By: Rich Rogers | Towanda Daily Review | October 3, 2015 | Photo courtesy Rich Rogers
TROY - In the ultimate battle of power versus speed, power won as the Troy Trojans defeated the Binghamton Patriots 48-45 in a non-league contest at Alparon Park last night.
The Trojan defense was no match for the Patriot team speed, surrendering seven touchdowns while only playing 28 defensive snaps for the entire game. However, the Patriot defense was no match for the Trojans’ running game, as Troy pounded out 500 yards on the ground while playing keep away the entire night, running 87 plays from scrimmage.
Troy started the scoring, taking the opening kickoff and traveling 56 yards in six plays, five of them on the legs of senior fullback Ben Sherman. His 5-yard scoring run followed by Collin Binford's extra point made it 7-0 with 9:41 left in the first.
The Patriots answered quickly, scoring on a 58-yard strike from quarterback John Petrucci to speedy wideout Davin Young. The two-point try was no good, and Troy led 7-6 with 7:47 left.
The Trojans went back to the ground and pound approach, marching 65 yards in 14 plays, finished by Sherman's second straight touchdown run, this time from a yard out.
Binford's extra point made it 14-6 with :37 left in the first.
Binghamton would need only six plays to cover 80 yards, with running back Matt Collins-Pringle taking it up the middle from nine yards out. Once again the two-point conversion failed, and Troy led 14-12 with 10:59 left till the half.
The only non-scoring drive in the entire game followed, as the Trojans moved 34 yards in 10 plays, but failed on a 4th-and-10 play from the Binghamton 43.
From there the Patriots would take their first lead, completing a 57-yard bomb on first down to the Trojan 1-yard line, where Collins-Pringle ran in untouched for the score. This time the conversion run was successful, and Binghamton led 20-14 with 6:25 left.
Troy would answer with a nine-play, 62- yard drive, highlighted by two big option keep runs by sophomore quarterback Clark Jackson. Sherman would finish the drive with his third straight scoring run, this time from four yards out, and Binford's extra point put the Trojans back up by a point, 21-20, with 2:20 left.
This would prove to be more than enough time for the quick strike Patriot offense, as they traveled 54 yards in six plays culminated by a 3-yard keeper by Petrucci. The extra point was no good, and Binghamton retook the lead 26-21.
The Trojan response was to run their own two-minute offense, which looked exactly like their regular offense, Ben Sherman between the tackles. It worked, as Sherman rumbled for 43 yards on first down. But the half expired as Collin Binford's 35-yard field goal attempt fell short.
Binghamton took the second half kickoff and ran the first of what would be only nine offensive plays for the rest of the game. Collins-Pringle took the hand off and outraced the entire Trojan defense for a 62-yard score to put them up 32-21 with 11:46 left in the third.
But the Trojans remained patient, relentlessly pounding out yards between the tackles as they marched 30 yards on seven carries to midfield. From there, Sherman broke free over center and rambled 50 yards for his 4th score on the night. Jackson would add the two-point conversion and cut the lead to 32-28 on a play that included four separate penalties and allowed the Trojans to kick off from Binghamton's 30-yard line. Coach Smith wisely decided to attempt an onside kick which the Trojans recovered at the Patriot 20. Seven plays later Sherman had his fifth and final score of the night, pounding in from a yard out and allowing Troy to retake the lead 35-32.
Binghamton's lightning speed struck again, as on the first play from scrimmage Collins-Pringle raced 53 yards through the middle of the Trojan defense untouched to make it 39-35 with 4:22 left.
The Trojans would shock everyone with quick strike ability of their own, as on their next possession Jackson hit Nathan Swain with a 38-yard pass over the middle to retake the lead 41-39.
Coach Jim Smith determined the best way to keep Binghamton from scoring was to keep the ball out of their hands, and again called for an onside kick attempt. The Trojans were again successful, and proceeded to march 51 yards in 10 plays, with Curtis Roupp taking it in from 14 yards out to put Troy up 48-39 with 8:40 left.
The Patriots would add one final strike, as Petrucci connected with Rasheen Pettiford on a 46-yard pass to close the scoring at 48-45.
Ben Sherman led Troy with 293 yards on 43 carries and five scores.
Next week the Trojans host Wellsboro for homecoming.