By David Fong
TROY — Matt Burgbacher knew it wouldn’t be easy.
And it wasn’t.
Simply put, Miamisburg was too big and too strong for the Troy football team Friday night.
“We knew coming in we faced a tremendous challenge,” Troy’s coach said. “This is a great football team. They are going to win a lot of football games this year. With that offensive line, they can impose their will on teams.”
Led by future Ohio State tackle Josh Myers — one of the top-ranked junior football players in the nation according to every scouting service — the Vikings threw the ball just four times the entire night, choosing instead to run the same series of plays right at the Trojans in a 43-15 victory.
“We couldn’t stop them,” Burgbacher said. “Give them credit. They were able to do what they wanted to do.”
That included piling up 486 rushing yards against the Trojans’ undersized defense.
With the loss, Troy fell to 1-2. Things don’t get any easier for the Trojans this week, as they travel to state power Wayne.
First, though, a final look back at at Friday’s Troy vs. Miamisburg game:
Offensive Player of the Game: With Miamisburg’s defense — which was nearly as big as its offense — essentially eradicating Troy’s run game, the Trojans were forced to take to the air early and often.
Junior quarterback Hayden Kotwica unofficially completed 22 of 42 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown. Only three games into the season, Kotwica already has passed for nearly 700 yards this year.
Defensive Player of the Game: This one is almost a medal of courage award. Despite giving up 60 pounds to Myers — a 6-foot-6, 290 behemoth with a college-ready body — Troy defensive lineman Jared Bair was forced to go toe-to-toe with him for most of the night.
While all of Troy’s defenders had to deal with Myers at some point, it was Bair who was forced to endure the brunt of his attack … and never once backed down.
Play of the Game: Kotwica is establishing quite a connection with junior receiver Hayden Jackson. The two have hooked up for a touchdown in each of Troy’s first three games. Down 22-8 to open the second half, Kotwica hooked up with Jackson on a 27-yard touchdown strike that pulled the Trojans to within a score, 22-15, with plenty of time to play.
It was all Miamisburg from that point, but for a moment, it was a huge play for the Trojans on a night when not many things went Troy’s way.
What This Means: From an emotional standpoint, Troy has been all over the spectrum through just three weeks of the season. From the thrill of a season-opening win against Chaminade Julienne, to the heartbreak of a 28-26 loss to Cincinnati Northwest to Friday’s lopsided loss, the Trojans have seen it all.
It will be interesting to see how the Trojans bounce back from this game, particularly against Wayne, the Division I state runner-up a season ago.
What Happens Next: As good as undefeated Miamisburg was, Wayne — at least on paper — could be better. Troy will need to play a perfect game — and probably hope for a few breaks — if it hopes to avoid starting the season 1-3.
The Trojans play a tough schedule this season … but Wayne just may be the best of the bunch.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong