Trojans fall to Elmira.

By: Rich Rogers | Towanda Daily Review | October 1, 2011


TROY - The Troy Trojans lost a close game by a final score of 22-14 to the visiting Elmira Express last night at Alparon Park.

The Trojans had built a 14-8 halftime lead behind the hard running of Jed Wright, Tanner Bulkley, and two TD passes from Quarterback Lucas Havens. It wasn't enough as the Express defense clamped down, shutting the Trojans out in the second half and scoring two touchdowns of their own to take the win.

Troy drew first blood on their first offensive possession. Starting at their 44 following an Express punt, Havens went over the right side for 19 yards, followed by a 17-yard completion to Jed Wright. A fumbled pitch backed Troy up to the 32, before Wright took a short screen pass from Havens and raced down the left sideline 32 yards for the score. Josh McClaren added the extra point and Troy led 7-0 with 5:13 left in the first.

The Express got their double-wing offense clicking, gaining chunks of yards on inside traps and sweeps, moving to the Troy 11 on an eight-play drive. A holding penalty, one of several on the night, moved Elmira back to the 28, where Quarterback Nick Geotz hit Jalen Mouzon with a short pass in the left flat that he took all the way down the sideline for the score. DeBray Williams took it in for the two point try, and at 1:09 the Express led 8-7.

Troy answered right back on their next drive, covering 62 yards in 8 plays. Bulkley had runs of 10 and 4 yards, Wright added an 8 yard pick up, and Havens kept on an option over the left side for 15. Facing 2nd and 15 from the Elmira 25, Havens found Zach Root open down the middle of the field with a perfect spiral for his second TD toss of the half. McClaren's PAT was true, and Troy regained the lead 14-8 with 9:59 left in the second.

The Express would threaten once more just before intermission, driving from their own 19 to a first and goal at the Trojan four. But the defense rose to the occasion, pushing Elmira back to the eight where a fourth down pass attempt fell incomplete.

Halftime adjustments worked for both teams, as the defenses ruled the third quarter. Both teams traded punts before Elmira found themselves with a first and 20 from their 30 yard line. Running the same inside trap play, DeBray Williams finally found some daylight and was able to bounce outside and outrun the Trojan defense for a 70-yard score. The two-point try was stopped short, and the game was tied at 14 with 8:03 left.

With the momentum shifted, The Express defensive linemen sacked Havens twice on the next series, forcing a Root punt on fourth and 23 from his own 37. Elmira would need only six plays to take the lead, as Williams tore off chunks of yardage over the right side of 14, 5, 13, 3, and 11 yards, setting up first and goal from the eight. Once again, Williams got the call, and went over the right side for the final eight yards and the score. Following a five yard penalty, the Express were still able to convert the two point try, as Eric Williams ran off the left side for eight yards, giving his team a 22-14 lead with 4:38 left.

The Trojans did not give up, and with first down on their 42, Tanner Bulkley went 30 yards up the middle. With barely a breather, Bulkley took the very next play 21 yards off the left side to the Elmira seven and Troy looked ready to send the game into overtime with first and goal and just over two minutes left. But the Express defense rose to the occasion, tackling Bulkley for a five-yard loss, stuffing Havens for no gain, then sacking Havens for a five-yard loss on third down. A fourth down desperation heave from the 17 was intercepted at the goal line.

Troy had one last chance, forcing a three-and-out and using all three of their timeouts to stop the clock. But on a fourth and twelve punt from the 19, the Trojans were called for roughing the punter, giving Elmira an automatic first down and allowing them to run out the clock.

Bulkley led the Trojans with 69 yards on nine carries, while Havens was 7-12 for 89 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

Both teams enter next week's contests with 2-3 records.