4-2 , 2-1
3-4 , 1-3
Game Recap: Football | 10/31/2020 6:00:00 PM
JONESBORO, Ark. (10/31/20) – An early 14-0 deficit was tough to overcome on Saturday, as Arkansas State dropped a 38-10 decision to Troy at Centennial Bank Stadium.
The Red Wolves (3-4, 1-3 Sun Belt Conference) cut it to a two-score contest in the third quarter, but a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Trojans (4-2, 1-2) put the game out of reach.
“I’m very frustrated and very disappointed,” A-State head coach Blake Anderson said. “I felt like with the energy we had all week and how physical and competitive practices were that we would play much better, but we’re really struggling to get that from the practice field and meeting rooms to the playing surface. We’ve had times where guys had tough matchups, but I thought this week our matchups were way better. We’re capable of playing much better than we did, and that’s where the frustration comes in. I’m really proud of how the defense played in the second half, with the exception of the touchdown at the end. That’s something to build on, but that’s two weeks in a row, offensively, that we had too many empty possessions. We have to continue to learn and improve, that’s really the only answer.”
Troy outgained A-State 487 to 379, including 419 yards through the air while A-State countered with 271 passing yards and 108 rushing. The Red Wolves’ quarterback duo of Logan Bonner and Layne Hatcher completed 28 of 49 passes, with Hatcher going 11-of-20 for 166 yards and a touchdown. Jacob Free connected on 33 of his 45 passes for 419 yards and two scores.
Lincoln Pare was A-State’s leading rusher, racking up 90 yards on just 12 attempts for a 7.5-yard average. Kimani Vidal led Troy in rushing with 58 yards on 17 rushes and a touchdown.
Troy’s Kaylon Geiger was the game’s top receiver, hauling in eight catches for 126 yards. Vidal also grabbed eight passes for 77 yards. Brandon Bowling led A-State with six catches, while Dahu Green posted a team-high 75 receiving yards on four catches.
Defensively, Justin Rice was the game’s top tackler with 14 tackles and three tackles for loss, including two sacks. Troy was led by Jayden McDonald’s eight tackles.
On the game’s opening drive, Troy struck first on a 29-yard strike from Free to Luke Whittemore to cap off a seven-play opening drive. The Trojans added another with 5:39 in the first when Free found Reggie Todd all alone in the end zone for a 34-yard score to make it 14-0.
A-State got on the board with 9:10 to go in the first half when Blake Grupe drilled a 39-yard field goal. The Trojans responded with three on their next drive on a 35-yard field goal by Evan Legassey to make it 17-3. Troy added another score with 41 seconds to go in the half on a six-yard rush by Free to make it 24-3 at halftime.
The teams exchanged punts to open the second half with A-State starting its second possession of the third quarter on its own 11. Hatcher turned to the air, completing passes of 49 and 35 yards to Green and Jonathan Adams, Jr., to give the Red Wolves first and goal on the Troy 3. On second down, Hatcher found Adams for the score to make it a two-score game at 24-10 with 4:55 left in the third.
After the Red Wolves forced another Troy punt, the offense took over looking to cut into the deficit more, but on third and 7 from the A-State 30, Bonner was sacked by Richard Jibunor and fumbled the ball. Darrell Starling then picked up the loose ball, returning it 20 yards for the score to make it 31-10 Trojans with 7:34 to go.
Troy took over on downs with just under six minutes left in the game and closed out the contest with a 10-play scoring drive capped off by an eight-yard rushing touchdown by Vidal to make it 38-10 with 26 seconds left.
A-State returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 7, traveling to Lafayette to face Louisiana. Kickoff from Cajun Field is slated for 11 a.m. on ESPNU. Every Red Wolves football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area. The live radio broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/10/31/football-a-state-falls-38-10-to-troy.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council