By David Fong
TROY — Matt Burgbacher had plenty to be happy about following the Troy football team’s 13-0 victory during the “live” portion of a scrimmage against Reynoldsburg Saturday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
But not too happy.
It was, after all, just a scrimmage.
And while his team showed flashes Saturday, Burgbacher knows it still has a long way to go before the season opener against Trotwood-Madison in a little less than two weeks.
“The thing I’m worried about is overconfidence,” Burgbacher said. “We played well today; we made a lot of mistakes today — but the mistakes we made, we can fix. You know, I can’t question the heart; I can’t question the effort; I can’t question any of that stuff because our kids played hard.
“But we can’t be complacent. There’s no reason to be complacent. There’s no reason to be overconfident because it’s just one step in the process of where we want to go. But it was a good scrimmage — a lot of improvement from last year, that’s for sure.”
The scrimmage began with the freshman and junior varsity teams, then moved on to the varsity. The varsity scrimmage began with each team receiving three sets of 10 plays that were run without down and distance taken into consideration.
During the “10 plays” portion of the scrimmage, Troy’s offense got to midfield on its first two drives, then struggled to move the ball on its third drive. Reynoldsburg didn’t move the ball on its first drive, but did manage to score on a 55-yard touchdown pass on its second drive. Like Troy, Reynoldsburg was unable to move the ball on its third set of 10 plays.
Finally, the teams went “live” — the part of the scrimmage in which down and distance were enforced — with Troy going on offense first. Senior quarterback Hayden Kotwica ripped off a nifty 21-yard scramble on third down to keep the drive alive. He also completed passes to receivers Hayden Jackson, Zion Taylor and Zach Boyer. The Trojans drove to the Reynoldsburg 17 before Kotwica was sacked on third down and the drive fizzled.
Reynoldsburg took over and on its first drive, a receiver got deep behind the Trojan secondary, but dropped what would have been a sure touchdown. The Raiders’ second drive ended on a sack by Trojan sophomore defensive tackle Gage Forsythe. Reynoldsburg drove into Trojan territory on its third and final drive, but senior safety Jacob Anderson picked off a pass to end the scrimmage.
“I loved, loved how our defense played,” Burgbacher said. “Man, we were hoping for that last year. I loved the intensity. I loved the aggressiveness. I loved us getting after it on defense. Our offense saw that and that’s what got our offense going on the down and distance.”
On Troy’s second drive, Kotwica and Jackson both broke off big runs, including an 11-yard scamper by Kotwica on fourth-and-one. Ultimately, however, the biggest blow came when senior Josh Browder broke loose on for a 31-yard touchdown run to put the Trojans up 6-0.
On the Trojans’ third drive, they picked up big yards on Kotwica passes to Jackson and sophomore Spencer Klopfenstein, eventually capping off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by Jackson.
All told, Burgbacher was pleased with what he saw … but remained cautiously optimistic.
“This is good for our confidence … but we are still 0-0,” he said. “We haven’t won anything yet.”
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong