By David Fong
XENIA — Talk about a cliffhanger!
With the Troy football team leading 21-14 and Xenia facing fourth-and-3 at the Trojan 43-yard line, lightning filled the skies above Cox Stadium in Xenia Friday, forcing a series of delays. As a result of the delays, Friday’s game was not finished in time for the print edition of the Troy Daily News. For updates, see www.tdn-net.com
At 10:35 p.m. Friday — after the print edition of the Troy Daily News had gone to print — the game was postponed. It will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday with 1:27 to play.
With Troy leading 21-7 with around 4 minutes to play in the game, it didn’t look like there would be a dramatic ending to the game. That’s when Xenia quarterback Christian Severt completed a 40-yard pass down the middle of the field and Xenia running back Sincere Wells to cut Troy’s lead to 21-14 with just 2:22 to play in the game.
Xenia then recovered the onside kick attempt at midfield and ran three plays to the Trojan 43. At that time, the lightning came, followed by more lightning, which set off a series of delays.
Up until that point, Troy had largely controlled the game.
Troy scored the first point of the night when junior quarterback Brayden Siler hooked up with Shane Shoop on a 25-yard pass to the Xenia 39. Two plays later, Siler found a wide-open Tucker Raskay streaking down the left sideline and dropped the pass perfectly into his hands for a 36-yard touchdown, putting the Trojans up 7-0.
On the next drive, Xenia’s defense drove deep unto Troy territory, but the Trojan defense forced a turnover on downs after the Buccaneers had got as close as the Troy 10. Just two plays later, however, Xenia’s Blayne Dudley picked off a tipped pass and returned it 33 yards to tie the game, 7-7.
The two teams would battle back and forth until Xenia fumbled the ball on an option pitch at its own 27 with just 2:39 to play in the half. Five plays later, Troy’s Sam Jackson bulled his way into the end zone from 4 yards out, putting the Trojans up 14-7 going into halftime.
Troy looked like it might be on the verge of putting the game out of reach when it needed just five plays to score another touchdown on its first drive of the second half. Siler hooked up with tight end Spencer Klopfenstein for 25 and 21 yards on consecutive plays, followed by Jaydon Culp-Bishop’s 12-yard touchdown run to put the Trojans up 21-7.
The Trojan offense would bog down from that point on, however. Troy’s final punt of the night before the lightning delays would give Xenia the ball back in its own territory. The Bucs — who had struggled to throw the ball all night — completed the long pass play, followed by Wells’ touchdown and the onside kick recovery, setting up the late dramatics.
As of press time, more lightning was rolling into the area, forcing the waiting game.
Please go to www.tdn-net.com for the conclusion to the cliffhanger.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong