By David Fong
SIDNEY — And just like that — in 48 minutes of football — so many of the Troy football team’s hopes and dreams were wiped away.
Gone is the chance at a .500 season. Any chance of winning a share of the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division is now out of the Trojans’ hands. Even the remotest chances of going to the playoffs likely has become a mathematical impossibility.
One week after upsetting state-ranked Trotwood — after which just about anything seemed possible the final three weeks of the season — Troy got a harsh reality check in the form of a 52-28 loss to Sidney. With the loss, many of the goals the Trojans have been working for disappeared.
With just two games left against GWOC North-leading Butler and rival Piqua, the Trojans are mostly playing for pride to end the season.
Not that playing for pride isn’t a noble goal in and of itself.
Troy will seek both pride redemption — along with momentum going into the offseason — the final two weeks.
First, though, some final notes from Troy’s loss to Sidney Friday:
Offensive Player of the Game
On a night in which penalties and turnovers kept the Trojan offense from every hitting its stride, quarterback Hayden Kotwica still manged to put up respectable numbers, completing 10 of 21 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown, while also carrying the ball 23 times for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Game
Troy’s defense obviously struggled all night trying to contain the Yellowjackets’ spread offense, but junior linebacker Michael Murray did have perhaps the best night of his career, finishing the game with nine tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Play of the Game
It came long after the outcome had been decided, but freshman running back Sam Jackson’s 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. Jackson is going to be a player to watch for the Trojans in the coming years.
What This Means
As previously discussed, many of the Trojans’ goals have gone by the wayside. At 2-6 (1-2 in the GWOC North), the Trojans won’t finish with a .500 record or better, won’t be going to the playoffs and would need a ton of help to win even a share of the North title.
Going into the season on the heels of a 1-9 record last year — and with another brutal schedule on tap — nobody said it would be easy this season. All hope is not yet lost for these Trojans.
What Happens Next
Again, simply put, the Trojans are playing for pride to close the season. But the Trojans haven’t quit yet this season — wins the final two weeks (both of which would have to be considered upsets at this point) would be a nice way to end things.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong