By David Fong
TROY — Troy picked a bad night to have a bad night.
In front of a packed home stands and facing one of the premier Division I high school football teams in the Dayton area, the Troy football team was flat early — and Miamisburg was every bit as good as advertised — and a second-half surge by the Trojans was too little, too late in a 31-14 Trojan loss in a battle of unbeaten teams Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
With the loss, Troy fell to 4-1, while Miamisburg improved to 5-0.
“We just didn’t respond very well,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “We were uptight. We settled down in the second half and played them even, which is what we thought this game would be. But they are a good football team, without a doubt, and we didn’t come out and play well. You can’t do that against a team like Miamisburg.
“We’ll let this one hurt for a day, but then we’ve got to move on.”
Miamisburg set the tone early with its defense, which stonewalled the Trojans on nearly every drive in the first half, holding the Trojans to just 62 yards in total offense through the first two quarters. Troy’s defense, however, was up to the task early, forcing the Vikings to punt on their first possession and holding them to a field goal on their second drive, putting Miamisburg up 3-0.
Troy went three-and-out on its next drive, but a 53-yard punt by Troy’s Tucker Raskay forced Miamisburg to start the drive on its own 25. Not that it much mattered, however, as Viking quarterback Tate Vongsy tossed passes of 15 and 39 yards to Jackson Myers, which set up a 15-yard touchdown pass to Zion Lewis, putting the Vikings up 10-0.
The Trojans finally got some things going on the next drive, but even that ended in disaster. On second down at the Troy 47, Troy quarterback Brayden Siler’s pass bounced off a receiver’s hands and into the waiting arms of Miamisburg defensive back Jamahi Evans, who returned it all the way to the Trojan 12. Two plays later, Vongsy powered his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to put the Vikings up 17-0 going into halftime.
“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Burgbacher said. “We didn’t make some catches we usually make. We missed some passes we usually make. We didn’t make some blocks we usually make. Our offense put our defense in some tough situations. Really, the defense only gave up 10 points in the first half. You can’t put that interception on them.”
After a scoreless third quarter, Troy looked like it would make a game of it in the fourth quarter, but Miamisburg was able to answer ever time Troy made a move. After the defense got two stops to start the second half, the Trojans took over at their own 14. A pair of passes from Siler to Weston Smith moved the ball into Miamisburg territory.
On third-and-10 from the Viking 41, Siler hooked up with receiver Kobe Feltner, who was able to power his way into the end zone for Troy’s first points of the night with 10:48 to play in the game. Siler booted the extra point to cut Miamisburg’s lead to 17-7.
On the ensuing drive, the Trojan defense forced Miamisburg into a third-and-7 at its own 23, but Vongsy hit a wide-open Lewis on a wheel route, with Lewis taking it 74 yards to the Trojan 3. Two plays later, Lewis punched it into the end zone, putting the Vikings up 24-7.
Once again, however, Troy refused to quit, with Siler hooking up with Smith for a big gain into Miamisburg territory. On the next play, Troy running back Jaydon Culp-Bishop — who had been largely contained up until that point — broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run, cutting Miamisburg’s lead to 24-14.
Troy’s onside kick attempt following the Culp-Bishop score didn’t go 10 yards, however, giving Miamisburg the ball near midfield with 7:45 to play. Miamisburg would tack on another score for the final margin of victory.
“Miamisburg is a good football team; give them credit,” Burgbacher said. “There’s a reason they are 5-0. Now we’ve got to move on. We didn’t win a state title tonight and we didn’t lose a state title tonight. We’ve still got a lot to play for. Now we have to move on and worry about defending our (Greater Western Ohio Conference) North title.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong.