Trojans run out of magic


By David Fong

dfong@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — There wasn’t enough magic this time.

Last year, the Bellefontaine football team jumped out to a 21-0 lead against Troy, only to watch the Trojans come storming back in a season-defining 41-36 win.

Not this time.

Friday night at Troy Memorial Stadium, Troy fell behind 16-0 early, and while the Trojans were able to make things interesting in the second half, their comeback efforts fell short this time as Bellefontaine came away with a 30-22 win. With the win, Bellefontaine improved to 2-1, while Troy fell to 1-2.

“We did exactly what we didn’t want to do,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said of falling behind early in the game.

Down 16-7 at the half, Troy came storming back in the second half, with junior running back Jayden Culp-Bishop — who had his first-career 100-yard rushing game — leading the way. On the third play of the third quarter, he broke free on a 57-yard touchdown run, cutting Bellefontaine’s lead to 16-14.

“Jayden played well,” Burgbacher said. “He ran well, but I also think our offensive line picked it up in the second half, as well. Jayden does have some speed, and we can do some things to get him the ball.”

It would be short-lived, however, as Bellefontaine extended its lead to 23-14 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dezmin Lyburtus to William Parsley. Troy was able to hold Lyburtus — who torched the Trojans for more than 400 yards in total offense last year — in check through most of the first half, but in the second half, his playmaking ability was enough to pick up critical yards when needed against the Trojans.

His 42-yard pass to Tommy Belser in the third quarter extended Bellefontaine’s lead to 30-14.

Troy would answer with its best drive of the night, as Culp-Bishop carried the ball eight times in a row, driving the Trojans down to the Chieftain 3. From there, Sam Jackson punched in the touchdown then ran in the two-point conversion to cut the score to 30-22.

After the two teams exchanged punts, Troy would get the ball back at its own 14 with 2:17 to play in the game. Sam Coleman completed a long pass to Derek McDonagh to move the ball across midfield. The drive stalled there, however, allowing Bellefontaine to take a knee and escape with the victory.

Troy’s offense struggled to move the ball early — it only had one first down and didn’t cross midfield until its final drive of the first half — which gave Bellefontaine tremendous field position the first two quarters.

After a Bellefontaine punt pinned the Trojans at their own 11, three plays went nowhere and Troy was forced to punt from its own end zone. The snap sailed over punter Tucker Raskay’s head and out of the back of the end zone for a safety, putting Bellefontaine up 2-0 and giving the Chieftains the ball back at Troy’s 48 following the free kick,

Lyburtus would march the Chieftains deep in Troy territory, where Trey Stahler capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, putting Bellefontaine up 9-0.

Troy was able to flip the field midway through the second quarter, as a booming punt by Raskay pinned the Chieftains at their own 10. Troy forced a fourth down, but Bellefontaine lined up to go for it and the Trojans jumped offsides, giving the Chieftains a first down. Lyburtus and the Chieftains would take advantage of the miscue, marching 90 yards down the field and scoring on Stahler’s second scoring run of the night to go up 16-0.

Penalties were a major problem for the Trojans in the first half, as they racked up 70 penalty yards in the first half alone.

“We made too many mistakes,” Burgbacher said. “We really struggled to move the ball offensively. Penalties hurt us. We are not the kind of team that can do that right now.”

Following Belleftaine’s second first-half touchdown, however, the Trojan offense finally came to life. Starting at their own 30, Coleman was able to compete short routes to his receivers, while Culp-Bishop finally started to find some running room. Several penalties on Bellefontaine also helped the drive along, as Troy marched down to the Chieftain 2 yard line, where Jackson punched it in just before halftime to cut the lead to 16-7.

“We are showing signs of greatness, but we aren’t there yet,” Burgbacher said. “Right now, we need to focus on our preparation. We need to focus on what we need to do from Saturday through Thursday to get ready for Friday.”

Contact David Fong at dfong@aimmediamidwest.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong.

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Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Matt McGillivary gets taken down by a pair of Bellefontaine defenders Friday night.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_16-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Matt McGillivary gets taken down by a pair of Bellefontaine defenders Friday night.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s (Jayden Culp-Bishop runs the ball against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_08-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s (Jayden Culp-Bishop runs the ball against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Kameron Block (65) blocks Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_65-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Kameron Block (65) blocks Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Joah Schricker (36) battles a Bellefontaine player Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_36-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Joah Schricker (36) battles a Bellefontaine player Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Jackson (5) celebrates following a touchdown against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_5_84-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Jackson (5) celebrates following a touchdown against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Coach Matt Burgbacher barks out orders Friday against Bellefontaine.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_CoachmB-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Coach Matt Burgbacher barks out orders Friday against Bellefontaine.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Jayden Culp-Bishop (8) runs the ball Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_8_3-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Jayden Culp-Bishop (8) runs the ball Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_10_72-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s defense coordinator Charlie Burgbacher speaks with Joah Schricker (36) Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_CoachB_36-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s defense coordinator Charlie Burgbacher speaks with Joah Schricker (36) Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_10-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Jacob Shoop (30) receives a pass Friday against Bellefontaine.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_30-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Jacob Shoop (30) receives a pass Friday against Bellefontaine.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) is stopped by Bellefontaine Friday.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_10_2_5-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Sam Coleman (10) is stopped by Bellefontaine Friday.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Kobe Feltner (22) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_22_24_43-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Kobe Feltner (22) runs the ball Friday against Bellefontaine.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Shane Shoop (23) tries to stay on his feet against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_170908aw_Troy_23-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Troy’s Shane Shoop (23) tries to stay on his feet against Bellefontaine Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
Troy falls to Bellefontaine