»POWER RANKINGS: Week 1 high school football
»THE BOYS ARE BACK: Hartsock and Pendleton talking Week 1 football
No one benefitted from that more than senior William McDaniel during Friday night’s high school football season-opening 48-0 demolition of visiting Troy. With the Trojans committed to stopping Hargrove, that left play-makers like McDaniel free to dazzle. He responded with a 55-yard touchdown catch from Rams quarterback Markell Stephens-Peppers and a 70-yard TD dash.
That, and lots more offensive fireworks, added up to a lopsided Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover win for Trotwood, the defending state Division III runner-up. It also spoiled Troy’s shot at a rare three-peat sweep of Trotwood after defeating the Rams each of the last two seasons.
McDaniel was no better than an after-thought option for the Rams last season, rushing for 643 yards to go with 18 catches and 10 touchdowns over 15 games. More opportunity is sure to follow.
“I’m loving it,” McDaniel said. “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m proud to be a part of Ram Nation.”
Trotwood-Madison WR/RB William McDaniel scored on two long plays in a 48-0 defeat of visiting Troy in a high school football season opener on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Stephens-Peppers, in his third season as the Rams’ starting QB, completed 15 of 21 passes for 225 yards and two TDs and also scored on a short run in the first half, staking Trotwood to a 28-0 lead. Dallas Daniels had a 14-yard TD catch from Stephens-Peppers and Ke’wuan Garrett returned an interception 40 yards for another score. Hargrove was held to 28 yards rushing on nine carries, but his main job was fulfilled: drawing lopsided attention from Troy’s defenders.
Both teams were challenged to replace key players who graduated from last year’s teams. Trotwood (12-3) had a big turnover on the offensive line and most of the defense. Troy (10-2) lost its record-setting QB Hayden Kotwica and go-to running back Josh Browder.
“We got a piece of humble pie and sometimes that’s good,” Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “This one’s on me and we’re going to get this fixed.”
This ends the season-opening series, but Trotwood and Troy could play in other crossover matchups. Trotwood is committed to a home-and-home, season-opening series against Cincinnati Winton Woods in 2018-19.
Both Trotwood (D-III, Region 12) and Troy (D-II, Region 8) should contend for postseason spots. Troy’s only losses last season were to Miamisburg in the regular season and playoffs. Miamisburg has since moved up to D-I, Region 3.
Nobody mentioned payback, but losing twice to the same team in the regular season doesn’t happen often with Trotwood.
“We were hungry for this game,” Graham admitted. “The guys were thinking about it a lot.”
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Trotwood running back Ra’veion Hargrove is pursued by Troy’s Blake Burton (left) and Shane Shoop. Trotwood-Madison hosted Troy in a Week 1 high school football game on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF