The tough first year under new Troy Trojans (3-5, 1-3) head coach Chip Lindsey continued Saturday, Nov. 2, with a 36-35 loss to the Coastal Carolina Roadrunners (4-4, 1-3) on the road.
The loss was Troy’s first loss to Coastal Carolina ever and continued the defensive struggles for the Trojans as a usually anemic Coastal Carolina offense rolled up 476 yards of offense on the Troy defense.
“I love this team,” Lindsey said following the loss. “We have a team of great kids and we keep fighting our tails off.
“There has never been the effort problem. They continue to fight like all Troy teams have and they really represent our program from that standpoint. We just have to play better. We have to make sure that we are making enough plays when it’s time and when we get opportunities we have to take advantage of it.”
Despite their struggles, the Trojans still led 35-28 with 2:15 remaining, but the Roadrunners proceeded to march on an 11-play, 71-yard scoring drive that was capped off by running back CJ Marable’s 3-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds remaining to cut the Troy lead to 35-34.
Coastal Carolina went for two-points but the Roadrunner pass attempt fell incomplete only for a very controversial pass interference penalty to give them another chance. Marable then bulled his way into the end zone to give Coastal Carolina a 36-35 lead.
Troy tried one last desperation attempt to reach the end zone but the Roadrunner defense held and handed Troy its second consecutive loss.
Troy got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Kaleb Barker scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 11:23 remaining in the first quarter to give the Trojans an early 7-0 lead.
Coastal Carolina answered, however, as quarterback Bryce Carpenter threw a 16-yard dart to tight end Isaiah Likely to tie the game up 7-7 with 8:03 left in the first quarter.
Troy retook the lead 14-7 with 7:04 left in the opening period after running back Jabir Daughtry-Frye scored his first touchdown of the season. That score was set up by a pair of 30-yard passes from Barker to Sam Letton and Luke Whittemore.
The Roadrunners again tied things up 14-14 when running back Jacquez Hairston exploded for a 55-yard touchdown run with 5:24 left in the first quarter.
The scoring barrage continued as Barker found receiver Reggie Todd for a 47-yard touchdown pass with 3:46 left in the opening period to take back the lead 21-14 for the Trojans.
The Troy defense then finally settled down and forced the first punt of the game on Coastal Carolina’s next possession.
Troy drove back into Coastal Carolina territory before sacks and penalties forced Troy’s first punt of the game to open up the second quarter.
Troy and Coastal Carolina traded punts again on the next two possessions, but the Roadrunners were finally able to get back on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in the half to cut Troy’s lead to 21-17 at halftime.
Coastal Carolina started off the second half with another field goal – this time from 36 yards out – to further cut Troy’s lead to 21-20 with 7:41 left in the third quarter.
Troy’s offense continued to struggle and was forced to punt again. Coastal Carolina drove back into Trojan territory after Carpenter ran down to the Troy 3-yard line on a 40-yard scramble.
Hairston then cashed in a 3-yard touchdown run followed by Carpenter finding Likely for a two-point conversion to give Coastal Carolina its first lead of the game 28-21 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
Troy closed out the period with Barker finding Todd for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left to tie the game up 28-28.
As the fourth quarter began, Coastal Carolina and Troy exchanged punts. After Coastal Carolina’s second consecutive punt, Troy retook the lead when Barker found Kaylon Geiger for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 8:34 left to put Troy ahead 35-28 leading up to the dramatic finish.
Barker finished the game with 385 yards and three touchdowns on 26-of-35 passing. Geiger caught a career-high 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, while Todd added four catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back DK Billingsley rushed for 83 yards on 14 attempts.
Sophomore Carlton Martial led the Troy defense once again with 12 total tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. Will Choloh added 10 total tackles.
Former New Brockton star Dalton Adkison registered one tackle on special teams, as well.
Troy returns home this Saturday, Nov. 9, for homecoming against Sun Belt foe Georgia Southern at 2:30 p.m. The game will stream live on the ESPN+ app.