Bowl hopes dashed in loss to Trojans

Jonah Bostick

The Warhawks (4-7; 3-4) had been flying
high after two straight memorable wins
to keep their bowl hopes alive. After 60
minutes with the best team in the West
Division, ULM was brought back down to
earth, and its postseason dreams ended
with a 34-16 loss.
The Trojans (9-2; 6-1) also entered the
game with a winning streak. Troy hasn’t
lost a game since Sept. 17 where it lost on
a heartbreaking last-second touchdown
versus Application State.
The Trojans also looked to redeem last
year’s loss in Malone Stadium in a game
where they were a 23.5-point favorite.
“Troy is a great football team,” ULM coach
Terry Bowden said. “They’re the best team
in the conference.”
The game started with the home team in
possession. Troy drove down to the ULM
30-yard line, but a 12-yard sack by Lucius
Tillery ended any chance of a score. Troy
came back the next drive and nailed a
35-yard field goal to go up 3-0. Both teams
were held scoreless for the rest of the
The second quarter was highlighted
by costly mistakes by ULM. Troy kicked
another field goal to increase its lead to
six in a drive where an interception by the
Warhawks was called back after an unnecessary roughness penalty. On the ensuing
drive, ULM failed to convert a fourth-and-5
after driving to the Troy 37-yard line and
turned the ball over on downs.
Troy capitalized by scoring a touchdown
in a drive that featured only running plays.
ULM once again shot itself in the foot when
quarterback Chandler Rogers fumbled the
ball after a sack and the Trojans picked it
up for a scoop-and-score touchdown. The
Warhawks drove down the field to the Troy
10-yard line but had to settle for a Calum
Sutherland 27-yard field goal to break the
shutout on the last play of the half.
“That was the difference with their offense,” Bowden said. “They just pounded
us up front. The defense just ran out of gas.
They were on the field the entire time in the
first half, and they just wore us down.”
The third quarter started with a threeand-out by the Warhawks followed by a
28-yard punt return by the Trojans. Troy
took advantage of the good field position
and scored in just two plays to go up 27-3.
ULM finally answered with a touchdown
of its own after Rogers took it himself for a
12-yard score.
The Trojans attempted to answer, but an
incomplete pass on fourth down gave ULM
new life to end the quarter.
That life was ripped away when the Warhawks turned it over on downs the following drive in Trojan territory. Troy once
again took the opportunity and increased
its already daunting lead to 34-10.
The Warhawks scored on a 1-yard rushing
touchdown by Rogers to make the final
score more respectable, but the game was
already decided.
With its seventh loss, ULM’s dreams of
its first bowl game since 2013 ended. The
Warhawks will also have their fourth losing
season in a row since going 6-6 in 2018.
Rogers threw for 145 yards passing and
rushed for 44 yards with two touchdowns.
Tyrone Howell recorded one reception for
34 yards.
ULM will close out its season with senior
night versus Southern Mississippi in
Malone Stadium.