Lancers top Trojans, 40-21
But instead of the Trojans running over their opponent as they have done to so many teams recently, it was Loyalsock that brought the stronger ground attack – which included three scoring drives of 75 yards or more – and Troy committed four costly turnovers as the Lancers topped the Trojans 40-21.
“We had a couple of turnovers, they didn’t and that’s the end of the story. That’s what it came down to – mistakes against a good football team – and the end result is a loss,” said Troy coach Jim Smith.
The Lancers were able to limit Troy quarterback Jed Wright to just 49 yards on the ground, of which 26 came on a run on the last play of the first half that was essentially meaningless heading into halftime. However, Diante Jones ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and Loyalsock only outrushed Troy by 36 yards and only outgained the Trojans by 88 yards on the evening. Quarterback Kyle Datres led the way for Loyalsock as he ran for 153 yards on 15 carries while Robbie Klein added 102 and a pair of touchdowns.
“Troy is a triple-option team which is a real bear to try and stop,” said Loyalsock coach Justin Van Fleet. “So, I’m very proud of our defense for coming out and taking care of what they did. We had a lot of people watching him (Wright). He’s an exceptionally good athlete. He runs as good as any quarterback you’ll find and he’s just very elusive. We just tried to take the ball out of his hands. We didn’t want to get beat by him.”
“I expect everybody to (try to) bottle up our quarterback and we were moving the ball despite them bottling him up,” said Smith. “(But) we fumbled the ball a few times and they scored off the fumbles. We turned the ball over and you can’t do that.”
The turnovers were the major difference in the contest as Loyalsock scored 26 of its 40 points on the night directly off of Troy’s four turnovers as the Lancers capitalized on each one. The first one came on Troy’s first possession of the game after the Trojans had received the opening kickoff. After driving 30 yards and well into Loyalsock territory, there appeared to be a miscommunication on an option pitch and Jed Wright’s pitch went to the ground, where it was recovered by Robbie Newton near midfield. From there, Loyalsock went 47 yards in six plays, with Caleb Robbins finishing the drive with a five-yard run.
From that point, Troy scored on its next two possesions, sandwiched around a Loyalsock punt. The Trojans almost immediately answered Loyalsock’s first score as Diante Jones took an option pitch 56 yards down the right sideline to tie the score 7-7. Troy would then force a Lancer punt and then put together a nice nine-play drive that took 4:32 and was punctuated by Brandon Mattocks’ two-yard run to give the Trojans their only lead of the game at 14-7.
Loyalsock would then put together a lengthy drive of its own on its ensuing possession to knot the score again at 14-14. With the weather becoming a factor and the rain picking up, Loyalsock went 80 yards in 12 plays – all rushes – that took almost five minutes and quarterback Kyle Datres put the exclamation point on the drive with an eight-yard run.
“We want to be a running team,” said Van Fleet. “We searched for an identity for a little while earlier in the season and we just decided to run the ball a bit. We have a quarterback who can do some things on the extra and we still have receivers who are exceptionally good but when you’re able to run the ball you can control the clock and tempo and can sustain solid offense in tough situations.”
The Trojans then committed their second turnover of the game on its ensuing possession as Mattocks lost a fumble near midfield and Loyalsock then answered with a nine-play drive that took up most of the rest of the second quarter, finishing that drive with a Datres pass to Robbins for a touchdown and a 21-14 lead.
After the teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter, Loyalsock embarked on its next lengthy drive, this time going 75 yards with Robbie Klein finishing from 12 yards out to take a two-score lead.
Troy then held onto the ball for over seven minutes and drove from their own 20 all the way down to the Loyalsock 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter. On a drive that had been extended by a pass interference penalty on a fourth down play, Wright found Ryan Reeves in the left corner of the end zone on Troy’s 14th play of the drive – a third down – but the ball glanced off Reeves’ finger and was incomplete and then Wright’s next pass was intercepted and Loyalsock has thwarted Troy’s chance to cut the lead to just one score.
Following the interception, Troy still had the Lancers pinned deep on their own side of the field but Loyalsock methodically put together its own seven-plus minute drive and effectively put the game out of reach when Klein finished the 94-yard drive with a one-yard run to make it 34-14 with just 3:20 left
“That’s really where the whole thing changed,” said Smith. “We had a false start penalty that stalled us and forced us to throw otherwise we would have been fine. We had a kid with two hands on the ball in the end zone but didn’t make the catch.”
Further adding insult to injury, Wright was sacked and fumbled on the first play from scrimmage on Troy’s next drive and the ball was recovered and returned for a touchdown. Jones would then finish the scoring as he went in the end zone for his second long touchdown run of the game, this one from 49 yards.
“The real thing I was proud of in the second half was our defense,” said Van Fleet. “Our offense, we know we can score a lot of points and can score with anybody. But I was very proud of our defensive effort and that really was the exclamation point on what we were doing.
Loyalsock 40, Troy 21
Troy (4-2) 7 7 0 7 – 21
Loyalsock (4-2) 7 14 7 12 – 40
5:56 – (L) Caleb Robbins 5-yard run (Austin Champion kick), 6-47, 2:27
4:17 – (T) Diante Jones 56-yard run (Josh MacClaren kick), 3-60, 1:39
10:14 – (T) Brandon Mattocks 2-yard run (Josh MacClaren kick), 9-48, 4:32
5:27 – (L) Kyle Datres 8-yard run (Austin Champion kick), 12-80, 4:47
:49 – (L) Caleb Robbins 25-yard pass from Kyle Datres (Austin Champion kick), 9-54, 3:00
6:15 – (L) Robbie Klein 12-yard run (Austin Champion kick), 8-75, 2:12
3:20 – (L) Robbie Klein 1-yard run (kick blocked), 13-94, 7:24
3:12 – (L) Mickey Haller 9-yard fumble return (kick failed)
1:-7 – (T) Diante Jones 49-yard run (Josh MacClaren kick), 5-65, 2:05
First downs 15 21
Rushes-net yards 41-263 43-299
Passing yardage 28 80
Passing 1-6-0-1 6-13-1-0
Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-37 12-95
RUSHING — Troy: Brandon Mattocks (12-49-1), Diante Jones (10-143-2), Jed Wright (10-49), Nick Stephani (6-12), Josh MacClaren (2-4), Ben Sherman (1-6); Loyalsock: Robbie Klein (21-102-2), Kyle Datres (15-153-1), Robbie Newton (4-41), TEAM (2-(-2), Caleb Robbins (1-5-1)
PASSING — Troy: Jed Wright (1-5-28-0-1), Diante Jones (0-1-0-0-0); Loyalsock: Kyle Datres (6-13-80-1-0)
RECEIVING — Troy: Ben Havens (1-28); Loyalsock: Saabir Gibson (2-14), Caleb Robbins (1-25-1), Robbie Klein (1-16), Phil Krizan (1-11), Mickey Haller (1-14)
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