I wish I could say that Troy looked better than they did last week right from the opening kickoff, but I can't. I can't say it, not because they didn't look better, but because I didn't see the opening kickoff nor the first drive of the game, despite the fact that Brandi and I arrived at the stadium at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time. What we found when we arrived there was a line for tickets that stretched for about half a block. By the time we got into the stadium, Troy had already scored one touchdown and then recovered a fumble on South's opening drive to get the ball back. Given that, I would say it's safe to assume that the Trojans did look a lot better from the get-go than they did last week, when they absolutely killed themselves early with numerous mistakes.
This time it was Troy's opponent who got down early and then struggled to come back. The Trojans scored again after the turnover, on a short touchdown pass from QB A.J. Bush to RB Dan McCormick. That put Troy up 14-0, and although South eventually tied the game at 14, they were essentially playing catch-up for the rest of the night.
One thing that really hurt South was the fact that they did not have a kicker on their roster. The player responsible for their kickoffs was listed as a defensive lineman, and that part of their game wasn't very strong. More, they had to attempt a two-point conversion after each touchdown instead of kicking an extra point, which made the scoring a little interesting. It turned out to not make a difference in the outcome, but I could see that being a problem for them at some point this season.
The Trojans definitely got their traditional running attack into high gear in this game, with McCormick going for 189 yards on 30 carries and Dustin Messer piling up an additional 98 yards on 17 carries. The defense looked really good against the run, as well, stuffing South whether they tried between the tackles or around the ends. The pass defense did relatively well, given that South had a decided advantage in size and speed, and the fact that South's quarterback, Brennan Glass, is a very good high school passer.
This was Troy's first home game of the season, and there was a pretty good home crowd on hand. It was good to be back in Troy Memorial Stadium, and the team gave us plenty to cheer about. It was just a good high school football game, with both teams playing well and giving each other their best shot, and coming down to the end with a bit of tension. I felt confident that Troy would win, given the way they played throughout the game, but Glass definitely wasn't letting me get too comfortable. South will definitely win their share of games this season, as will the Trojans.
Next week, Troy travels to Beavercreek to take on the 1-1 Beavers. Look for the Trojans to continue their improvement and to start a little winning streak.