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Haugabook heading home

By Andy Brown, The Messenger



Troy University celebrated homecoming on Nov. 4.

Troy University junior quarterback Omar Haugabook will celebrate homecoming on Nov. 11, when the Trojans travel to the signal caller's backyard to take on Sun Belt Conference rival Florida Atlantic University.

?It'll feel like a home game for me,? Haugabook said. ?I'm from that area, so for me, this is kind of a homecoming. I don't think it will feel like a road game at all.?

Haugabook played his high school football at Glades High School in Belle Glade, Fla., which is just more than an hour away from Florida Atlantic's Lockhart Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

While at Glades, Haugabook earned first-team all-state honors as a senior after completing 183-of-265 passes for 3,010 yards and 30 touchdowns.


His 30 touchdown passes ranks sixth all-time for touchdowns thrown in a single season in Florida high school history.

Haugabook, who is in his first season with Troy after transferring from Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan., is hoping to conjure up memories of his high school days with his performance in Saturday's game.

?I want to come out and play well,? he said. ?I don't really feel any added pressure from being at home, but I do want to play well for all my friends and family that will be at the game, and I want to do whatever I can to help my team win.?

Troy's matchup with Florida Atlantic will offer the first opportunity for many of his family and friends to see him play in person since he last took the field for Glades High School.

?I'm excited because it's been three years since most of my family and friends have had a chance to see me play,? the 6-foot, 201-pound senior said. ?A lot of them have already told me that they will be at the game, so I really think we'll have a good crowd there pulling for me and my teammates.



?I'm really excited to have the chance to play in front of them, and I hope we can get a win down there.?

The senior believes a key component to Troy recording its fourth-straight league win will be eliminating the turnovers that have plagued the squad this season.

Haugabook, who has passed for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns this season by completing 149-of-243 attempts, readily accepts his share of responsibility when addressing Troy's turnover problems.

The senior has tossed 12 interceptions, including one in the Trojans' 42-28 win over defending Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 4.

?One of the big things we need to do as an offense is eliminate the turnovers,? Haugabook said. ?We can't keep fumbling the ball, and I can't keep throwing interceptions if we want to be a dynamic offense. We have to get rid of that stuff. We just have to keep working hard and keep our focus on winning the conference and getting to the New Orleans Bowl.?

The Trojans will attempt to take another step toward the ?Big Easy? on Saturday when they square off with the Owls at 3 p.m.

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Trojans Go To FAU In Search Of Fourth Straight Win

Ricky Hazel

11/07/2006

It may be the hardest thing for football players to avoid during a race for conference title – looking ahead.

Avoiding looking past your next opponent, or opponents, toward a pending showdown is easy for fans and the media to do. All they have to say to look past an opponent or two is "if they take care of business…"

For the Troy Trojans, fresh off a third straight Sun Belt Conference home victory, this week has the potential to be one of those dreaded look-ahead games. Looming on the horizon are games against Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee who, along with Troy, are in the best position to challenge for the league title and New Orleans Bowl berth.

All the Trojans have to do is take care of their business this week. As easy as that is to say, it will certainly be much harder to execute against a Florida Atlantic team that is beginning to come into its own. The Owls come into play this week off a hard-fought loss at Middle Tennessee. The previous week FAU blanked Arkansas State 29-0 at Lockhart Stadium.

The trip to south Florida for Troy will be the first, after having played FAU at Movie Gallery Stadium during each of the past three season. FAU owns a 10-7 all-time record at Lockhart Stadium, including a 1-1 mark this year. The Trojans, on the other hand, will be trying to snap a seven-game road losing streak during which Troy has been outscored 203-74. It is the fifth longest road losing streak in school history, trailing streaks of 11 games (1954-56), 10 games (1957-59) and nine games (1981-82 and 2002-03).

The Trojans did put an end to one streak during last Saturday?s 42-28 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. Troy had gone 12 games since last producing a 100-yard rusher in a game, the longest such streak in Coach Larry Blakeney?s career. Junior Kenny Cattouse put an end to that streak with 172 yards on 24 carries against the Cajuns, scoring two touchdowns, his first two scores of the season.

