Northwest goes on 21-0 run in second half, beats Troy 28-26.
TROY — Troy thought it had its second win wrapped up, but Cincinnati Northwest showed the Trojans they have more work ahead.
Northwest went on a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter and escaped Troy with a 28-26 win.
“We’ve got to learn how to win,” Troy head coach Matt Burgbacher said. “We gave a great effort but came up short. We are going to fix it.”
Troy (1-1) led 19-7 at the end of the third quarter but didn’t score again until the Knights had the game wrapped up.
Northwest’s comeback started with a three-yard touchdown by Devonte Faulkner to cap off a long drive. Troy went three-and-out on its next drive, and Northwest (2-0) quickly scored on a 54-yard pass from Brandon Shelton to David Martin with 6:32 left. The Knights made a two-point conversion to take a 22-19 lead.
Troy punted on its next drive, and Northwest quickly scored again. Shelton threw a 15-yard pass to a wide open Brandon Mueller for the game-clinching score with two minutes to go. Faulkner set up the score by rushing for 50 yards on four carries in the drive.
The Trojans tried to mount a comeback with their own long drive. Luke Robinson capped it off by hauling in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Hayden Kotwica, which brought the Trojans within two points. But the score came with two seconds left in the game. The onside kick was recovered by Northwest as time expired.
The game didn’t start until two hours after its scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff due to a lightning delay. Burgbacher said the delay coupled with Northwest’s physical play may have worn down Troy by the fourth quarter.
“Some plays went like that,” Burgbacher said. “But we were not worn out for a couple of downs. We knew coming in that they had a big running back (Faulkner) and played two platoon football, but did not affect our game plan. Our kids fought hard and played hard also.”
It looked like it might be a long night for Troy after the game started at 9:10. Faulkner scored on a two-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter to give Northwest a 7-0 lead. But Troy quickly came alive on offense, and its defense held the Knights scoreless until the fourth.
Kotwica threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Robinson later in the first to tie the game. He then connected with Hayden Jackson on a 20-yard touchdown pass right before halftime. The Trojans missed the extra point but led 13-7.
Elijah Pearson scored on a one-yard touchdown run early in the third to give the Trojans a multiple-possession lead. Troy blocked a Northwest field goal attempt later in the third, but the Warriors went on to score the next three touchdowns.
Pearson was kept out of Troy’s first game last Thursday against Chaminade-Julienne. Burgbacher said having Pearson at running back was key for Troy’s offense and also provided rest for Marc Scordia, a starting linebacker who was also Troy’s main rusher against CJ.
“We’ve got a whole season left,” Burgbacher said. “I am not blaming anyone for this loss. And we are going to come back and win games like this. We are just finding out that making a penalty or an offsides call is defeating our cause. Making too many mental mistakes is hurting us.”
Troy’s 2015 Hall of Fame inductees were honored before the game. Bussy Favorite, former Ohio State basketball player Matt Terwilliger, Jeff Brown, Todd Darbyshire, and Beth Greulich were inducted.