Troy Triad’s Roger Wolf caused all kinds of troubles for Mattoon on Friday night – scoring on a punt, catching a long pass to set up another touchdown and intercepting a pass in the final minutes to secure the 26-13 victory in both teams’ season opener.
But it was a controversial fumble call that likely deflated Mattoon’s chances down the stretch.
Mattoon had just completed a 24-yard pass to move the ball near midfield and the scored tied at 13 with about three minutes remaining. Jackson Spurgeon then went back to try another pass when he was hit as he released the ball, which subsequently hung high in the air. A Troy defender snagged the ball after it bounced and ran 35 yards for a touchdown that put Triad ahead, 20-13.
It appeared to be a forward pass, but officials ruled the play a fumble, allowing the score to stand.
Mattoon tried to rally, moving to its own 33-yard line before Wolf picked off a pass and ran 28 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run that made it 26-13 with under a minute left.
The Green Wave had scored 13 third-quarter points, taking a 13-6 lead before Triad rolled off 20 straight points in the final eight minutes.
Spurgeon connected for a 54-yard touchdown pass that put Mattoon ahead 13-6, culminating an 83-yard drive with about two minutes left in the third quarter.
Taeriek Grace ran in from 1 yard out with about six minutes left in the third quarter to put the Green Wave ahead, 7-6.
Troy’s Nic Funk threw 34 yards to Roger Wolf to set up a 9-yard run by the quarterback that tied the score at 13 with about nine minutes left in the game.
Triad’s Roger Wolf returned a punt 70 yards for the first score of the game with eight minutes left in the second quarter.
Mattoon plays host to Mt. Zion at EIU next Friday at 7 p.m.
|Rushing Yds Per Carry||1.38||3.83|
|3rd down att/conversions||2-10||2-8|