Friday, October 14, 2016

Troy 35 Sidney 6

This win probably should have felt more satisfying than it actually did. To explain why, let's rewind to last year at this time. When Troy played at Sidney in 2015, the Trojans were coming off a stunning upset of the heavily favored, state-ranked Rams of Trotwood-Madison the week before. I didn't get to attend the game at Trotwood, so I was fired up when I got to Sidney, hoping the Trojans had learned how to put everything together and play some good, competitive football. Instead, I saw a good Sidney team take them apart to the tune of a 52-28 defeat. Given all that, you'd think that seeing them beat the Yellowjackets handily would feel like a little bit of payback, but it really didn't.

Primarily I'd say that's because Sidney has been decimated by injuries this year and is a mere shadow of last year's team. But it's also because Troy didn't play very well, at least on the offensive side of the ball. I could easily be mistaken about this, but it seemed like they were trying to work some different players into the mix early on, possibly because it was Senior Night, and things just never quite clicked. They had five turnovers (3 fumbles lost, 2 interceptions thrown), including a scoop-and-score on a bad snap in the game's waning moments that accounted for Sidney's only points.

But hey, they played well enough to turn this one lopsided by the time it was over, even if it took longer than maybe it should have for them to get there. Part of that was because the offense was persistent and kept playing hard even on an off night, and part of it was because the defense, on the other hand, played lights-out. Sidney's tailback, Isaiah Bowser, is one of the top backs in the conference, and came into the game with nearly 1,300 yards on the season. Troy held him to 51 yards on 26 carries, while at the same time forcing quarterback Dillon King into a 6 for 19 passing night, with four interceptions. Granted, those are the two positions where Sidney was hit hardest by injury, but Troy wasn't facing complete stiffs back there; they just made it look that way. So, yeah. A defensive performance like that can easily make up for an occasional off night for the offense.

There was one play that I wanted to make particular note of. On one of Troy's extra point attempts, the snap went high, and holder Jacob Adams had to go way up high to field it. Instead of trying to get back down into his crouch, he just bent over at the waist and put the ball down, where Jacob Anderson was able to kick it through. It's the second time this season I've seen him do it, the other (I think) being the Tipp game. It's just an impressive, heady play, and the kid's only a sophomore. So, props to him. Troy's kicking game overall has been a real strength for them this season, even though it kind of flies under the radar.

Next week the Trojans, now 7-1, travel to Greenville to take on the 3-5 Green Wave. I, alas, will not be traveling with them. There's one more regular season game on the schedule after that one, and you can rest assured that I'll certainly be attending my 26th consecutive Troy-Piqua game (dating back to 1992) on October 28. That game is shaping up to be for all the marbles in the GWOC North, just like the old days.

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