Friday, October 25, 2013

Troy 14 Greenville 10

This was not the finest game of football that has been played in the history of the sport. If someone was looking to learn about the game and wanted to see a good example, you would not show them a tape of this one. Still, the fact that the Trojans were able to pull out a win makes it much more palatable. And the fact that they were able to play tough throughout the game and make the plays they needed to eke out a win in the final seconds makes it, potentially, an important game for the program.

Early on it looked like the Trojans would be able to have their way with the Green Wave. After forcing a three-and-out on the opening series, the Trojans moved the ball at will on their first drive, even overcoming three holding penalties. Then, on a first and goal play from the five yard line, tailback Miles Hibbler fumbled, giving Greenville the ball on the one.

That sort of summed up the majority of the game for the Trojans. Any good play was almost immediately negated by a mistake. Long run? Holding call or personal foul. Interception? Turned back over on a fumble. Dropped passes. Missed tackles. It was a comedy of errors that nearly led to a Trojan loss to a Greenville team that was 1-8 coming in. Troy was behind 7-0 until 4:23 left in the fourth quarter, when Hibbler scored from five yards out to tie the game.

Even then, the outcome was still very much in doubt. Greenville took the ensuing kickoff and drove far enough down the field to kick a field goal, making the score 10-7 with just 1:24 left. Many times over the past two seasons, that would have been it for the Trojans. On this night, though, it was not. They marched the ball down the field, mostly via the passing game, which hadn't done much to that point in the game. Finally, Hibbler bulled his way into the endzone again on a monster carry in which he absolutely would not let himself be stopped. With just 11 seconds left at that point, the Trojans were able to secure the win.

So. The Trojans are now 3-6, which is not where they expected or hoped to be at this point of the season...but now that doesn't matter. Now the only thing that matters is the one game remaining on the schedule, the game against the Piqua Indians. Troy's hated archrival is also 3-6 on the season. There are no playoff berths on the line, no league title, just the opportunity for a win and bragging rights over a rival. This will be the 129th meeting between the two teams, with the series standing at 62-60-6 in Troy's favor. My game face is on already. Let's do this.

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