Sunday, September 18, 2005

Troy 34 Vandalia Butler 3

After last week's debacle at Beavercreek (in terms of viewing the game, and not the game itself, of course), it was nice to have a game at Troy Memorial Stadium. I arrived well before kickoff, got my ticket and got inside, got some food, and got a seat (kindly saved for me by Amy and Doug) before the band played the alma mater and the national anthem.

Butler had quite a run of success for a few years when they were quarterbacked by Josh Betts, now starting at that position for the Miami Redhawks. Since he graduated, though, the Aviators have reverted to the position the rest of the league is used to them occupying: probably not the worst team in the league, but not a real threat, either. I'm sure they'll hit another high point in their cycle before too long, but in the meantime it sure is fun to watch the Trojans kick the crap out of them again.

Actually, through the first half, the Aviators played tough, especially on defense, and looked like they were going to make a game of it. They scored first, actually, and led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. Their defense was giving Troy some trouble, especially between the tackles. Of course, the Trojans helped them out by committing several costly penalties. Fortunately, they were able to gain some yards by running outside, and also unleashed enough of a passing attack to loosen up the defense somewhat. Still, Troy's lead at halftime was a mildly uncomfortable 10-3.

In the second half, though, it was all Trojans. The ground game got rolling, and Vandalia's defense wore down. Again, Troy's four-headed rushing attack of Boyd, Ford, Sano, and McCormick overwhelmed the opponent, with QB A.J. Bush chipping in as well with some timely passing.

Defensively, the Trojans were impressive. They have improved quite a bit since their lone loss in week one to Dublin Coffman. The line and linebackers kept Butler's running game in check, and also got quite a bit of pressure on the quarterback, sacking him several times and forcing him into incompletions and an interception. The DBs did a nice job of making sure he didn't have any easy outlets. Overall, it was a good performance by the Trojans, especially in the second half. They really need to work on eliminating the penalties; otherwise, things seem to be rounding into form for a good season.

Now the Trojans are on the road for two successive weeks, at Kettering Fairmont this coming Friday and at Stebbins the Friday after. I'll be looking at late arrivals for both of those games. The next time the Trojans take to the field at Troy Memorial Stadium, they'll be staring down archrival Piqua in the most-played rivalry in Ohio. One way or another, I'll be at that one well before kickoff.

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