TROY — With a new system under first-year coach Troy Everhart, you can expect the Troy football team will only get better with each day of practice, scrimmaging and games.
And the Trojans took another step Saturday morning in a scrimmage with a strong Cincinnati Princeton team.
“That is our goal every day,” Everhart said. “To go out and get better.”
And the fact there were mixed results Saturday against a strong opponent is not unexpected.
“I thought we did some good things,” Everhart said. “I think some of the breakdowns on defense at then had to do with the effect of the heat and that led to some breakdowns fundamentally.”
Troy’s defense was strong in the early going as neither team was able to do much offensively.
Princeton had a 70-yard TD run against the Troy JV defense, before Nick Kawecki gave Troy a spark.
Kawecki broke loose on a 51-yard TD run.
Those were the only scores in the down and distance, but both offenses would find success in several series starting on the opponents 25-yard line.
After two touchdowns by Princeton, Troy got on the board again.
On third-and-10 from the 25-yard line, Cameron Stoltz rand down to the four-yard line and Dakota Manson punched it into the end zone on the next play.
Both teams finished the scrimmaged with one down-and-distance series starting on their own 10-yard line.
Princeton was able to score on a 10-play drive, but Troy was unable to move the ball.
“Nick (Kawecki) did have a nice run,” Everhart said. “But, so did Cameron Stoltz and Dakota Manson. We have a lot of kids that made some nice plays. It is always good (to get on the field against someone different after practicing against your teammates).”
Troy will face another stern test in its final scrimmage next week, traveling to Toledo Central Catholic.
The Irish have 23 playoff appearances in D-II, three state titles, one state runnerup finish and advanced to a D-II regional final a year ago.
The challenging scrimmages are not by accident.
“I think we are playing a couple teams that are a little better than us,” Everhart said. “That’s my job. To have us ready for the regular season.”
And you can be sure the improvement will continue as the Trojans prepare to host Dunbar in the season opener on Aug. 19.
You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]