The performance by Cattouse was also the first 100-yard rushing game allowed by ULL this season. Under Blakeney, only five single-game performances were better than the one turned in by Cattouse, and three of those belong to Troy?s all-time leading rusher, DeWhitt Betterson, who had 13 100-yard games in his career.

For the Trojans to run their win streak to four games, which would tie the longest such streak since the program moved to Division I-A, Troy will have to continue to run the ball well, will have to continue to try to cut down on turnovers and will have to continue to win the battle for field position with solid special teams production.

Troy will enter this week?s game with two streaks, but only one wil continue. Focusing on the Owls and not looking ahead to future games will insure that the win streak, and not the road losing streak, is alive on the plane trip home.


GAME NOTES

l The Troy roster includes more players from the state of Florida than from any state other than Alabama. A total of 30 members of the Troy squad hail from Florida, including three – QB Omar Haugabook (Belle Glade), LB Romanique Lewis (Ft. Lauderdale) and redshirting DB Trevor Ford (Miami) – from southeast Florida. All three Trojans will have former teammates on the other side of the field this week. FAU junior linebacker Cergile Sincere played at Glades Central with Haugabook, while freshman RB Antonio Morris played at Piper HS with Lewis and freshman LB Craig Jenkins played at Miami Northwestern HS with Ford.

l The FAU roster does not include a single player from the state of Alabama.

l Troy is 24-34 all-time against teams from the state of Florida, including a 13-10 mark against current Division I-A schools.

l The game against FAU on the date traditionally set aside as Veterans Day will be the Trojans? 15th all-time game on Nov. 11. Troy has a 10-2-2 record on this date, including a 75-0 victory over Louisiana College in 1967 that ranks as the second largest margin of victory in school history.

l The trip to play at Florida Atlantic will be the second of three trips to Florida for the Trojans this year. Earlier this season Troy dropped a 24-19 decision to then ninth-ranked Florida State. It is the first time since the 1993 season that a Troy team has played as many as three games in a state other than Alabama in the same season. That year, Troy played three times in Louisiana, posting victories over Northwestern State, Nicholls State and McNeese State.

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Troy Football: One game at a time

Drew Champlin
Eagle Sports Writer

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

TROY - A good look ahead could pit an unbeaten Troy against an unbeaten Middle Tennessee on Nov. 25 for the Sun Belt title.

There?s only one problem.

"We?re not good enough to look ahead," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. "Plain and simple, we try to fight our guts out to win each game."

If the Trojans (4-4, 3-0 Sun Belt), winners of three straight, want to be unbeaten, they must first take care of business against Florida Atlantic (3-6, 2-2). Game time is set for 3 p.m. central time at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Trojans? offense came alive in a 42-28 win over UL-Lafayette, when the Ragin? Cajuns took an early 14-0 lead but saw Troy come back.

ULL beat FAU earlier this year 6-0. FAU is coming off a 35-14 loss to Middle Tennessee.

"They had a chance to win at Murfreesboro," Blakeney said. "They threw it away.

"Put it this way. They beat Arkansas State 29-0. Auburn beat Arkansas State 27-0. There?s a lot of other comparisons you can draw."

FAU allowed a kickoff return and a fumble return for a score against MTSU.

The Blue Raiders scored on a long touchdown with 44 seconds left and had one drive start 28 yards away.

The Owls were a last-second play away from beating ULL and the defense has been strong in conference play.

"They can fly on defense," Blakeney said. "If you can take them, they?ll give you some things on defense."

Troy took control of ULL Saturday, running for 208 yards against the league?s best run defense. Junior Kenny Cattouse led the way with 174 yards, a career high.

"As a unit, we wanted to run against Lafayette because nobody was able to," sophomore left guard Chris Jamison said. "As an offensive line, we worked extra hard running into their blitzes. Cattouse helped a lot too because he ran so well."

The defense settled down after allowing two early scores and after letting quarterback Jerry Babb and running back Tyrell Fenroy have their way early.

"We were rushing the tackles one on one and we were beating them every time," defensive end Brandon Lang said. "We were rushing the edge and speed kills on the corner."

But Troy?s first three Sun Belt games have been at home. Now, if the team wants to win its first Sun Belt championship, the big wins will have to take place on the road.

"This is what really defines the character of the team," wide receiver Gary Banks said. "Can you win on the road? The teams that can win on the road in the conference will help themselves later on."

Making the most: Julian Foster got in for a few plays late when starting quarterback Omar Haugabook left with cramps. His 15-yard touchdown run iced the game.

Zack Marcum, a freshman wide receiver, got in for one play. He had the key block on Foster?s touchdown run.

"A lot of folks take pride in their (being one of 11 on the field)," Blakeney said. "Zack Marcum is a prime example.

Looking at FAU: The Owls use two quarterbacks, but Rusty Smith was the most effective last week. Smith hit 18-of-30 passes for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception against MTSU. Sean Clayton, who started, was 3-of-9 with an interception for 44 yards.

Running back Charles Pierre and wide receiver Frantz Simeon are the Owls? top players on offense.

This story can be found at:

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Troy Football: Cattouse turns loose

Drew Champlin
Eagle Sports Writer

Sunday, November 5, 2006


TROY - Oh, what a run game can do for a passing offense.

Or maybe it?s a running offense. Hard to tell with the way Troy running back Kenny Cattouse performed Saturday.

Cattouse ran 24 times for a career-high 172 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans? 42-28 win over the Ragin? Cajuns. It was the first time all year that ULL has allowed a 100-yard rusher.

"It?s a big relief for me," Cattouse said. "This is something I?ve been wanting to have, a big game."

This balanced offensive attack ran for 208 yards on 39 carries - compared to just 153 through the air.

"If you had told me we?d run for 208 yards, I?d have laughed," offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said. "This is a great run defense."

Cattouse, a junior from Keyport, N.J., entered this season as the starter but has always had problems with fumbles. He also had some problems adjusting to the new offense when he was comfortable in a power offense as a back with speed and great moves.

"He?s finally quit fighting coaching and he really has accepted coaching better," Franklin said. "He fits better in the game now."

Early in the game he lost a fumble that set up ULL?s first score and it looked like the career day might not happen.

"I got off balance and the guy hit me," Cattouse said. "I had to keep my head up. If I had let it bother me, it would have gotten worse."

But when Cattouse got going - he ran for 34 of the 61 yards on the first scoring drive - it was hard to keep the ball away from him.

"We?ve never known to have a run mentality," Franklin said. "When you get in a rhythm, you do what works. We had good rhythm and the offensive line did a great job tonight."

Cattouse?s performance inspired his teammates, who put up 42 points against the defense that had the Sun Belt?s top rush defense (but the worst pass defense).

"The way he finished runs tonight was amazing," wide receiver Gary Banks said. "You saw him spin into the end zone and you could tell he really wanted it."

But for Cattouse, it was just a relief. He showed fans what got him to Troy - as if rushing for 6,720 yards in high school didn?t do enough. He?s the all-time leading rusher in New Jersey high school football history.

Cattouse?s first touchdown, a 7-yard run, tied the game at 14. His second, an 8-yarder, gave Troy a 35-21 lead.

"I definitely planned on having a good game," Cattouse said. "I wanted to do whatever I could do to help us win and it went my way tonight."

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Streaking Trojans hit road again this week

Tom Ensey
Montgomery Advertiser

TROY – After racking up three straight wins at home, the resurgent Troy Trojans have to take to the road again Saturday, playing at Florida Atlantic.

The Trojans improved to 4-4 on the season and 3-0 in the Sun Belt Conference with last Saturday's 42-28 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

The offense had its most efficient performance of the year in terms of points scored, yards gained and balance.

