Fast start lifts Troy past Coastal Carolina in Sun Belt title game, 45-26

Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 7:02 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2022 at 11:50 PM EST
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TROY, Ala. (WMBF) - Despite the return of quarterback Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina’s bid for a second Sun Belt Conference title in three years came up short on Saturday. The Chanticleers fell at Troy, 45-26.

Recently named the conference player of the year for the third straight time, McCall returned under center for the first time since Nov. 3. He finished the day with just under 320 yards passing and four total touchdowns, including Coastal’s first points on an 8-yard run before halftime.

Sam Pinckney, Jared Brown and Tyson Mobley caught each of the scoring throws from McCall, with the former leading all Coastal wideouts with eight catches. Mobley led the Chants in receiving yards with 98 as he caught his touchdown deep into the fourth quarter.

Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson led the way for the Trojans, tossing a pair of touchdowns to Deshon Stoudemire and another to RaJae’ Johnson. Both wideouts combined for over 230 receiving yards while Watson ended the day with nearly 320 yards through the air.

Running back DK Billingsley also scored three times on eight touches.

EARLY ONSLAUGHT

Troy got out to a 17-0 lead in the opening quarter that proved the difference. The early rally included a 65-yard connection from Watson to Stoudemire and a four-play, 62-yard drive capped off with the shorter scoring run by Billingsley.

The Trojans went on to score two more touchdowns before halftime, taking a 31-7 lead into the break.

TURNING POINT

McCall led a 75-yard scoring drive to start the third quarter with the Chants down 31-7, hooking up with Brown to cut the lead to 18. Troy responded quickly with a 36-yard connection from Watson to Johnson to put the lead back out to 25.

On the first play of Coastal’s next possession, McCall had the ball knocked out of his hands for a fumble with Troy recovering inside the Chanticleer 10-yard line. The Trojans lined up to settle for a field goal, but a penalty against the Chants gave Troy new life.

That led to Billingsley punching in another touchdown to put the Trojans’ lead out of reach late in the third quarter.

RARE ERROR

McCall threw just his second interception of the season late in the fourth quarter as Coastal attempted to eat further into a 45-26 deficit.

GAME-TIME DECISION

McCall was officially named the starter nearly a half-hour before kickoff. He missed the final two games of the regular season with a foot injury.

UP NEXT

Coastal and Troy will both await their bowl selections Sunday.