Friday, October 16, 2015

Sidney 52 Troy 28

I'm in no great hurry to talk about this game. So let me warm up by starting with last week, when Troy played at Trotwood, a game I did not attend.

When I looked over Troy's schedule prior to the start of the season, I pegged the Trotwood game as one I was unlikely to attend. Trotwood is on the far (west) side of Dayton, and making it there for a 7:00 pm kickoff when I get off work at 5:00 on the north side of Columbus is a little too much to ask. And then when I realized that my schedule actually had me working in Toledo for the day, that sealed the deal—even if I was inclined to go, I'd be lucky to get there by halftime, when—let's be honest—the Trojans would probably already be facing a running clock, facing the powerful, state-ranked Rams.

Not worth it.

So instead I drove home to Worthington from Toledo; and, as I hate to let a Friday in the fall go by without attending a game of some sort, I walked over to see the local Thomas Worthington High School game, where I was treated to a fair spectacle of very bad football. After I had been there for a few minutes, I decided to check in on Twitter to see how the Trojans were doing. (Thanks, @TheFong.)

The Trojans were leading 14-0 at halftime.

I immediately regretted my decision to not try to go, even though that was completely irrational. And I cautioned myself that there was still a full half left to play, and reminded myself that Troy also held Trotwood scoreless in the first half last year, only to give up four TDs in the second half and lose 28-0. Still, I was glued to Twitter from there on out, relentlessly refreshing my timeline for score updates as I hoped against hope that the Trojans could hold on.

And hold on they did, stuffing a two-point try late in the game to eke out a 21-20 win, the first time they've beaten Trotwood since 2005, and the first time Trotwood has lost in the conference since 2007. As this is the Rams' last year in the conference, I was ecstatic the Trojans were able to give them a bloody nose on the way out and at least give them a little reminder of the days when the GWOC North didn't just roll over for them (quite the opposite, in fact—@TheFong informs me that Troy's all-time record against Trotwood now stands at 22-12, which, of course, would have been 21-3 in the Trojans' favor before Trotwood's nine straight wins from 2006-14).

Aside from the thrill of beating Trotwood, of course, the win gave the Trojans two on the year. After seven games, that's not much to get excited about, except that it doubled their total from last year's 1-9 disaster season. And Sidney, this week's opponent, was the one team they did beat last year (a 27-0 win). I was really hoping the Trojans would come out, play well, get another hard-earned victory, and get a little confidence and momentum heading into the last two weeks of the season.


Sidney is much improved from last year. Their freshman QB/sophomore RB duo of Andre Gordon and Isaiah Bowser are going to give the GWOC North fits for a couple of years to come, I'm afraid. Add another week of not-particularly-inspired play from the Trojans into the mix, and you get a blowout result like this. Had they been able to make just a couple of plays go a different way, especially early on, I really think this would have been a competitive game. Instead, it went south fast (Sidney was up 22-0 after one quarter), and Troy was never able to recover. They did get the offense going a little bit, but the defense...ugh, this defense. But again, credit Sidney on that score, and especially their young playmakers. They were determined not to let the Trojans back into the game, and they didn't.

And Piqua beat Trotwood tonight, too, so that takes a little bit of luster off last week's win as well. I mean, I'm glad to see Trotwood getting some comeuppance on their way out, but Piqua? No thanks. I don't root for those guys against anybody.

So there are now two weeks, two games, left in this season, and if the Trojans are looking for a break, they can forget about it. Next week they face the Butler Aviators, another team they've traditionally dominated (21-12), but who is currently sitting atop the standings with an unblemished 3-0 conference record and at 6-2 overall. On the bright side, they will be back at Troy Memorial Stadium for the first time in three weeks, and emotions should be high for Senior Night. I'll be there, cheering like hell for them to shock the conference again.

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