Friday, September 16, 2011

Troy 41 Springboro 21

I started going to Troy football games as a freshman in high school, which, hard as it is for me to believe, was twenty (!) years ago. I haven't seen every game they've played in the meantime, but I've seen most of them.

The point of relaying that info: in all the games I've seen, I've never seen the Trojans play worse than they did in the first half tonight. I don't know what their problem was; they looked like a bunch of kids who had never even seen a football game before, to say nothing of being ready to play in one. They were getting gashed on defense, both on the ground and through the air, and the offense couldn't do anything, even against a Springboro defense that had given up tons of yards and points through their first three games.

As the first half was winding down, Troy was down 14-0, and it could have been a lot worse if not for a turnover on Springboro's first drive and then a goal line stand a short time later. The Trojans did manage to drive down the field and score before halftime to make the score 14-7, and it began to feel like they were getting themselves together, however belatedly.

I've been having a great time imagining the scene in the Trojan locker room at halftime. It couldn't have been pretty. Whatever was said, when they took the field in the second half, it was like a switch had been flipped. Marcus Foster took the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown, and Troy proceeded to put the screws to the Panthers on both sides of the ball throughout the quarter. Really, at that point it was like they were putting on a football clinic. They took a 14-7 deficit and turned it into a 34-14 lead in a mere twelve minutes.

The Trojans needed a second-half surge last week to put Fairborn away, but this was the biggest turnaround I've ever seen from one half to the next. The Trojans looked like a completely different team. I can't explain it. The only thing I can possibly attribute it to is some personnel changes they were dealing with; maybe it just took them some time to adjust. I don't honestly believe that, but it's all I've got.

Other observations:

* I was very happy to see/hear the referee testing his field mic before the game. It sounded great. He abandoned it in the second half anyway.

* Springboro's band made the trip. Just sayin'.

* I'm no scout or anything, but Springboro QB Josh Little looked really good. He might be a little short for a prototypical pocket-passing major college quarterback, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him land somewhere. Also, Springboro is a pretty decent team for being 0-4.

* It's great to watch a Trojan victory, then make it back to my car in time to hear the last few seconds of a Piqua loss on the radio.

With this scare behind them, the Trojans move on to the next challenge. Next Friday they travel to take on the Beavercreek Beavers (3-1) in another GWOC crossover showdown. I'll be arriving early, as, if memory serves, Beavercreek's visitors' side is very small.

No comments: