TROY, AL To win 23 straight home football openers, a team either needs some luck and/or needs to create its own luck a few times along the way. Which ever part of luck was involved, Troy came up way to win No. 24 Saturday when it defeated Bowling Green 30-27 at Movie Galley Veterans Stadium.
Troys final magic moment was Michael Taylors field goal with four seconds left. The winning boot was set up by another magic moment - Tony Davis interception of a Matt Schilz pass with 1:07 remaining. Given the opportunity, Troy marched to the BG 30-yard line before the Falcons drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty with 11 seconds left. After a two-yard loss and time outs by both teams, Taylor hit his 34-yard game winner.
While the Schilz interception was undoubtedly a key factor in the turn of events, it marred a decent performance by a Schilz, who assumed signal calling duties after the departure of standout QB Tyler Sheehan. Schilz completed 22-of-43 for 221 yards, with one TD and one interception in his debut.
Junior Alan Hodges picked up the TD on a three-yard reception, but classmate Kamar Jorden proved to be the Falcons leading receiver with nine receptions for 111 yards on the evening. Senior Tyrone Ponty had four receptions for 58 yards in the contest.
Veteran running back Willie Geter, a 5-8, 176-pound senior, paced Bowling Greens 108-yard running game with 93 yards on 20 carries (4.7 ypc).
Troy ended up with a 29-20 advantage in first downs and led 475-329 in total yards. However, the outcome remained in doubt throughout.
Willie Geter put the visitors on top early with a 35-yard TD run with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter. Troy responded quickly with a 38-yard pass from Corey Robinson to Jason Bruce.
Robinson, a 6-0, 209-pound freshman completed 25-of-37 for 252 yards. He had one TD toss and was picked off twice.
Schilz hit Hodges on a three-yard strike to send BG back into the lead and Bryan Wright hit the first of his two field goals from 19 yards out to give the visitors a 17-7 lead.
Troy erased the deficit with a pair of scores before intermission. Taylors 26-yard field goal at 7:39 was followed by a Shawn Southward one-yard TD run with 1:17 left in the second period.
Bowling Green briefly reclaimed the lead on Eugene Coopers 63-yard punt return early in the third period. Troy, however, came back with a pair of scores to claim its first lead. Jerrel Jernigan scampered 49 yards for a TD at 12:52 and Taylor booted a 40-yard field goal to put the hosts up 27-24.
Wrights 23-yard field goal at 2:11 of the third period tied the contest at 27-all. With the help of the interception, Troy managed to pull out the win.
- BG The Falcons remain on the road next week as they face Tulsa in a 7 p.m. tilt.
- BG - Eugene Cooper made the best of his first career punt return, going 63 yards for a touchdown. In fact, it was Coopers first time ever touching a ball in a game. The last BG player to return a punt for a score was Corey Partridge versus Temple on Oct. 1, 2005 (79 yards)
- BG - Senior captain Champ Fells had his first career interception and ended the game with 11 tackles.
- BG - On the defensive side of the ball, Dwayne Woods recorded his first career double-digit tackle performance with a game-high 14 stops. Jovan Leacock, like Woods, was making his first career start and finished with 11 tackles.