Friday, September 04, 2009

Troy 49 Xenia 6

I know my opinion has absolutely no bearing on this, but in my mind, this should go down as a shutout for the Trojans. Xenia didn't score until the clock expired in the fourth quarter; the officials took an inordinate amount of time to spot the ball and wind the clock before the play, otherwise I doubt they even would have gotten the last play off; and from my admittedly poor angle, it looked like the ball carrier got stacked up before the ball actually crossed the goal line anyway. However, at the very least, the Trojans held them scoreless for forty-seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds, and that's an impressive feat in itself.

Although the final result wasn't terribly different from last year's Troy-Xenia game, the method of getting there was. Last year the Trojans blitzed the Buccaneers with a flurry of points right off the bat, then coasted to the end. Tonight was a more workmanlike performance, for the most part. Oh, there were big plays aplenty, but the points didn't come in bunches the way they did last year.

One thing is for certain: Xenia was looking for the Trojans to run, and weren't prepared at all for any sort of passing attack. That was clear on Troy's first pass attempt, when QB Greg Yahle hit a receiver for a short gain despite a wide-open receiver streaking downfield. As it turned out, the downfield receivers were open all night, and Yahle didn't miss them after that first pass. Now, the passes weren't always things of great beauty, but hey, they got the job done. Yahle finished the night 10 of 11 for 239 yards and 3 TDs.

And on a night when they came so close to recording a shutout, I'd be remiss not to mention the defense, which continues to look strong, particularly against the run. Xenia couldn't get much going either up the middle or on the edges. They also got some solid pressure on the QB, forcing him into an interception at one point. Xenia isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut (and, to be fair to them, they were missing a starter or two due to injury), but that kind of performance against anyone bodes well.

Next week the Trojans take their act on the road, heading down to Fairborn to take on the Skyhawks. I'll be coming down from Toledo, so it's possible I won't make it in time for kickoff, but I hope to be there before too much of the first quarter has elapsed. Here's hoping that traffic cooperates with that timeframe.

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