In his 2nd season as head coach at Troy High, Bob "The Builder" Burns had not lost a regular season game. He was also perfect at home, having won 8 in a row, counting last year's playoffs. With a chance to lock down the top seed in the Liberty Division of Class AA, Burns and the Flying Horses welcomed Schenectady High to Picken Memorial Field on Senior Night.
Suffice to say, these Patriots were sent home with some rather painful parting gifts.
After the two teams exchanged punts on their opening possessions, Troy marched down the field, with Ryan Carmello scoring the game's first touchdown on an end-around. On their next possession, Troy senior QB John Germinerio hit Dev Holmes for a touchdown pass to make it 14-0.
The Patriots finally got their offense going, with QB DeSean Fortune connecting with Antonio Buskey for a long gain that put Schenectady in the red zone. However, the drive stalled at the Troy 5. Facing third and long at the 4, Coach Burns went to his bag of tricks. Germinerio handed off to Joey Ward, who then hit Ethan Evans for a 96 yard touchdown off the halfback option. Troy led, 21-0, after the first period.
Fortune scored the only Patriots touchdown of the night in the 2nd quarter. A 2-point conversion made it 21-8, but it wasn't long before Troy scored again, and led, 28-8, at the break, after Germinerio threw his 2nd TD pass, this one to Jesse Brown. The defense shut down Schenectady in the 2nd half, and forced 5 turnovers. Joe Casale was responsible for four of those turnovers all by himself, with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Ward found the end zone to make it 35-8 in the 3rd quarter. In the 4th, Burns pulled his offensive starters, and had Casale at QB. Casale and Brandon Holmes scored touchdowns to ice the game.
You'd be forgiven during the 2nd half if you felt like queuing up not Don Meredith, because that would be too easy, but rather, Donna Summer:
The song might've been about something else entirely, but you get the idea, I think.
Troy, at 6-0, has all but wrapped up the top seed in the Liberty Division, and will have at least one home playoff game, to be played in 2 weeks. Before that happens, there's the small matter of closing the regular season schedule at Columbia next Friday, and the winner likely wins the division. Schenectady drops to 1-5, and won't make the playoffs, finishing with crossover games in week 8 and likely also week 9. All that's left for Troy is to take care of business next week on the road, then wait and see who's the next houseguest.