Troy and Penalties Give El Dorado a Tough Time
How do you spell frustration?
P-E-N-A-L-T-Y, if you are El Dorado High School’s football team.
The difference in El Dorado’s 6-0 loss to Troy Thursday night was not so much a stellar defensive effort by the Warriors--though it was good--or an especially bad night on offense for the Golden Hawks, though it was nothing to brag about. It was flags, and they were flying all over the place when El Dorado got close.
El Dorado was penalized six times for 60 yards, twice when threatening to score in the second half.
In many ways, it looked as though a season opener was being played in front of 2,500 at Valencia High School. El Dorado turned the ball over five times, Troy four.
“Our defense should get a lot of the credit,” Troy Coach John Turek said. “El Dorado wasn’t intentionally trying to throw interceptions or fumble the ball. Our kids were hitting hard and swarming. It was a very good night for our defense.”
One of the keys to Troy’s victory was how well the defensive front kept pressuring El Dorado quarterbacks David Swearingen and Phil Nevin.
“They have some dangerous weapons on offense, but we were able to take away the time they needed to set up,” Turek said.
Troy struggled offensively in the first half, but the Warriors got moving on the second series of the second half. Fullback Mark Stichter came alive on the series, running for 31 of his 99 yards as the Warriors marched 58 yards in 6 plays. Stichter capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 5:07 left. A two-point conversion try failed.
Twice in the final five minutes, El Dorado had a chance to win. The Golden Hawks drove from their 40 to the Troy 15, but a face mask penalty was the key blow in a drive that eventually ended when El Dorado turned the ball over on downs. Minutes later, after Troy fumbled the ball back to El Dorado at the Warriors’ 28, El Dorado moved to the 7. An offsides penalty on second down stemmed the Golden Hawks’ momentum, and their hopes ended when Swearingen’s fourth-down pass to Matt Luke at the goal line fell just beyond his grasp with 1:21 left.