Running back Kenny Cattouse erupted for a career-high 172 yards. He led the team in rushing last year but has been sporadic in the first seven games.

The balanced attack resulted from the flow of the game, said offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.

"We fed it to him because he was hot," Franklin said of Cattouse's big game.

"Earlier in the week I asked him, 'Didn't you gain about 50,000 yards in high school in New Jersey? Why don't you do that here?'

"He seems to have a new confidence in the offense. He had to make a lot of changes and adjust from the way he played last year."

Wide receiver Gary Banks caught a scoring pass and quarterback Omar Haugabook threw for 153 yards.

It's encouraging, but it's nothing to get overanxious about, said Banks.

"We can't think too far ahead," Banks said. "We have to adjust our minds now to playing on the road again; to being in a place where the people don't want us to succeed, and probably the calls are not going to go our way."

Head coach Larry Blakeney agreed.'

"Taking them one at a time has never been truer," he said. "We're not good enough to look ahead. We just have to see how good we can be for 60 minutes."

The Trojans will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to face the Owls, who are 2-6. But both wins have come at home, and they hammered then-league-leading Arkansas State 29-0 two weeks ago.

"They beat Arkansas State 29-0 and Auburn beat them 27-0," Blakeney said. "That says a lot for me."

Arkansas State had six turnovers in the game and defensive back Corey Small had three interceptions.

"They get a lot of turnovers," Blakeney said. "They have 11 guys on defense who can fly. They have a simple line up, and if you can take 'em, they'll give you some things.

"But they're intimidating," he said.

In other words, they talk smack.

"We've just got to go back, line up and take care of business," Blakeney said.
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It's good to see they arent taking us lightly…Hutton on Sentinel Blog thinks we have a great shot at the win…its our secondary this game and not so much the run and pass…they run some but for the most part look to nickle and dime you to death with the dunk and dinkers…

Anyone know if they are doing anything promotion wise for the game this weekend???
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Troy has gone back to the run, with great success, in recent games. The Trojans have some great (and under utilized) RBs.

I'm hoping for a great game.
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It looks like Troy can rack up the points if they get the run game going. I hope our defense is up for the challenge. GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Troy looking for first road win of 2006

By Andy Brown
The Troy Messenger

The road can be a cruel place.

It's a fact the Troy University Trojans know all too well after dropping all four road contests in the month of September. On Saturday, Troy will once again be faced with the challenge of trying to earn a win outside the friendly confines of Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium where the Trojans own a 4-0 mark this season.

?The road is treacherous,? Troy University head coach Larry Blakeney said. ?It's always tougher to win on the road. There's no question about.?

Winning on the road is something the Trojans (4-4, 3-0 Sun Belt Conference) haven't done since they topped Sun Belt Conference rival University of North Texas 13-10 in Denton, Texas, on Oct. 4, 2005.

Troy will look to snap its seven-game road losing streak against another league foe on Saturday when they travel to sunny, south Florida to take on Florida Atlantic University (3-6, 2-2 Sun Belt Conference).


The Owls own a 2-1 record at home this season after knocking off Southern Utah 32-7 and defending Sun Belt Conference co-champion Arkansas State 29-0.

?We know we're in for a fight,? Troy junior linebacker Marcus Richardson said. ?Anytime you go on the road it's hard because you're stepping into a hostile environment. There will be a lot of people there that genuinely don't want to see you succeed. The majority of the calls aren't going to go our way, and Florida Atlantic is going to be ready. Their record isn't that great, but they beat Arkansas State at home and played Louisiana-Lafayette close at home, so they're going to beready, and they're going to want to defend their home turf.?

According to Blakeney, the key to scoring a win at Lockhart Stadium may have a great deal to do with how the Trojans start.

?We've been getting off to slow starts on both sides of the ball,? Blakeney said. ?You can get away with that stuff at home sometimes, but you can't usually get away with that on the road. We need to get off to a better start on Saturday.?

