By David Fong
SIDNEY — Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Just one week after flying sky-high in a stunning upset of state-ranked Trotwood-Madison, the Troy football team fell unceremoniously to earth Friday, hitting the turf in Sidney with a thud in a 52-28 loss to Sidney Friday.
Prior to Friday night, the most points Sidney had ever scored against Troy was 44 in 1905.
With the loss, Troy fell to 2-6 (1-2 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division), while Sidney improved to 5-3 (1-2 in the GWOC North).
“We were not a good football team at all,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “It was a totally different team that showed up. That’s disappointing. We’ve got to know how to handle wins and how to handle losses. We have not reacted very well after either one of our wins this year.
“Obviously I’m the main culprit in that. It’s my responsibility to get this team ready and I didn’t do a very good job of that.”
For Troy, the loss — which was was so absolute it was played under a running clock for much of the second half per the Ohio High School Athletic Association “mercy rule” — featured a series of miscues, penalties, turnovers and bad tackling … all of which were mostly absent in the win over Trotwood.
Sidney wasted little time in jumping all over the lethargic Trojans, taking a 22-0 lead just a little more than midway into the first quarter — and never really looked — back from there. The Yellowjackets took advantage of tremendous field position, starting its three scoring drives from their own 45, the Trojan 47 and their own 45.
“Give Sidney credit — they are a good team and they came out and stuck it to us,” Burgbacher said.
Troy opened the game with an onside kick attempt, which Sidney recovered near midfield. The Yellowjackets used the one-two rushing punch of dual-threat quarterback Andre Gordon and tailback Isaiah Bowser to march down the field, with Bowser capping the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown run.
On the ensuing drive, Sidney would force Troy quarterback Hayden Kotwica to fumble, with the Yellowjackets pouncing on the ball at the Troy 47. A late hit helped the drive, which ended with a 11-yard TD run by Gordon, who then threw for a two-point conversion, extending Sidney’s lead to 15-0.
Troy was forced to punt on its next drive, again giving Sidney a short field to work with. Gordon scored his second rushing touchdown of the half to stretch the Jacket lead to 22-0.
Troy’s offense would finally get on track after that, with Kotwica and Marc Scordia carrying the load on the ground. Kotwica would hook up with Hayden Jackson on a 20-yard TD pass, cutting Sidney’s lead to 22-7.
Even that momentum was short-lived, however, as just three plays later, Gordon connected with Damien Duff on a 73-yard touchdown pass.
Troy would answer with a 2-yard touchdown run by Scordia, but Sidney drove down the field and Danny Dean booted a 36-yard field goal as the first half expired, giving the Yellowjackets a 32-14 lead going into the locker room.
Sidney came out in the second half and scored a pair of quick touchdowns against the Trojans to extend the lead to 45-14 and start the running clock. The first came on an incredible 36-yard run by Gordon that saw him break a half-dozen tackles on his way to the end zone. The second came on a 2-yard run by Bowser.
Troy would take the running clock away when offensive lineman Jared Bair recovered a Kotwica fumble in the end zone, trimming the Sidney lead to 45-21. Sidney would answer on the ensuing drive with another touchdown to re-start the running clock.
Troy would add another touchdown on a nifty 64-yard touchdown run by freshman Sam Jackson.
By then, though, the outcome was no longer in doubt — and truthfully, hadn’t been for quite some time.
“We made too many mental mistakes,” Burgbacher said. “I go back and tally all of our mental mistakes. Last week we had five. This week we may have had five in the first two drives.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong