Running game pushes Troy past McLouth in opener
It's not easy being the defending Delaware Valley League champions.
McLouth, which went 10-1 last year and snagged a DVL crown in the process, opened last season with a 26-6 victory against Troy. But the Trojans responded in the rematch on their home field this season.
THS opened, bolted to a 28-0 lead, and never really was threatened by McLouth.
The Bulldogs did cut the lead to 28-6 on a Mark Stewart 10-yard run, but the Trojans, after halftime, increased their lead, thanks to two long touchdown runs by Caylor Luther -- 64 yards and 71 yards -- that deflated any hopes McLouth had for a second-half rally.
McLouth eventually fell, 42-21, and opened the season with a loss.
Actually, all of Troy's touchdowns were highlight material, as all were 30 yards or more. Five touchdowns were on rushing plays, and a sixth was on a 30-yard fumble return.
Defensively, though, Hester said his players might have stopped some of those big runs with better tackling techniques.
"They're very physical," Hester said about Troy. "I'll give them all the credit in the world."
"We lost our starting running back and we didn't respond well enough. And they're a good football team and you can't do that."
Sophomore tailback Skyler Terry left the game in the first quarter with a hand injury. Hester had to move senior Trevor Keling from slot receiver to running back. He likely will fill in again this Friday, as Terry won't be ready to play, Hester said.
"I think he'll do a fine job at running back," the fourth-year coach said about Keling. "We just have to get better."
Despite the lopsided score, McLouth and Troy had similar offensive yardage numbers: THS at 377 and McLouth at 365. MHS had two turnovers, a fumble and interception. Troy fumbled the ball three times, but recovered it twice.
McLouth's Mark Stewart completed 8 of 15 passes for 79 yards.
The Bulldogs will seek their first victory Friday when they head on the road again to play Doniphan West, which is 1-0 after defeating Valley Falls, 20-0, Friday. The Dragons turned the ball over five times against Doniphan West.
"We've got our frequent flyer miles going," Hester said. "Back-to-back trips to Doniphan County."
TROY 42, MCLOUTH 21
Score by quarters
McLouth 0 6 0 15 -- 21
Troy 21 7 7 7 -- 42
How they scored
T -- Koehler 32 run (Luedke kick)
T -- Luther 66 run (Luedke kick)
T -- Marriott 30 fumble return (Luedke kick)
T -- Koehler, 51 run (Luedke kick)
M -- Stewart, 10 run (kick failed)
T -- Luther 64 run (Luedke kick)
T -- Luther 71 run (Luedke kick)
M -- Keling 36 run (conversion good)
M -- Keling 8 run (Booth kick)
Bulldogs to rename football complex
McLouth will officially name its football stadium the Stan Bracksick Sports Complex before the Sept. 15 McLouth High home football game against Wathena, which will start at 7 p.m.
Before the game, there will be a tailgate party to honor the stadium's new namesake, who was the owner/president of the Bank of McLouth and was a longtime resident and supporter of the community. He died last February at the age of 81.