Tonight, at stadiums all across Ohio, the Friday Night Lights came on again. And what a beautiful night it was. It's always hard to believe on opening night that in the next few weeks we'll transition from shorts and t-shirts to jeans, sweatshirts, jackets, and coats. Tonight was temperate and cloudless, enough so that attentive fans could see the International Space Station as it passed (quickly) overhead during the game.
Last week's scrimmage against Dunbar showed exactly nothing about the Trojans, so I came to the stadium tonight without any real expectations. I knew they brought back a lot of talent from last year's young squad, but Chaminade-Julienne was singing the same tune. And they beat Troy 10-0 in last year's opener.
It didn't take long to figure out that this year's game would be a different story. The Eagles got a great runback on the game's opening kickoff, taking the ball into Trojan territory, but their offense was stoned by the Trojan D. Once they gave the ball over on downs, Troy's offense took over, marching downfield and punching it into the endzone from about a yard out to take the early lead.
And really, that set the tone for the whole game. Troy's offense moved the ball more or less at will, handing off to their stable of thoroughbreds (junior halfbacks Marcus Foster and Isaiah Williams, sophomore halfback Fred Whitson, and junior fullback Zach Jones) and even mixing in some nice passes from junior QB Cody May. Meanwhile, the Trojan defense kept CJ frustrated all night. They eventually were able to move the ball a little bit through the air, mainly on WR screen passes, but they couldn't translate that into points. Troy's D looked very strong against the run, and honestly, the pass defense wasn't all that bad either.
It was great to be at Troy Memorial Stadium again, and it was great to see the Trojans play well and get a big win over a pretty solid football team. Don't let the score fool you: the Eagles have some talent, and they'll win their share of games this year. So will the Trojans, though, and fortunately, tonight was one of them.