Troy looks to extend win streak

Young Trojans still trying to find identity


Troy quarterback Chance Mosley was constantly harassed by the Tigers last season, here by Jr. Harris, who logged 13 tackles. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Troy quarterback Chance Mosley was constantly harassed by the Tigers last season, here by Jr. Harris, who logged 13 tackles. Reporter/Cliff Dungan To understand how inexperienced the Troy Trojans are, consider this—their top rusher is a freshman. Next up, a sophomore.

Troy features only eight seniors on the roster and starts several freshmen and sophomores.

Rockdale is catching Troy on a high note, coming off a 60-0 destruction of lowly Jarrell after building up a 43-0 halftime bulge.

The Trojans—picked fourth in district—had been thumped by Franklin 41-10 in the league opener and were mired in a threegame losing streak in which they were outscored 131-41.

The 2-4 Trojans have passed for just 285 yards in six games and in turn are the top ground gainers in the district, averaging 213 yards per outing.

The aforementioned frosh faced runner, Zach Hrbacek, was not even on the pre-season roster.

Hrbacek turned in a breakout performance against 0-5 Jarrell, punch- ing out 163 yards on just six tries, including an 80-yard mark off.

Zach Rodriguez–a grizzled sophomore—complemented Hrbacek with 127 yards and three touchdowns on a workman-like 20 totes.

Just to keep district teams on their toes, quarterback Chance Mosley tossed three touchdowns, all in the first half. It was his first scoring passes of the season.

“We found out who we are,” said Troy Coach Ronnie Porter. “We’ve been through the gauntlet over these last few weeks and played some tough teams. We played to our potential tonight and proved we’re able to compete.”

While the Trojans are the top rushing team in the league, they also possess the most porous defense.

Troy is allowing 354 yards and 30 points a game.

“Obviously, they are going to try and beat you by running,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “They’re dangerous because they do it from so many formations. They try to bully you around, try to keep you guessing.

“They’re young and they get better every week.”

Miller warns that his team can’t use this game as a tuneup for the Battle for the Bell next week in Cameron.

Rockdale has never lost to Troy in five games including a 49-35 victory in 2016.

It was a hard-fought win for the Tigers on the road, who trailed 28-21 to open the second half, but posted four scores and limited Troy to one end zone trip in the second half.

Jaqualyn Crawford and Davion Ford combined for six touchdowns and almost 300 yards rushing.

TIGER TRACKS

• The Tigers get back the services of starting defensive back Josh Springer who sat out against Academy with a hand injury.

•Jaqualyn Crawford’s 94 yard touchdown run was the fifth longest in school history. Davion Ford went 99 yards for a score against Smithville in 2015.

• Crawford’s two touchdowns vaults him into second place on the career scoring list with 37 behind Ford’s 57.

• Crawford’s six catches also moves him into second place on the career receptions list with 111 behind Pearce Loth’s 160 from 2012 to 2014.

• Former Rockdale offensive coordinator Hunter Hamrick recorded his first win as head coach of Ingleside with a 35-0 pounding of Robstown.

• Rockdale started its third running back in three games with Alvin Mitchell in the lineup, who received his first carries of the season and responded with 62 yards on 10 carries.

• After mis-firing on three straight extra points, Miller sent out Ross Loth and he converted his first extra point attempt. In the fourth quarter, Loth nailed a 32-yard field goal.

• Cameron dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-2 after its last-second loss to Franklin at home Friday. It was the Yoemen’s fifth straight setback. The last time the Yoe were 1-5 was in 2003 when they began the season 1-7 after losing seven straight and finished 1-9. Cameron travels to Jarrell Friday.

• Senior linebacker Dylan David continues to lead the Tigers in tackles with 54, followed by defensive back Will Story with 37.

• Lehmkuhl’s breakout game against Academy is what Miller is looking for from the senior. “That is part of what makes him a dangerous tight end. The 99-yard touchdown was a fun play. He regained his balance and outran everybody. It was a huge night. He is doing a good job of getting open. That’s why we moved him to tight end. He’s having a great year.”

• Despite missing the first two games of the season, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lehmkuhl leads the Tigers with 15 receptions for 257 yards. His 17.1 yards per catch leads District 10-3A.

• The Tigers continue to be stingy when it comes to turnovers with just four in five games.

• With a minimum of five games remaining, Torry Locklin is on pace to become the first Tiger quarterback to gain 1,000 yards. With 786 yards passing, he would also be the first Rockdale quarterback to pass and run for 1,000 yards. Locklin is averaging 272 yards of total offense per game in 2017 and is the top rusher in District 10-3A.

• If he does cross the 1,000-yard barrier, Locklin would become the third family member to do so. Father Kerry picked up 1,203 yards in 1978 and uncle Kim had 1,094 in 1980.

• Patrick Dean leads District 10-3A in punting with a 37.5 average with a long of 54.

TROY AT ROCKDALE

What: Rockdale Tigers (3-2, 1-0) vs. Troy Trojans (2-4, 1-1).

Homecoming.

Where: Tigerland Stadium (capacity 2,850), grass.

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Favorite: Tigers by 22.

Last week: Rockdale 49, Academy 14; Troy 60, Jarrell 0. Series record: Rockdale leads 5-0.

Last year: Rockdale 49-35.

District outlook: Troy is picked fourth in District 10-3A.

Trojan to watch: No. 21, Fr. RB Zach Hrbacek.


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