early on as the Trojans forced two three-and-outs in the first quarter.
The Eagles answered in the second quarter on a 41-yard rushing score from Wesley Kennedy III, but Troy quickly followed with a score soon after.
Tray Eafford this time got into the end zone when he got behind the linebackers on a seam route and was wide open for Barker to hit him in the end zone for six.
But again, a persistent Eagles team struck back. This time getting a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Shai Werts to Malik Murray.
Leading 21-14, the Trojans got two field goals from Tyler Sumpter to take a 27-14 lead into halftime.
Both defenses came out on fire in the third quarter, holding each opposing offense scoreless. Combined, both teams gained fewer than 100 yards.
The scoring picked back up in the fourth quarter when the Eagles cashed in a Troy fumble. In four plays, Werts’ second touchdown pass of the game was complete to Darion Anderson, and just like that Troy’s lead was cut to 27-21.
Troy head coach Chip Lindsey had all the correct answers to the test in the fourth. Following Georgia Southern’s score, his offense not only took some time off the clock with a 5-minute 17-second drive, but was able to score on top of that. Reggie Todd got in on the action with a 7-yard touchdown reception to give Barker his third touchdown pass of the game.
Troy didn’t stop there however. Lindsey kept his foot on the pedal, and the Trojans would score two more times. One was a 70-yard touchdown run by Billingsley to absolutely crush Georgia Southern and erupt Veterans Memorial Stadium. The second score made it very clear that the game was going to be won by Troy. Trevon Woolfork scored on a 12-yard run to for sure put a bow on Troy’s homecoming week.
The Trojans secured a 49-28 win and snapped a short two-game losing streak in the process.
Their bowl hopes are still alive as they now need just two more wins. Up next is a road trip to San Marcos, Tx., where the team will take on Texas State next Saturday at 2 p.m.