Friday, August 31, 2012

Troy 41 Springfield Shawnee 14

Congratulations to Scot Brewer on his first win as head coach of the Troy Trojans.

Going into this game, all I knew about Shawnee was that they were last year's state runner-up in Division III. They graduated quite a few kids off that team, but they still figured to be pretty decent. They won their opener 35-13 with their halfback going for a ton of yards, so it looked like Troy would be in for another battle like they had in Week 1.

Going into the stadium before the game, it was impossible not to be reminded of Sidney. Everything was black and yellow, and the midfield logo was a big yellow S. The stadium wasn't quite as big as Sidney's, but it was pretty decent.

Of course, the final score ended up being reminiscent of a Troy-Sidney game as well. To be fair, Shawnee's top halfback, the one who carried the day for them in Week 1, was out with an injury, and I guess they had a couple of linebackers that didn't play either. Troy, on the other hand, was back at full strength--junior tailback Miles Hibbler, who missed the first game with an injury, returned to the lineup. And what a difference he made, running for 94 yards and 2 TDs (plus another 57-yarder nullified by a penalty) on 12 carries.

After struggling in the opener against Chaminade-Julienne, the Trojan offense really started clicking in this game. Shawnee's most effective defensive ploy was getting the officials to call holding after the Trojan ballcarrier was already twenty yards or so downfield. The penalties (9 for 95 yards) were frustrating, but watching Troy's stable of backs storming down the field was pretty impressive.

The Trojans return home next Friday to take on the resurgent Xenia Buccaneers (2-0) in a GWOC crossover game. I'll be keeping tabs on the score from afar, for a change; I'll be attending a friend's wedding that night. I will, however, be in attendance the following week, when the Springfield Wildcats visit Troy Memorial.

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