NOTEBOOK – Carlton Martial New Sun Belt Tackle King


Football Ken Rogers,

Carlton Martial was everywhere again on Thursday night. Troy’s junior linebacker became the Sun Belt Conference’s career leader in tackles with 394 after he added 14 against Coastal Carolina.

It was Martial’s second consecutive double-digit tackle game and the 16th of his career.

The linebacker from Mobile has been particularly dominant against the Chanticleers. He has recorded 47 tackles in his three games against Coastal Carolina, all losses, including 21 tackles in 2020.

He also had five solo tackles Thursday night and moved into 11th place all-time in Troy history with 187 solo stops.

Clutch pick: Reddy Steward recorded his first interception of the season and second of his Troy career late in the first half against Coastal Carolina. It was only the second interception quarterback Grayson McCall has thrown all season.

With Steward’s pick, Troy now has 89 interceptions since 2016. The Trojans entered this week’s games ranked fourth nationally.

Big play: Tez Johnson’s 64-yard reception in the first quarter was the longest of his Troy career and the longest play from scrimmage this season by the Trojans. The play set up the game’s first score.
Johnson caught four passes for 88 yards, including his third touchdown of the season. Johnson’s 49 receptions on the season are the third most by a Trojan through the first eight games of the season since at least 2000 (Gary Banks, 53, 2006 & Kaylon Geiger, 53, 2019).

Tight end target: Troy’s first touchdown was scored by tight end Deyunkrea Lewis, who was wide open along the left side and caught an 11-yard TD pass from Gunnar Watson on the Trojans’ second drive of the game. It was Lewis’ third TD catch of the season and again pointed out the increasing role of tight ends in the offense. 

Career long: Jabre Barber of Dothan scored on a 42-yard catch-and-run on a fourth down play. It was his third TD of the season and his longest play from scrimmage.

Vidal vital: Kimani Vidal had five runs of 10 yards or more in the game. He finished with 142 rushing yards on 22 carries. It was his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career. He also rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games for the second time in his career. 

Watson moves up: Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson threw three TD passes against the Chanticleers. That was his fourth career game with three or more. He moved into a tie for 13th place in Troy history with Jeremy Rowell with 22 career TD passes. 

Semper Fi: Kyran Griffin-Isom, a Marine who served a pair of deployments and seven years of active duty, had his first career reception for the Trojans on Thursday night. He caught a 5-yard out route near the left sideline from Watson. Griffin-Isom’s 29th birthday is next month.

Huge kick: Luke Magliozzi’s 65-yard punt in the fourth quarter marked a new career-long for the transfer kicker from Melbourne, Australia, through UConn. 
But it not only went far, it rolled dead at the Coastal Carolina 1-yard line. That kick flipped the field position and gave Troy a chance to rally late in the game. Earlier, he had another punt of 50-plus yards. 

QB hurls: Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall left the game briefly after TV cameras showed him throwing up on the field after a hit on the opening drive of the second half. 

McCall, who hurt Troy with his legs, finished with 15 carries for 59 yards. He had three consecutive runs for 6, 10 and 9 yards before the ailing QB left the game. Backup quarterback Bryce Carpenter added two runs for 12 yards before running back Shermani Jones scored on a 4-yard run that gave Coastal a 28-14 lead.

McCall returned to the game on Coastal’s next possession and stayed in the game the rest of the way.

Coastal series: Coastal’s victory gave the Chanticleers a third straight win in the series and a 3-2 edge all-time.

Each of their victories have been fiercely contested. In 2019 Coastal pulled within a point with a late touchdown with 30 seconds remaining, then went for a two-point conversion that gave them a 36-35 victory.

Last season, Troy rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final five minutes before Coastal scored the go-ahead touchdown with 35 seconds remaining to steal a 42-38 win.

What’s next: After one home game in October, Troy returns home to kick off November against arch-rival South Alabama in the “Battle for the Belt” game. Kickoff for the game is at 2:30 p.m.

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