TROY — Sidney had another strong defensive performance and played Troy close in a Miami Valley League crossover game on Thursday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
But the shorthanded Yellow Jackets had too many turnovers and other miscues, some of which led to two fourth-quarter touchdowns and sealed a loss.
The Trojans scored two touchdowns in the last 11 minutes to pull away and beat Sidney 23-6 in a game that was televised locally by Fox 45. It’s the second consecutive loss for the Yellow Jackets, which fall to 2-4 overall and 2-3 in MVL play.
Neither squad managed more than 200 yards of offense unofficially. But the Trojans (3-3, 3-2 MVL Miami) didn’t commit a turnover, while Sidney committed four, three of which led to 16 of Troy’s points.
The Yellow Jackets were without several players due to injuries or illness, including starting quarterback Donavin Johnson, two-way lineman Evan Kennedy and kicker Carson Taylor.
Those absences and a wet, slippery grass field didn’t help Sidney’s offense against the Trojans, which held Fairborn to 16 yards of offense last week.
“We tell our kids every week we’ve got 55 kids in the varsity locker room, and we need all 55 at all times,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “You never know when you’re going to have to step up and try to do something a little bit different.
“We had a lot of kids playing at different spots tonight. At the end of the day, I’m proud of the kids. They played pretty hard.”
Davis, who played quarterback his freshman year, got the squad going on several runs and completed a couple of deep passes. But he was stopped for no gain or a loss several times and had two passes intercepted, both of which led to Troy touchdowns.
“EJ battled hard tonight, as well as all our kids,” Doenges said. “At the end of the day, we’re still a better team and can do more on defense with him playing defense and offense. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and put people in the right spots for us to win games.”
Sidney fell behind fast. Wyatt Smith intercepted a pass on the fifth play of the game, and the Trojans quickly drove into the red zone. Jack Kleinhenz kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the team a 3-0 lead with 3:12 left in the first quarter.
Troy scored again 23 seconds later.
A high snap went over Davis’ head on Sidney’s ensuing possession, and the Trojans recovered at the 15-yard line. Will Wolke ran in on the next play to put Troy ahead 10-0.
But the Yellow Jackets’ defense contained Troy the rest of the first half and forced two turnovers on downs, one of which came after Sam Reynolds fumbled after making a catch.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve started off nice, but the last two weeks, we haven’t started off well,” Doenges said. “We’re not putting ourselves in good positions to have success. But as usual, the kids faced adversity, and we battled back and went into halftime with a little momentum.”
Davis gained 30 rushing yards on two carries to move Sidney to Troy’s 35 late in the second quarter. After an about 30-yard pass to Julius Spradling, Myles Vordemark scored on a short touchdown run with 59 seconds left to cut the gap to 10-6 at halftime after a failed two-point conversion try.
The squads traded punts (or turned it over on downs) in the third quarter, but Troy pulled away in the fourth.
The Trojans drove 69 yards in a little less than four minutes and scored on a 7-yard TD run by Jahari Ward with 11:14 left in the fourth quarter to take a 17-6 lead.
Sidney punted and Troy turned it over on downs with 4:33 left, but the Trojans quickly got the ball back. Kristifer Willams intercepted a Davis pass and returned it about 45 yards to the 3-yard line. Ward ran in on a fourth down with just under two minutes left to push the lead to 23-6 after a missed extra-point attempt.
The Yellow Jackets are scheduled to open MVL Valley Division play by traveling to winless West Carrollton next Friday.
“This hurts; it’s not fun. But the nice thing is, we get an extra day to heal up, and we’ll battle back,” Doenges said.
The contest was Sidney’s first Thursday game since 2018.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.