Racing out to a quick start has been a point of emphasis for Troy during the last three weeks.

?We always talk about it, but over the last three weeks we have really tried to drive it home,? Blakeney said. ?The thing is we can talk about it all day long, but the players on the field are the guys that have to do it. I think it's a matter of us creating some excitement for ourselves with a big play on either side of the ball or in the kicking game. If you can generate some excitement, then everyone feeds off of that. Getting off to a quick start always begins with doing the right things on the field in all three phases of the game, and that's never been more important than this week. This game with FAU is a big game because a win puts us one step closer to New Orleans and the New Orleans Bowl.?

Troy and FAU will square off at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Lockhart Stadium.
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COMMENTARY: Offense soars after sour start

By Tom Ensey
Montgomery Advertiser

TROY – This was the crazy, sexy, cool Troy offense everybody had been waiting to see. Quarterback Omar Haugabook was making amazing runs and throws; receivers were catching passes "in the grass" as the coaches like to say; and surprise, surprise, here was running back Kenny Cattouse by turns power mashing and doing pretty pirouettes for 172 yards and a couple of touchdowns in a 42-28 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

The party didn't get off to such a lovely start, however. The Troy offense has been notorious slow starters this season. On its first possession Saturday, Cattouse fumbled.

It was the fourth time this year The Trojans' opening drive ended with a turnover. The other three opening drives ended in punts. Cattouse had been benched earlier this year for his problems with ball security.

It looked like more of the same after a first-period interception set the Ragin' Cajuns up. Troy suddenly trailed 14-0 and the homecoming crowd was making muttering noises.

Louisiana-Lafayette was moving the ball like mad. The defense wouldn't be able to save the day like it had in games past.

Then the offense snapped out of its funk and went crazy. Oddly, falling behind by two touchdowns so quickly may have helped.

"We knew we couldn't wait around until the second half," said Gary Banks, who caught a 58-yard scoring pass later in the game. "We had to go into attack mode."

The Trojans have been counter punchers this year, Banks said, waiting to see what the other guys did, then reacting. On Saturday, out of necessity, they were reborn as brawlers.

"It seems like in a bunch of games this season, we've been trying to feel teams out instead of being in attack mode," Banks said. "This time, we were able to explode on them with a couple of big plays. We answered everything they did."

After managing just 10 offensive snaps and 29 yards in the first period, Haugabook said the Trojans picked up the pace.

"We changed tempo a lot," he said. "There was a sense of urgency."

Ideally, in the Troy offense, the touchdowns come in clusters. That's what finally happened, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Trojans scored three quick touchdowns in the second period and took a 21-14 halftime lead.

The Ragin' Cajuns tore down the field on their first possession of the second half and tied it up.

Then Banks made his big play and Troy never surrendered the momentum. Cattouse had a lot to do with that, turning in his career-best performance.

The running game's success wasn't anticipated, but it was welcome.

"We're a pass-first, run-second offense," said coordinator Tony Franklin. "But we got into a rhythm running the ball , and if it works, you stay with it. "If you'd have told me we'd have run for 208 yards against these guys before the game, I'd have laughed at you."

If you'd have told Kenny Cattouse he'd have had 172 yards, he said he wouldn't have believed you either. But he saw the opportunities and took them.

"We know when we have a successful running game, we're a better offense," he said. "I just did what I do."

Haugabook's passes were crisper and got to the receivers more quickly than they had in the past few games. He hit 12 of 19 for 153 yards. He's been battling a shoulder injury all season.

"My shoulder felt really better," he said. "It's starting to feel like I'm back to normal."

Head coach Larry Blakeney said the Troy offense may be approaching normal – and normal is real good.

"I like what I see," he said. "I think we're getting some guys who are starting to like each other.

"That chemistry thing is no joke. If you've got it, it's great. If you don't, it's hard to manufacture."

Tom Ensey, the Game Day editor, may be reached by phone at 334-240-0192 or by fax at 334-261-1548. His e-mail is [email protected]

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