Some people leave games early, whenever they feel the outcome is decided, in an effort to "beat the crowd" and avoid postgame traffic. I take the opposite approach. I like to stay to the end, no matter how lopsided the score may be, so I generally take my time on my way out of the stadium in hopes that the traffic started by those leaving early will have cleared out somewhat by the time I get to my car.
Springboro's CareFlight Field was built using money donated by Miami Valley Hospital. I think this is only its second year of use, so it looks shiny and new. At first glance, it looks pretty awesome, and I have to admit that it's a pretty decent place to watch a game. However, there are a few things that make the experience there a little less than optimal. The concession stands and restrooms are farther away than they need to be, at least for those sitting on the visitors' side. The locker rooms are housed in a building that sits behind the home stands, and it seems like the teams (home and away) have to walk a pretty fair distance to get to the field. And then there's the completely FUBAR traffic pattern that kept me stuck in the parking lot for 45 minutes before I got on an actual road to begin the 45-minute drive back to Troy. That's pretty ridiculous, and needless to say, tempers were running high inside my car (in which I was the only person) before those first 45 minutes elapsed. So, note to self: if Troy ever plays at Springboro again, find another place to park.
As for the game itself, it was interesting. Troy received the opening kickoff and scored on that first drive...and then the scoring dried up. The score remained at 7-0 until there was only about 30 seconds left in the third quarter; and yet, despite being up by just the one score, it really felt like Troy was solidly in command from beginning to end. The only time I felt a little uncomfortable was when, after a long injury delay in the third quarter, Springboro's offense seemed to get rolling. Just as it seemed they were about to tie the score, though, sophomore cornerback Seth Perdziola came up with a big interception near the goal line for the Trojans (his second of the game). After that, the offense would drive down and finally score their second touchdown of the game, and that was all she wrote.
Up to that point, I think the Trojans were almost outthinking themselves on offense. They were having great success running straight ahead at the Panther defense, and having trouble when trying to run around the edges. They were able to rack up a bunch of yards, but couldn't translate them into points. In the second half, they stuck more with what was working. To that end, fullback Zach Jones ran for 155 yards and a TD on 19 carries, and Marcus Foster had 165 and a TD (the last of the game, with about 5 seconds left) on 17 carries. Foster also had an incredible interception on defense in the fourth quarter.
This was a good win for the Trojans. Springboro isn't a bad team, and they'll win some more games this year. It sounds stupid to say their offense was impressive, considering they got shut out, but they do run a no-huddle that makes it tough for the defense to substitute, and they switch up their formations quite a bit. The Trojans did a really nice job in defending them. The Panthers may have trouble next week with Centerville (who may well win the state title this year), but I doubt they'll be shut out again this season.
One final note: I can't say for sure, but I think I saw the Trojan offense line up in the Wildcat formation for one play. I continue to be amazed by the evolution of this offense.
Next week the Trojans return to Troy Memorial Stadium to take on the 0-4 Beavercreek Beavers. This one could get ugly.