LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY — Troy senior Beau Workman said every week he and sophomore brother Kadin compare each other’s statistics. All in good fun, of course.
Well, they have plenty to discuss following Friday night’s fireworks.
Kadin Workman broke a 14-all tie by returning the second-half kickoff 67 yards for a touchdown, and Beau Workman’s 15-yard interception return for a score was part of a 21-point fourth quarter, when the Trojans separated themselves from Academy after the Bees’ stout first half for a 42-14 victory at John Glover Stadium.
“That’s definitely cool,” Beau Workman said of scoring a TD in the same game as his little brother for the first time.
What’s cool, too, for Troy (6-1, 3-0 District 10-3A-I) is that it’ll take an undefeated league mark into next week’s showdown with co-leader Rockdale. It took some work to make sure of that, though.
Academy (2-5, 1-2), down to third-string quarterback Rian White after injuries last week to starter Jerry Cephus and backup Kollin Mraz, had spent the first half of the season throwing more than running. With White in, the Bees gave the Trojans a look they were not expecting.
White and Academy posted 146 yards (98 rushing) and 14 points in the first half, incorporating some trickery along the way, to set themselves up for a shot at handing Troy its first league defeat.
However, the room for White — who finished with 61 yards on 21 carries — and the rest to roam was less available during the third and fourth quarters, when Academy was held scoreless and to 78 total yards.
“The whole week we practiced pass, pass, pass, and it didn’t help that they had their third-string quarterback, so you don’t know what they’re going to come out with,” Beau Workman said. “Good job by the coaching staff to fix it at halftime.”
Academy went ahead early in style when running back Darion Franklin handled White’s toss, rolled right and threw to wide-open Jaylin McWilliams for a 31-yard touchdown at 8:13 of the first.
It stayed 7-0 until Troy running back Zach Hrbacek rumbled 28 yards for a TD on the initial snap of the second quarter to get Troy on the board.
White’s 7-yard scoring run pushed Academy ahead 14-7 with 4:57 before the break before Hrbacek, who finished with 178 yards on 28 carries, evened matters once again with a 2-yard TD.
“I’m not going to make any excuses. I thought our kids really stepped up and played and did a lot of things that we talked about that we needed to do in the first half,” Academy coach Paul Williams said.
“We’ve been riddled with injuries throughout the course of the season and some of the kids have been asked to do some things we didn’t typically have to ask them to do early on in the season. They’ve taken on dual and triple roles. Obviously, I think we got a little fatigued. But, my hat’s off to Troy. They are a good ballclub.”
It took 11 seconds of the third quarter for Troy to tilt the pendulum for good with Kadin Workman’s kickoff return.
Beau Workman’s pick six was sandwiched between Hrbacek’s 2-yard rushing TD — his third of the night — and a 24-yard scoring spurt from Xavier Hernandez that provided plenty of cushion that arrived better late than never.
“That explosion off the kickoff was huge for us and that got the momentum rolling for us. But still, we got pretty stagnant for the rest of the third quarter. We have to overcome that if we want to win the games we want to win,” Troy coach Ronnie Porter said. “It’s a big one next week, so we cannot start slow in that one.”
TROY 42, ACADEMY 14
Troy 0 14 7 21 — 42
Academy 7 7 0 0 — 14
Aca — Jaylin McWilliams 31 pass from Darion Franklin (Blake Bundy kick)
Troy — Zach Hrbacek 28 run (Josh McKissick kick)
Aca — Rian White 7 run (Bundy kick)
Troy — Hrbacek 2 run (McKissick kick)
Troy — Kadin Workman 67 kickoff return (McKissick kick)
Troy — Hrbacek 2 run (McKissick kick)
Troy — Beau Workman 15 interception return (McKissick kick)
Troy — Xavier Hernandez 24 run (McKissick kick)
First downs 15 14
Rushes-yards 39-224 40-159
Passing yards 66 65
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-8-1 7-14-2
Punts-average 4-45.5 6-35.8
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 3-15 6-40
RUSHING — Troy: Hrbacek 28-178, Hernandez 3-27, Sam Jones 4-9, Ben Presley 3-8, Hunter Martin 1-2; Academy: White 21-61, Trenton Flanagan 7-39, Franklin 9-38, Taygen Jones 3-21.
PASSING — Troy: Presley 5-9-1-66; Academy: White 6-12-2-34, Franklin 1-1-0-31, McWilliams 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Troy: Tyler Jarolik 2-38, Hrbacek 2-21, B.Workman 1-7; Academy: McWilliams 4-56, Jayden Simmons 1-10, Braden Lilly 1-5, Flanagan 1-(-5).