By David Fong
TROY — There must be something Shane Shoop can’t do on the football field.
Nobody has found it yet.
The Troy football team’s version of the Swiss Army Knife made big plays in all three phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams — for the Trojans in their 38-6 win over Fairborn Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
On offense, the junior running back had six carries for 69 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Shoop was in on seven tackles while playing inside linebacker. He made his presence most felt on special teams, however, as he blocked a punt deep in Skyhawk territory, allowing the Trojans to take over at the Fairborn 1.
On the very next play, Shoop punched in the touchdown to put the Trojans up 14-0.
“After I blocked the punt, I wanted to get the touchdown,” Shoop said.
On the fast track
For two years of high school, junior running back Jaydon Culp-Bishop felt like a track athlete who happened to be playing football.
After his second week in a row rushing for more than 100 yards — he finished with 22 carries for 117 and Troy’s first touchdown of the night Friday — he’s starting to feel more and more like a true football player.
“I was not ready,” Culp-Bishop said of his first few years in the Trojan program. “I felt more like a track guy. I’m starting to feel like a football player.”
Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said the difference is noticeable as Culp-Bishop is learning to make cuts and use his vision instead of relying solely on his straight-line speed, which took him to the regional track and field meet last spring.
“You can see him starting to figure things out,” Burgbacher said. “He’s learning.”
Blocked, Part II
Shoop’s blocked punt was one of two the Trojans had on the night. In the third quarter, senior linebacker John Wehrkamp blocked a punt, also deep in Fairborn territory.
That nearly led to a defensive lineman’s dream for Trojan senior Christian Nation, who scooped it up and was rumbling toward the end zone before getting cut down by Fairborn’s punter before he could hit pay dirt.
That led to some good-natured ribbing from the always-loquacious Wehrkamp after the game.
“I wanted Nation to score — but he got hawked by the punter,” Wehrkamp said. “I can’t believe he got tackled by the dang punter. How does that happen?”
Troy would still turn the blocked punt into points, however, as two plays later Troy senior quarterback Sam Coleman would hook up with junior tight end Spencer Klopfenstein on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Klopfenstein spends most of his time on offense, but when he gets a rare chance to play defense, he makes the most of it. Late in the game, Klopfenstein went in at outside linebacker and picked off a pass, helping the Trojans run out the clock and ice the game.
In addition to his interception, Klopfenstein finished with three tackles.
Welcome back, Hubbard
Troy got some much-needed depth along the offensive and defensive lines Friday with the return of senior Logan Hubbard, who missed the first three games of the season with a broken foot suffered the final week of summer practice.
The 6-foot, 285-pound Hubbard — who started every game at noseguard and saw spot duty along the offensive line as a junior — had limited reps and finished with one tackle Friday, but should see an increased role as he continues to get healthy and get back into football shape.
That should take some of the load off 6-foot-1, 310-pound junior Gage Forsythe, who has been going both ways at offensive tackle and noseguard for the Trojans the first part of the season.
Troy burned through much of the third quarter in rapid fashion after going up 31-o on Coleman’s touchdown pass to Klopfenstein, instituting the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s running clock “mercy rule.”
Fairborn would score late in the quarter to cut Troy’s lead to 31-6 and turn off the running clock, which is only in effect when a team leads by 30 or more points in the second half.
Derek McDonagh turned it back on again in the fourth quarter, however, when he intercepted a ball at the Fairborn 47 and returned it for a touchdown. After picking off the pass he began racing down the home sideline. He nearly got caught at about the 8-yard line by a Fairborn defender with an angle on him, but made a nifty move to cut back inside and reach the end zone for six points.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong