BELTON — The Salado Eagles fell to the Troy Trojans, 28-14, in Friday’s football game played here in Crusader Stadium at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Wasting no time, Troy scored their first touchdown during the first play of the game. The team followed the lead up with another touchdown in the first quarter.
It seemed that Salado would respond when junior Reid Vincent ran 75 yards on a kick return for a touchdown, only for it to be called back on a penalty.
With Troy leading 13-0, Salado needed to get up on the board. The Eagles’ junior Wrook Brown ran 36 yards for Salado’s first touchdown of the game in the second quarter. When the teams went to the locker room at half-time, the score was 13-7, Troy.
Salado came out strong in the beginning of the second half, with senior Hunter Turk scoring their second touchdown of the game, followed by a good field goal kick by Brown. Salado had a slim lead of 14-13.
“You got to come out and play.You got to keep executing these early games. You just keep doing what you’re doing and I was proud of our kids for doing that,” Salado head coach Alan Haire said.
Their momentum seemed to not stop there. Junior Lucas Morvant intercepted a pass and ran it 23 yards for the Eagles. However, not long after the interception, the Trojans gained possession of the ball when Turk fumbled the ball.
Using the change of possession to their advantage on the next play, Troy’s Zach Hrbacek ran the ball in for a 75 yard touchdown for the Trojans.
After a successful two-point conversion by Troy senior Ben Presley, hitting senior Tyler Jarolik in the end zone, the Trojans took back the lead 21-14, with almost nine minutes left in the game.
Salado had the opportunity to tie up the score, and almost did, with 47 seconds left in the game. However, Brown had the ball snatched from his hands at the five yard line by Troy’s Sam Jones, who returned it for a 95 yard touchdown.
“That’s a poor break – that’s called ball security,” Haire said. “None of us are perfect – we’ve got to grow from it. Those types of games will make you better for down the stretch and those things happen in the course of the game.”
Though the game was back and forth, Troy head coach Ronnie Porter was happy with the outcome.
“Trying to put my head around everything that actually happened during the process of that game. I felt like we had good control of it for about 80 percent of the first half,” Porter said. “We just struggled to score and they did a good job of clock management.”
Though the game didn’t end how he would have liked it, Haire is taking it in stride. He was proud his team fought hard and is always grateful to have an opportunity to learn and become better.
“Our kids are going to show up and compete – they work hard. I couldn’t ask to coach a better group,” Haire said. “We’re going to get after it. That doesn’t mean there’s going to be any more wins, but we’re going to get after this journey and see what we can learn along the way.”
Salado will play at their home field on Friday as they take on Little Rice Academy. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.