Behind quarterback Kawaun Jakes' three touchdowns and 255 yards and fullback Kadeem Jones's two scores, the Western Kentucky Hilltopers were able to hold off the Troy Trojans on Thursday night, grabbing a 31-26 victory in a key Sun Belt battle.
WKU improves to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Sun Belt, capturing their ninth straight conference win. The Toppers now have a bye week before welcoming conference upstart ULM. Troy sinks to 2-2 in the league.
It was Jakes' touchdown pass in the final minutes of the third quarter to Jones that proved the difference in the game after a last-minute drive from the Trojans fell short.
The Hilltoppers' lone field goal from kicker Jesse Roy was the fourth quarter's only points after both teams lit up the scoreboard in the first half.
Troy jumped out to an early 10-0 lead against the Hilltoppers, as quarterback Corey Robinson completed his only touchdown pass of the night to Chip Reeves for a 38-yard strike.
Western Kentucky scored two touchdowns of its own in the first half, but a touchdown pass from Troy receiver Jaquon Robinson kept the Trojans ahead, 17-14, headed into the locker room.
It was Jones' 1-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter that put the Hilltopers ahead for good, as Western Kentucky did enough to hold off Troy late. Jones finished with just 41 yards of offense, but had those two key touchdowns.