By David Fong
MIAMIBURG — There was no secret formula.
No trick plays.
Simply put, the Miamisburg football team — with its massive offensive line, All-American tackle and fleet of running backs — lined up and ran right at the Troy football team in a 43-15 victory Friday night at Harmon Field.
With the win, Miamisburg improved to 3-0, while Troy fell to 1-2.
“We knew exactly what they were going to do,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “They just executed better than we did. It wasn’t any major things we did wrong, again, but it was a lot of little things that added up. Offensively, we shot ourselves in the foot a few times. Defensively, we had guys in position to make plays, but we didn’t tackle very well.”
A bad combination against a Miamisburg team that only threw the ball four times — twice each half — and rushed for more than 400 yards in the game.
“Let’s give them some credit, too,” Burgbacher said. “This was a great team we were playing.”
Miamisburg set the ground-and-pound pace in the first half, throwing the ball just two times and running the ball 30 times en route to a 22-8 lead. Miamisburg scored on drives of seven, five and 15 plays in the first half.
The Vikings spread the wealth, using four different running backs, frequently running behind mammoth junior offensive tackle Josh Myers, an Ohio State commit who is ranked as the top junior offensive lineman in the nation by every major recruiting service.
While the Vikings were content to pound the ball, the Trojans went to the air in the first half, running the ball just seven times — two of which were quarterback sacks — and letting junior quarterback Hayden Kotwica throw the ball 19 times in the first half alone.
Down 7-0, Troy did manage to take the lead in the first quarter after linebacker pounced on a Miamisburg fumble at the Viking 28. From there, Kotwica completed passes to tight end Will Brumfield and receiver Luke Robinson before scoring on a quarterback keeper.
He completed a pass to Brumfield for a two-point conversion, giving the Trojans a brief 8-7 lead.
Miamisburg needed just four plays — all runs — to answer, however, going ahead 15-8 on a Tony Clark touchdown run. The Vikings would add another TD on Jake Ross’ second scoring run of the first half to cap a 15-play drive that ate up nearly the entire second quarter.
Troy would come out in the second half and pull within one score, 22-15, when Kotwica connected with Hayden Jackson on a 27-yard touchdown pass.
“I was happy with the way our guys responded all night,” Burgbacher said. “We came back after they scored and took the lead, then we came back again to open the second half to pull within one score. Our kids never quit. I was proud of our effort.”
From there, however, Miamisburg was able to keep pounding away at the Trojans, adding three more scores, while at the same time keeping the Trojans in check.
“We knew this was going to be a tremendous challenge for us,” Burgbacher said.
It won’t get any easier for the Trojans next week, as they travel to Wayne, the Division I state runner-up a year ago.
“We’ve got to focus on ourselves,” Burgbacher said. “We know we’ve got Wayne and we know how good they are, but we need to keep focusing on ourselves and fix the things we need to fix.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong.