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Troy Claim Sun Belt Title, Down Coastal Carolina 45-26

The Trojans win their first league title since 2017 in Jon Sumrall’s first season.

NCAA Football: Army at Troy Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

In a rain-soaked Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Troy Trojans captured a victory in their first appearance in the Sun Belt championship game. Troy defeated Coastal Carolina by a score of 45-26 on Saturday.

Coastal Carolina quarterback and Sun Belt Player of the Year Grayson McCall did end up playing after speculation throughout the week that he would be unavailable due to a leg injury. His mobility clearly wasn’t what he’s capable of when healthy in this game.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported early Saturday that CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell is in line to become the new head coach at Liberty. Per 247’s Brandon Marcello, Chadwell stated prior to the game that he has “not signed any contract to go to another place.”

Chadwell did confirm that he had spoken to Liberty when asked postgame and reiterated that he hasn’t signed anything.

The first quarter was all Troy, as the Trojan defense held the Chants to just 18 total yards in the opening frame. On the other side of the ball, Jon Sumrall’s offense put up 17 points to start in the first quarter with 179 yards

At the half, the Trojans led 31-7. Despite the big lead, the Chanticleers didn’t go softly. They outscored Troy 19-14 in the second half and kept Troy out of the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson was voted the MVP of the game, going 12-of-17 for 318 yards & three touchdowns.

McCall finished with 29 completions on 41 attempts for 319 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed for 18 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Ultimately, the Trojans understandably adopted a more conservative strategy in the second half, burning clock to preserve their lead. Running back DK Billingsley finished with three rushing touchdowns and 57 yards on nine carries.

When the clock hit zero, Troy students rushed the field and exited the stadium with the goalposts.

“I’m really proud of our guys for their toughness through adversity and their character all year,” an emotional Sumrall said postgame. “This bunch has earned it. They adjusted to a lot of new things and changes that were probably uncomfortable at first and I could not be more proud to be the head coach of the Troy Trojans and see these guys and get to work with them.”

Sumrall is one of three FBS coaches this year in their first year with a program to win at least 11 games going into bowl season.

Both Troy and Coastal Carolina await their bowl game destination.