Friday, September 24, 2010

Troy 29 Beavercreek 0

If you ask anyone who follows Dayton-area football about the Troy Trojans, be prepared to hear about offense. Troy has been running the Wing-T since Coach Nolan came to town in the mid-1980s, churning out rushing yards and wins in big chunks. I've been paying attention since the early '90s, and I could talk to you all day about Ryan Brewer, Matt Dallman, Corey Brown, and all the great offensive games I've seen in that time. The Trojans are still running the Wing-T (although not as exclusively as they once did), but this might be the first Trojan team to bring defense to the forefront of the conversation. After game five, the Trojan D has now pitched three shutouts. The one touchdown scored by Fairborn in Week 3 was essentially a gift from the officials, and really, they didn't fare too badly against state-ranked Middletown until late in the game when they were worn down from being on the field for so long.

In a lot of ways, this game looked a lot like the Springboro game last week. The Trojans scored relatively early and then got a little bogged down on offense, but the defense kept the Beavers off the board and made it feel like they had it under control. Beavercreek was able to get some yards with their option attack, but Troy made stops when they needed to by bringing some lumber and forcing a couple of turnovers.

The Trojans needed that kind of effort from their defense, because Beavercreek's defense was nothing to sneeze at either. They did a nice job of keeping Troy's vaunted Wing-T (and its variants) in check. Isaiah Williams scored one TD on a long run in the first quarter and another on a longer run just before the half, but otherwise the Beavers held the Trojans in check. They didn't look like a team that's now 0-5; they've just had a rough schedule, with more misery to come.

One bad thing about hosting Beavercreek this year, of course, is the fact that the Trojans will have to give them a return game next year. I've been to their stadium just once before. They've put in field turf since then, but as far as I know they haven't changed their visitors' bleachers, which was one of the worst places to watch a game I've ever visited.

I thought there was going to be an American Pie moment shortly before the beginning of this game. The Beavers charged onto the field into the path of Troy's marching band as they came on prior to the national anthem. To their credit, the marching band refused to yield, and the Beaver players were forced to retreat into the endzone to continue their huddle. And while we're on the topic of the band, let me just say that other than the national anthem and the halftime show, I'm not sure why Troy's band comes to the games anymore (and it seems they don't travel to the away games with the team). They don't play after scores anymore, there's no more third quarter band...they really don't interact with the game at all. I don't know the reason for all that, but it disappoints me. I think the band can be a big part of the atmosphere at a high school game, and for whatever reason it seems like they can't be bothered. That's a pretty stark contrast from the way it's always been before.

At any rate...the 4-1 Trojans open play in the GWOC North division next week as they travel to Vandalia to take on the Butler Aviators (2-3). Butler built a new stadium for this year, which I'm excited to see. I understand they didn't put in any restrooms or concessions on the visitors' side of the field, but hopefully you can at least see the game from the bleachers.

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