On one hand, a game like this makes me wish for the old GWOC. With Troy playing so many sophomores this year, Greenville and West Carrollton would look a lot better on the schedule than Centerville and Wayne. But, in the long run, all those young players probably grow a lot more through a tough game like this one than they would in games against those other teams. The Elks provide an interesting measuring stick for a team that has some talent but a long way to go in terms of seasoning and experience.
Centerville is really good. They've got about a thousand players on their team; they've got some size, they've got some speed. With all that in mind, I was actually fairly impressed with the way the Trojans played, final score notwithstanding. I mean, let's not mince words here: losing by 33 points qualifies as a blowout. Absolutely. But Troy didn't just lay over and die. Centerville had to work for everything they got, particularly on offense. Aside from a 50-yard TD run on the Elks' first play from scrimmage, I thought Troy's defense played really well. They were overmatched, and they were at a disadvantage because they were on the field so much, but they held up better than I think most people expected.
On offense, it was a little bit of a different story. The effort was there, but some injuries put the Trojans behind the eight ball even more than they would have been against Centerville anyway. Like last week, they just couldn't get anything going on offense. To their credit, they looked better in the first half than they did in the first. If not for a turnover on their opening drive of the second half, in fact, it's not inconceivable that they could have made this one interesting - it was only 19-0 at that point. Alas, as it turned out, they were only able to get on the board toward the end of the game, when Centerville had started to sub out some of their defensive starters. In that regard, watching this game was a lot like watching Troy's game against Xenia, only in reverse.
It doesn't get any easier next week, as the Trojans travel to Huber Heights to take on the Wayne Warriors, another Dayton-area powerhouse. That'll be another chance to see how the Trojans measure up. You know me, I never write them off - here's hoping the Trojans can go down there and pull off the upset.