By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Manager
TROY — As he stood in front of his team, Scot Brewer pointed at the Troy Memorial Stadium scoreboard behind him.
“See that?” the Troy football coach said to his team following its scrimmage against Reynoldsburg Saturday morning as he pointed to the blank scoreboard. “There’s a reason why they didn’t turn it on. It’s because scrimmages don’t count. The final score doesn’t matter.”
Which is why, despite being outscored 3-1 by Reynoldsburg in Troy’s first scrimmage of the season Saturday, Brewer wasn’t particularly concerned.
“It doesn’t matter,” Brewer said of the final score. “Obviously they were a team that was playing their second scrimmage and we were a team that were playing our first scrimmage. We made a lot of first scrimmage mistakes. But we’ve got great tape to go back and look at and evaluate.
“A lot of guys got playing time and now we’ve got a lot of guys on film. It’s not about stats or scores — it’s about getting tape on guys and seeing what they can do when we put them in tough situations. Overall, I’m pleased with how we played. We saw some good things and some bad things — but you are going to see that in scrimmages. That’s what they are there for.”
The scrimmage opened with each offense receiving 10 plays, as down-and-distance situations were disregarded. Both the Troy and Reynoldsburg varsity offenses each received a pair of 10-play drives. On its first series of 10 downs, Troy’s defensive backfield got caught flat-footed as the Raiders completed a 70-yard passing touchdown to a wide-open receiver.
On the second series of 10 plays, however, Troy’s defense did not allow Reynoldsburg to score.
Troy’s varsity offense, meanwhile, was unable to move the ball with any success on either of its 10-play series.
Troy’s quarterback battle would appear to be unsettled, as senior Billy Smith and junior Hayden Kotwicka both received an equal number of snaps with the first-team offense.
“We’ll go back and look at the film to evaluate how they did,” Brewer said of his two quarterback options. “They are both working hard in camp.”
Troy’s lone score of the day came with its junior varsity against the Reynoldsburg JV offense. On the first series of 10 plays with junior varsity players, Troy quarterback Andrew Ray worked the ball downfield, completing several passes to Luke Robinson before hooking up with Chaz Copas on a short touchdown pass.
Troy’s junior varsity defense, meanwhile, recorded an interception as Jake Anderson recorded an interception in Troy’s end zone to thwart a potential Reynoldsburg touchdown.
Following the 10-play series, Troy’s varsity again took the field, this team working under normal down-and-distance situations. On its first series, Reynoldsburg again caught the Trojans defense out of position and ripped off a 70-yard touchdown run.
“Overall, our defense played pretty well,” Brewer said. “But we made some mistakes and gave up some big plays. Fortunately, those are things we can fix.”
Troy’s offense struggled to move the ball. In four series conducted under “game situations,” the Trojans were forced to punt three times and fumbled deep in its own territory a fourth time. That fumble led to Reynoldsburg’s third touchdown of the day. There was another bright spot for the defense, however, as Anderson — playing with the first-team defense — recorded his second interception of the day.
“Overall, I’m pleased with how we played,” Brewer said. “We’ll get back to work and get ready for out next scrimmage.”
Troy hosts Dunbar at 7 p.m. Friday in its final scrimmage of the preseason. Troy opens the regular season at home Aug. 29 against Chaminade Julienne.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong