Salado cannot overcome power running by Trojans
by Mason Simmons
It was a battle of wills between Salado’s air-it-out style of offense and Troy’s pounding run game, as the Eagles hosted the Trojans Oct. 18. Troy ultimately won the battle 42-32.
Defensively, the Eagles had a hard time slowing down the Trojans on the ground, as Troy racked up 383 yards on the ground. The Trojan offense was led by junior running back Coby Herring and senior quarterback Kyle Whitley, as they produced 174 and 152 rushing yards, respectively.
“They were physically prepared to win the battle in the trenches. They were stronger than us tonight. They ran through our tackles and did a tremendous job on the ground,” Salado head coach Brent Graham said.
Collectively, the Eagles struggled on defense, but significant performances were produced by senior James Collins and junior Jace Habiger. For the night, these two defenders accounted for 16 tackles, which was notable, considering that both defenders were playing new positions. “We switched Habiger to linebacker two weeks ago. Basically, he has had six practices at that position and he has evolved tremendously,” Graham said. “The same goes for James Collins. This is his first game at defensive end and he did some incredible things.”
Offensively, the Eagles were able to spread the Trojan defense with the passing game, and left the Trojans vulnerable on the ground. McLane Carter had 20 completions for 215 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Carter linked up with his favorite target, senior receiver Kase Spears, for 10 receptions and 105 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Ryan Simmons had his second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing: 123 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
Chase Crenwelge had a productive night with six receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.
The Trojans drew first blood as Whitley powered into the end zone from the Salado 15 yard line and then again on a 23 yard run from junior Coby Herring.
Jack Riley sparked Salado with a 65-yard kick off return. Simmons would convert the return into points on a 4 yard touchdown run with 5 minutes left in the first.
On the ensuing drive, Troy brought the first quarter score to 21-7 with a 3 yard touchdown run by Colton Mayo.
Salado answered on the next drive, beginning the second quarter with two completions by Carter to Spear. A 13 yard run by Simmons set up a 5 yard shovel pass from Carter to Crenwelge for the touchdown. With 10 minutes left in the first half, Salado found themselves down by a touchdown, 21-14.
Troy quarterback Whitley attempted the Trojans’ first pass of the game with just four minutes left in the first half, At the four minute mark, Whitley attempted Troy’s first pass of the game. Under pressure by Simmons, Whitley hit Herring for 14 yards to keep the drive alive. After a few more rushes, the Trojans found themselves on the Salado 2 yard line.
Then, the Salado defense looked as though they would have a momentum-changing goal line stand, allowing only one yard in the first three downs. After a Troy time out, it was fourth-and-goal with only a minute and a half left in the second quarter. At the quietest moment of the game, Whitley was able to leap over the line into the end-zone. The Salado defense was able to block the PAT, leading to a 27-14 Troy lead.
The Eagles closed the gap before the end of the half, driving from their own 25 yard line before settingling for a 30 yard field goal, leading to a 27-17 Trojan lead going into halftime.
In the second half, Troy doubled Salado’s time-of-possession. Whitley and the Trojan offense were able to keep the ball in-bounds consistently and were able to drain as much of the clock as possible. This caused a sense of urgency by the Eagles’ offense whenever it got on the field.
In the third quarter, Troy took advantage of an interception by Whitley, who converted his pick into points by capping the drive with a 4 yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion gave Troy a 35-17 lead with seven minutes left in the third for a 35-17 lead.
The Trojans turned another turnover into points, after Carter fumbled as he was taken down in the backfield. The Trojans scored two minutes later on a 4 yard run by Seth Solis, increasing their lead to 42-17.
Troy looked as if it would run away with the game, but on Salado’s next drive, Carter again had nearly 40 yards of passing while consistently connecting with Crenwelge and Spears, setting up a 2 yard touchdown run by Simmons with just over seven minutes left to play.
After an unsuccessfull onside kick, the Eagles forced the Trojans to turn the ball over on downs, when James Robison stopped Mayo short of the first-down marker.
With less than five minutes left in the game, Salado moved the ball down the field with an 18 yard run from Simmons, scoring on a 9 yard pass to Spears.
As the Eagles were down 42-32, Salado tried for one more onside kick. The kick was far enough, and Salado was able to cause a fumble; but, Troy retained possession of the ball, running out the clock.
The Eagles look forward to next week as they face the Bumblebees in Academy Oct. 26.
Salado JV 0
Troy JV 36
Salado JV Eagles struggled offensively with successful plays followed by mishaps like interceptions, fumbles and bad snaps as they lost to the Troy JV Trojans on the road 36-0 on Oct. 17.
“We played well defensively,” Coach Dustin Reed said, adding “they had most of their scores on trick plays or misdirection, with three coming on fourth down.”
“Defensively we have to tackle better and understand situations,” he added. “They had to convert on fourth down many times and we couldn’t find a way to stop them. We had chances on both sides of the ball that we will have to start capitalizing on.”
Linemen Nic Lowrance and Jason Flynn led the defense while quarterback Justin Waites and wide receiver Tyler Stairs led the offense.
Salado 9th 32
Troy 9th 36
Salado JV Boys fell short in a loss to Troy Oct. 17
Running backs Jake Elliot and Ryan Cook were recognized by the coaches for their offensive play in the game. Defensive ends DJ Fischer and Noah Barker were also noted for their defensive play.
Jake Elliot ran in touchdowns of 65 yards and 60 yards in the second quarter.
Elliot ran in a 40 yard touchdown in the third.
Trevor Stump scored off a 35 yard pass from Pierce Drake in the fourth.
Elliot scored on a 47 yard touchdown run in the fourth.
“This team is improving every week.” Coach David Simmons said.
Salado 7-8th B 6
Troy 7-8th B 0
Salado 7th B & 8th B combined team beat Troy 6-0 Oct. 17. Wyatt Bagley scored on a quarterback sweep.
Wyatt Bagley, Garret Knish, and Zavic were named as the outstanding offensive players.
Salado’s defense held Troy to one first down in the win.
Salado 7th A 6
Salado 7th A were beaten by Troy Oct. 17. Ashton Sniggs scored Salado’s touchdown on a short run in the second quarter.
Tate Harvey, Wesley Quinn and Jeremy Jarvis were named as the outstanding offensive players.
Jeffrey Caroll, Jeremy Jarvis, Ashten Sniggs and Tate Harvey were named outstanding defensive players.
Salado 8th A 20
Salado 8th A team defeated Troy Oct. 17.
Jacob Wilk scored Salado’s first touchdown in the first quarter on a quarterback sweep. Kaden Smia scored on a fullback dive in the third quarter. Armando Castillo scored on a 69 yard run in the third quarter. Aaron Torczyncski followed up Castillo’s touchdown with a two point conversion. Drew Dobbins had a key interception in the game.
Armando Castillo, Kaden Smia and Drew Dobbins were named outstanding offensive players.
Drew Dobbins, Zack Adams and Brandon Rodriguez were named outstanding defensive players.