There were no lightning delays. That's really the only positive thing I can say about this game, another Friday night where the main storyline was the weather. It was cold, windy, and rainy, which resulted in sloppy, ugly play. There were penalties and turnovers galore. Both defenses played well, but Troy's offense, in particular, could do absolutely nothing.
With the teams doing little other than giving the ball back and forth to each other via punts and turnovers, it eventually became clear that the game was likely going to come down to a critical mistake. That mistake finally came a few minutes into the fourth quarter, when the Trojans fumbled and the Aviators recovered on the 17. Troy's defense was up to the challenge all night, but such a short field put them at a severe disadvantage. Butler was able to punch it in, and that was the ballgame.
The Trojans simply have to find a way to move the ball on offense. In all my years of watching them play, this was probably the worst offensive performance I've seen. Part of it was due to the conditions, to be sure, but offensive struggles have been this team's modus operandi all year long. There's some talent in the backfield; they're just having an incredibly hard time making holes for them to run through. It looked like they were trying to pass a little bit more than usual tonight in an effort to loosen up the defense, but they couldn't hang onto the ball long enough for it to matter.
Hard as it is to believe, next week the Trojans host their final home game of the season as Trotwood-Madison comes to Troy Memorial Stadium for senior night. The Rams are the defending Division II state champions and will bring a 5-2 record with them, so a long night for Troy is a possibility. Here's hoping they find a way to get something going and turn the tables on Trotwood.