A big welcome back to Trojan quarterback Matt Barr.
Last week against Miamisburg, the Trojan offense struggled big time without their starting signal-caller, completing no passes and scoring only six points in a 7-6 loss. Early word was that Barr would be unable to play again this week (and that his backup would be out with an injury as well), and that a new look was in store for the Trojan offense. So it was a pleasant surprise to see him warming up with the rest of the team during pregame, and even more so to see him under center when the Trojan offense took the field against the Yellowjackets.
While it was nice to see Barr back in the lineup, the story, once again, was really about Troy's defense. They played a whale of a game against Sidney's spread offense, doing a nice job defending both the pass and the run. They stuffed the Yellowjackets on a 4th down from inside the 1-yard line, and they also picked off three passes, two by senior defensive back Seth Perdziola.
Of course, as we saw last week, a stellar defense goes for naught without at least some offense to augment it. Having Barr back was definitely a shot in the arm in that regard. The Trojans made that clear early on when he connected with Blake Williams for their second TD of the night less than three minutes into the first quarter. Later, when Sidney's defense was stacking the box and stuffing Troy's run game, Barr threw a short pass to Perdziola that, with some nifty moves and a nice block (and the fact that Sidney had no one deep), turned into a 76-yard touchdown for the final 26-7 score.
It was nice to see the Trojans get back on the winning track, and it's always nice to get a win on Homecoming. Too, this was Troy coach Scot Brewer's first win at Troy Memorial Stadium--his earlier "home" win this season took place at Ferguson Field, the junior high/freshman field, after a Friday night lightning delay forced a change of venue for the resumption on Saturday afternoon.
Still, the Trojans have some things to work on for next week. The offense is still inconsistent, going dormant for a good portion of the middle of this game, unable to get first downs and stay on the field to give the defense a bit of a rest. A number of holding penalties contributed to that. Also, after being nearly automatic in the first half of the season, the Trojans missed their first two extra point attempts in this game.
Next week's opponent, the Butler Aviators of Vandalia, should provide a good measuring stick for the Trojans. Both teams will come in 3-3; Butler has beaten some bad teams and lost to some good teams; it'll be interesting to see which side Troy comes down on. If they continue to improve, I like their chances.