By David Fong
TROY — Troy dethroned the kings.
For nearly eight years — 2,911 days, to be exact — the Trotwood-Madison football team dominated the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division, winning 34 North Division games in a row and eight North Division crowns.
That incredible run — which dated back to Oct. 19, 2007 — came to an end from perhaps the most unlikely of sources Friday as the Troy football team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in school history with a 21-20 victory over Trotwood.
With less than a minute to play in the game, Trotwood scored on a touchdown pass, cutting Troy’s lead to 21-20. The Rams elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion, but Troy defensive back Bailey Williams — who had gotten beat on the touchdown a play earlier — dragged down running back Rodric Bogan, securing the win.
“Frankie (Quintero) came up and hit him first,” Williams said of the play of the game. “He got stiff armed, and I just came up, grabbed him and held on for dear life. This feels great. There’s no better feeling in the world.”
With the win, Troy improved to 2-5 (1-1 in the GWOC North), while Trotwood fell to 5-2 (1-1).
“There are going to be a lot of people opening the newspaper tomorrow and wanting to know who beat Trotwood,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “That answer is four letters: T-R-O-Y. I’m so proud of these kids. What an effort by our kids.”
Troy bottled up Trotwood’s high-powered offense for most of the night with its best defensive performance of the season, while turning in an opportunistic effort on offense.
Troy jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead, thanks in part to a stellar defensive effort by lineman Jared Bair, who spent much of the night in Trotwood’s backfield.
“I can’t even describe this,” said Bair, a starter for the Trojans two years ago in a 72-6 loss to the Rams — the most lopsided loss in school history. “They embarrassed us two years ago. They embarrassed us last year. That wasn’t going to happen again. I’m so proud of my teammates. We just beat the best team in the North!”
Midway through the second quarter — following a perfectly placed punt by Hayden Kotwica — Trotwood was forced to punt from deep within its own territory. Troy took over at its own 49, and long runs by Hayden Jackson and Marc Scordia set up a 10 yard touchdown pass from Kotwica to Jackson.
Jacob Anderson booted the extra point, giving the Trojans a 7-0 lead.
“I had a funny feeling all day this would happen,” Kotwica said. “We went to Jimmy John’s to eat before the game, and I told someone I could feel it then. I just knew we were going to come down here and do this.”
Three drives later, Troy’s defense again pinned the Rams deep in their own territory and, following a short punt, the Trojans took over at the Trotwood 49. Kotwica completed a 15 yard pass to Scordia and a 17-yard pass to Zach Boyer, setting up his own 15-yard touchdown run on a read option, giving the Trojans a 14-0 lead.
In the second half, Trotwood scored first but missed the extra point, leaving the Trojans with a 14-6 lead. The Trojans would extend that lead to 21-6 early in the fourth quarter when Will Brumfield recovered a fumbled Trotwood punt at the Rams’ 2 yard line.
Kotwica punched the ball in on a quarterback keeper, extending Troy’s lead to 21-6. Trotwood would answer midway through the fourth quarter with a touchdown run and two-point conversion run by Bogan, cutting Troy’s lead to 21-14 and setting up the game’s dramatic ending.
“These kids never quit,” Burgbacher said. “These kids haven’t quit all season. They deserved this win. They’ve kept working all season, no matter what has happened. I’m so happy for these kids right now.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong.