Salado Eagles struggled with penalties and ball control in their 24-9 season-opening loss to the Troy Trojans at University of Mary Hardin Baylor Crusader Stadium in Belton tonight.
The Eagles defense also struggled with the run-heavy Trojan offense, although Troy scored its first touchdown on an 18 year pass from Elijah Saldana to Anthony Avila on a fourth down and goal on their first possession of the game.
The Trojans quickly added two more points when the snap from the Salado center flew over the punter’s head and into the endzone where it resulted in a safety and 9-0 lead for Troy with 6:53 left in the first period.
Both teams struggled for consistent plays in the second quarter and Troy took a 9-0 lead into the locks.
The Trojans scored 15 points in the third on a ground game that ate up time and artificial turf.
Garret Qualey got the lion’s share of the work with 153 yards on 33 carries, his longest a 21 yard run. He also lost a fumble in the game. The Trojans had 200 yards on the ground and another 118 in the air.
The Eagles had a miserable time on the ground with just 74 yards on 22 attempt.
Troy led by as much as 24-0 with just five seconds left in the third quarter when a substitute center for the Trojans snapped the ball over the punters head and 30 yards into the end zone for a safety.
Trey Sheppard added a touchdown on a 41 yard run with 10:02 left in the game.