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Trojans Trounce Towanda, 49-0 In Homecoming Win
TROY — Troy rode a strong defense, and a big play offense, to a 49-0 homecoming win over Towanda during NTL football action Friday. The score may have looked lopsided, but it was closer than that on the field, as, for much of the second and third quarters, both teams were even.
However, five Trojans takeaways led to four touchdowns, and a sacked punter inside the five yard line may as well have been a sixth takeaway.
“The defense has carried us every week,” said Troy coach Jim Smith. “It felt like, overall, we were a little bit sluggish tonight, but I give a lot of credit to Towanda. They’re getting better every week.”
Towanda would stop Troy on five different drives, and held their ace back Clayton Smith to under 100 yards (16 carries, 74 yards), but quarterback Evan Woodward picked up the slack with eight carries for 86 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring runs of over 25 yards. Freshman Mason Smith (three carries, 47 yards, one touchdown) also shined in a limited role.
Defense was the name of the game for Troy, though, pitching a shutout as they had three fumble recoveries – including on the opening kick-off – and two interceptions, with one by Jackson Taylor that he returned 60 yards to the house.
At times Towanda was able to move the sticks – they finished with nine first downs despite not scoring – with Riley Vanderpool getting 13 carries for 53 yards to lead them.
“They’re very physical, and I knew that coming in,” said Smith. “If they clean up some of their mistakes and giveaways that they’ve given teams, they’re one year away from being a pretty good team, as young as they are.”
After recovering a fumble on the opening kick-off Troy needed just five plays to go 32 yards to the end zone, with Woodward pitching it to Clayton Smith for an 8-yard rushing touchdown. A 7-yard run up the gut from Mason Woodward on third-and-4 set up the score.
Justice Chimics added the point after, and it was 7-0 Troy less than three minutes into the contest.
Towanda’s ensuing drive started off promising, as a 12-yard Vanderpool run got them near midfield, but another lost fumble gave Troy the ball back.
Taking over at the Black Knight 42-yard line, Troy went four plays to pay dirt, as Mason Smith went untouched on a counter up the gut 29-yards to pay dirt. Chimics point after was good, and the Trojans led 14-0 with 4:40 on the clock.
After that the two teams would trade possessions back and forth, until about midway through the second quarter. Towanda was punting from their own 14-yard line when the snap was over the head of Justin Schoonover.
He retreated back to get it, but could do little once he got, getting tackled at his own 2-yard line. On the ensuing play Evan Woodward punched it in for the touchdown.
Chimics point after made it 21-0 with 4:53 left in the half.
Towanda’s ensuing drive was their best so far, as back to back 9-yard runs from Vanderpool and Quintin Woodburn got them to near midfield. A penalty backed them up, a 9-yard passing play from Grady Flynn to Schoonover on third-and-6 gave them new life in Trojan territory.
Troy’s defense stiffened, though, forcing a 5-yard loss on the net play as Flynn fumbled the snap, and things went downhill from there with Towanda eventually punting just before the half.
It was a stalemate in the beginning of the third quarter, however, the Knights got a big break when they recovered a Trojan fumble at the Troy 16-yard line.
However, two plays later a Flynn pass was picked off by Evan Woodward, and he returned it to the Towanda 40-yard line.
That would set up a 6-play, 60-yard scoring drive that ended with Evan Woodward scampering for 28-yards to pay dirt on 4th-and-8.
A 20-yard Mason Smith run on the second play from scrimmage was the key moment of the drive, and Troy led 28-0 after Chimics’ kick with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
The Trojans would get three more touchdowns in the fourth, beginning with Evan Woodward running 43-yards over the left side of the line off an option on the first play from scrimmage. Chimics’ point after was good, and it was 35-0 with 11:34 left in the game.
On Towanda’s ensuing drive a 9-yard Vanderpool run got them to midfield, but four plays later, on fourth down, Taylor stepped in front of a Flynn pass, and returned it 60-yards to the end zone. Chimics’ kick was good, and it was 42-0 with 7:10 left to play.
Troy’s final score came on a 33-yard Charles Oldroyd run down the right sideline. Chimics added the point after for a 49-0 final.
It wasn’t just turnovers, but also penalties, that killed some of Towanda’s offense, as they were flagged eight times for 70 yards on the day. They’ll hit the road again next week as they travel to Hughesville.
Troy will be going a little further, as they face Northwest on a Saturday night contest. Smith is hoping to clean some things up before then.
“We dropped some passes, we fumbled center-quarterback exchange,” he said. “Little things that we’ve got to clean up. We’ve got to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, and I felt like we had a few of them get away from us tonight. It’s sort of been uncharacteristic of what we’ve been doing.”
Videography: Nate Fransen
Video Editing: Johnathan Morgan
Writing: Chris Manning
Anchor: Joe Carreon
Produced by Vogt Media
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