SIDNEY — Ohio State coach Woody Hayes’ was credited with coining the phrase “three yards and a cloud of dust” by describing his offense.
On Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium, Troy’s offense could best be described as “six yards and a cloud of turf.”
Sidney was able to stay close throughout much of a Miami Valley League crossover game, but the Trojans’ running led by a massive offensive line was too much too contain on the field turf.
The Trojans pounded the ball with senior quarterback Brayden Siler and senior Kevin Walters III and controlled the clock in a 19-7 victory. The Yellow Jackets drop to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in league play while Troy improves to 6-1 and 5-0.
Sidney continues MVL play next Friday when it travels to West Carrollton.
“I was really proud of the guys; we kept battling,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “… We still have three football games left and a lot to play for. …It’s going to be a challenge for our guys. The season hasn’t gone the way we wanted, but we still have a lot to play for, and our seniors that we want to play for.”
Sidney backup quarterback Cedric Johnson started in place of starter Ryan Dunham, who was injured in the second half last week against Fairborn. The Yellow Jackets didn’t miss much of a beat when it came to moving the ball in the first half but struggled in driving rain for much of the second half.
“We had full confidence with Ced going in,” Doenges said. “He adds a little bit different dynamic with what he can do with his feet, but that was tough first career start to go against a defense like Troy. They’ve done a lot of good things on the defensive side of the ball against a lot of teams this year.”
The Trojans did a good thing on defense on Friday by holding Sidney sophomore running back E.J. Davis to 48 yards on 14 carries. He was the MVL’s leading rusher entering the game.
Sidney finished with 149 yards of offense while Troy had 376 yards, 301 of which came on the ground. The squad averaged nearly six yards a carry. Walters led Troy with 213 rushing yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns.
The Trojans — which have four starting linemen that weigh over 300 pounds — had the ball for 30:48 while Sidney had it for 17:12.
“Sometimes the bigger bodies wear on you,” Doenges said. “They did a nice job of sustaining some drives. …They were able to drive into our territory a lot, but we were able to force a lot of turnovers on downs even though we didn’t produce a fumble or anything.
“…But when you have that size of line, you can just keep leaning on kids. I thought we did a good job of moving our three linemen a little bit and move our linebackers, and I thought we got them a couple of times. But I give (Troy) a lot of credit for doing what they did.”
Troy led 12-7 at halftime. Sidney went three-and-out on the first drive of the second half, and Troy drove to Sidney’s 33 before turning the ball over on downs.
The Yellow Jackets drove into Sidney territory before a pass by Johnson was intercepted by Troy’s Weston Smith near the 25-yard line. Two penalties pushed the Trojans back to their own 5, but Walters led the squad to Sidney’s 40 before the end of the quarter.
The Trojans stalled in Sidney territory again and turned the ball over on downs with 8:34 left in the fourth at the 32. Sidney went three-and-out and punted to Troy’s 32 with 6:49 left, and the Trojans then came up with the game’s decisive drive.
Troy drove down behind the running of Walters and Siler. On a fourth-and-4 from the 5, Walters ran straight ahead into the pile and was pushed into the end zone by Troy’s offensive line to increase the lead to 19-7 with 2:22 left.
The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over on downs on their last drive, and Troy ran out the clock.
After both teams went three-and-out on their first drives, Troy scored on the third drive of the game. The Trojans drove 65 yards and scored on a 4-yard run by Siler on a fourth-and-goal with 2:43 left in the first quarter.
Sidney went three-and-out on its second drive, and Troy stalled at midfield on its third drive and punted. The Yellow Jackets got going after that and drove to Troy’s 28 after a long pass from Johnson to Quamir “Philly” Brown and Lathan Jones.
A couple of plays later, Johnson threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jones, and Hallie Truesdale kicked the extra point to put the squad ahead 7-6 with 4:44 left in the second.
The Trojans quickly drove down and answered on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Siler to Josh Mayfield with 1:33 left. The Trojans’ two-point conversion try was no good, resulting in the lead staying a 12-7. Sidney drove to midfield before time ran out.