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Trojans trounce Plains, 63-16

by Phil Johnson
| September 29, 2013 2:15 PM

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<p>Troy homecoming Queen Andrea Mack and King Levi Lawson.</p>

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King Levi

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<p>Troy's homecoming King and Queen Levi Lawson, left, and Andrea Mack.</p>

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<p>King and Queen nominees Gabe Hickman and Kellie Lundin.</p>

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<p>Kyla Grose, left, and Trinette Todd cheer on the Trojans Friday evening during homecoming.</p>

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<p>Ryan Huffman tackling James Rulison in 4th quarter action vs. Plains.</p>

Homecoming proved sweet for the Trojan (2-2) football team.

In a move that foreshadowed the game’s desperation, Plains opened with an  onside kick. Trojan freshman Tucker Winn recovered and, 31 seconds later, senior running back Luke Haggerty ran 17 yards to put Troy up 6-0.

The Horsemen fumbled the snap on their first play from scrimmage and Troy recovered. Sophomore Sean Opland, wearing number 44 in place of his normal number 22 jersey that was torn last week, scored on a 12-yard option pitch left the next play. Senior lineman Bruce Metz kicked the extra point and in just 50 seconds it was 13-0, Trojans.

Minutes later, Plains elected to go for a fourth-and-three at midfield. Opland, brooding at his middle linebacker position, stuffed a run up the gut for a turnover on downs.

Troy would score again after an eight-play drive highlighted by junior Gage Tallmadge’s balletic sideline catch on a first-and-long following a holding penalty. It was Opland again who scored, this time on a 19-yard gallop down the right sideline.

At the end of the first quarter it was 20-0.

Three plays into the second quarter, on third-and-three at the Horsemen 13-yard line, Troy quarterback Gabe Hickman passed into the back left corner of the end zone. Tallmadge, who along with Metz served as a team manager last year, again displayed his jumping ability as he soared for the touchdown.

The Horsemen looked every bit like a team with only five seniors and six players weighing more than 180 pounds. Down 26-0, Plains sent Ben Gorham, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman, back to return the kickoff. Steamrolling down the left sideline, Gorham rambled his way to the Horsemen 30.

Plains enjoyed their first-half highlight the following play when Trent Brouillette caught a 25-yard pass. Three plays later, on fourth-and-three, Opland recorded another drive-ending tackle.

Things continued to go the Trojan way. The omnipresent Opland recovered two fumbles and dominated both sides of the ball as the score ran to 45-0 at half.

Luckily, halftime proved more suspenseful than the game, when homecoming royalty was announced. Introduced in the flat beds of the classic trucks provided by Bob Welch’s Troy Cruiser Club, the nominees included Hickman, Haggerty, Metz and fellow football player Ty Hight.

Levi Lawson was announced homecoming king and Andrea Mack won queen. Hight won prince and Allie Brown won princess.

The second half was played under a running clock. The score ballooned to 51-0 before Plains scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Trojans’ second-team defense.

Freshman Trojan running back Mason Chapel scored his first varsity touchdown to bring the score to 63-16.

“This was a rare game where we were favored,” Coach Jim Dasios said. “I respect Plains a lot because we have been where they are now. But we did what we expected to do tonight. I’m thankful Tallmadge and Metz decided to put their physical abilities on display this year. They were the most athletic managers in conference last season.”

Celebrating to the sounds of Kanye West in their lofted locker room after the game, Hickman and Metz were even-keel.

“We just have to keep it going,” Hickman said. “Next week we have to be even more focused,” Metz added.