Friday, October 19, 2012

Troy 28 Greenville 6

Welcome back to the GWOC North, Green Wave.

Troy last played Greenville in 2004, defeating them 45-7. Following that season, having difficulty competing with the likes of Troy, Piqua, Trotwood, and probably even Vandalia, the Green Wave departed the conference for what they hoped was clearer sailing. Unfortunately for them, that didn't happen. They joined the Mid-Miami League until that league dissolved, and they've been in limbo, without a conference affiliation, ever since.

Hence their return to the GWOC North. Issues of competition aside, it's really where they belong. Troy, Piqua, Trotwood, Vandalia, and Sidney are similarly sized schools, and pretty reasonable in terms of distance, although Greenville is the only school in the division not within shouting distance of an interstate. Still, I've always liked going to Greenville--I have a couple of pretty neat, specific memories of games Troy played there--so, on a personal level, I'm glad they're back.

Still, the competitiveness issue is still there for the Green Wave. They came into this game at 1-7, their only victory coming by one point over a West Carrollton team that is also back to the GWOC (South division for them) after a several-year absence. Most of their losses haven't been close. In short, this seemed like a perfect opportunity for the Trojans to recover from last week's 42-14 drubbing by Trotwood, their first loss by more than seven points all season.

And recover they did. The Trojans started the game by picking off Greenville's freshman quarterback during the first series, commencing an absolute defensive dismantling of the Green Wave. Troy scored once in each quarter, but any drama fled from this game early on, as it was clear that Greenville would be unable to sustain any drives against Troy's stifling defense. On offense, Troy got both phases of their game rolling, with tailback Miles Hibbler running for 120 yards and QB Matt Barr tossing two TD passes to Nick Zimmer.

It was a good tuneup game for the Trojans, who next week finish out the season with the Big One. That's right; for the first time since 1989, Troy faces archrival Piqua in the final game of the season. This will be the 128th meeting of the two teams, the most prolific rivalry in Ohio; with their current five-game winning streak, the Trojans hold a 62-59-6 advantage in the series. Both teams come into the game 4-5, so the winner will doom the loser to a losing season overall, a rarity for either of these two teams.

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