By David Fong
TROY — And just like that, it’s finished.
There may be no faster 10 weeks during the calendar year than the 10 weeks of the high school football season — particularly for players, coaches and anyone else involved with those glorious Friday night lights. It seems like just yesterday the Troy football team was opening the season with a win over Chaminade Julienne — back when anything and everything seemed possible for the Trojans.
Troy experienced its series of ups and downs throughout the season — which could be said of any high school football team, but the Trojans really seemed to corner the market on roller coaster rides this season.
There will be plenty of time to discuss the season that was in the coming days, but first let’s cap off the season with some from Troy’s 26-7 loss to rival Piqua in the final game of the season:
With the win, Piqua took overall lead in the series, 63-62-6. The two teams have now played 131 times, more than any two high school football teams in Ohio.
The win was Piqua’s fourth in a row — the Indians’ longest winning streak against the Trojans since Bill Nees became head coach of the Indians in 1992. Piqua’s current four-game winning streak comes on the heels of a Troy five-game winning streak from 2007-11.
Troy won the annual blood drive between the two communities. Piqua won the U.S. Marines Chin-Up Challenge during the game. Piqua’s Tom Lyman and Troy’s Mike Delwiche were inducted into the Great American Rivalry Series before the game. Troy senior Jared Bair and Piqua senior Jack Schmiesing were named the Great American Rivalry Series Scholar-Athletes.
Offensive Player of the Game
It wasn’t a huge night for Troy’s offense, but Trojan quarterback Hayden Kotwica did complete a 39-yard pass to Luke Robinson, which set up his own 1-yard touchdown run, the Trojans’ lone score of the night.
Defensive Player of the Game
Trojan defensive back Drake McDonagh recorded an interception in the end zone to thwart a potential Piqua touchdown earlier in the game.
Play of the Game
They were few and far between for the Trojans, but Kotwica’s 39-yard pass to Robinson was a bright spot.
What This Means
Troy’s season comes to an end at 2-8 (1-4 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division), while Piqua improved to 6-4 (3-2 in the GWOC North) and secured a Division III playoff bid.
What Happens Next
This will be first-year coach Matt Burgbacher’s first full offseason with his team. He was hired last winter after the season. The Trojans took steps forward this season, but still have a way to go. It will be interesting to see what happens in a critical offseason for the Trojans.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong