Friday, September 30, 2016

Troy 35 Tippecanoe 7

Welcome to the GWOC, boys.

This is Tipp's first year in the conference, coming over from the Central Buckeye Conference, upon which they had made a habit of feasting. In the past ten years, their lowest win total was 8. With all due respect to teams like Bellefontaine (who Troy played a hell of a game against earlier this year) and Springfield Shawnee (who Troy played in 2012 and 2013), the teams in the GWOC's North Division are, week in and week out, a little more competitive.

The main difference in the two leagues is the size of the schools. Troy has quite a bit larger student body than Tipp does, and hence more depth on the sidelines, and that really showed tonight. Troy looked like the better team in the first half, but Tipp hung in there, trailing only 14-7 at the break. In the second half, though, Tipp just couldn't keep up. The Trojans wore them down and pulled away with three unanswered scores in the second half.

This is a fun game, and I'm glad Tipp is in the conference now so it'll happen on a yearly basis. This was the first time the teams have played since 1985, which was before I was paying attention (I was eight). The two towns basically bleed into one another, so it's a natural rivalry. Troy got the best of it this year (and historically: the all-time record now stands at 21-2-2), but Tipp is a solid program, and I have no doubt that they'll have something to say about how the series goes forward.

With all that said, I was surprised by the (relatively) small size of the Tipp City crowd (which you can see in the second photo above). I would have thought that they would have had 31 years' worth of anticipation to see their guys have a chance to knock off the big boy on the block. Don't get me wrong; they brought a decent crowd (Troy's side looked, to me, to be filled in but not packed), but not what I expected. Maybe the threat of rain kept some people away. If so, too bad for them: it was an absolutely perfect night for a football game.

At any rate, now that the Red Devils have been duly introduced to their new conference, the Trojans, now 5-1/1-0, will travel next week to face a longtime conference foe, the Aviators of Vandalia Butler (4-2/1-0). I, alas, will not be there. My work schedule has me on the road next Friday. At the moment, the plan is to take in a game instead at my wife's alma mater, as the 5-1 Clyde Fliers host the 6-0 Edison Chargers. I'll be back on the Trojan beat the following week, when they return to Troy Memorial Stadium to take on the Sidney Yellowjackets.

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