Troy has pushed on past Hickman to the second round of district play, going one step further than ever before in the program’s current makeup. The 14-6 victory over Hickman on Nov. 1 marks the first time that the team has made it to the second round of Class 6, District 2 Playoffs.
In the battle in the cold against Hickman, the Trojans turtled up and both teams fought to find an opening in the other’s defenses.
Troy coach Ryan Nesbitt said it was a good game of football to watch, “if you like defense.”
“For our guys, like I told them, the level of grit, toughness and everything that we are was on full display tonight,” Nesbitt said. “Seniors, couldn’t be more proud of them and everything they’ve managed to do over four years. It was special.”
Troy picked up the first touchdown and extra point in the first quarter, and midway through the second, Hickman picked up a touchdown of its own – but failed to get the extra point on the kick. Troy held that single-point lead for almost all of the game, with both teams buckling up and playing heavy defense to keep the score locked at 7-6.
“I’m proud of our guys, and their toughness and their effort,” Nesbitt said.
After Jacob Ferguson planted a Hickman runner and forced a turnover with less than four minutes on the clock in the fourth, Nick Bova broke through the defense and scored the second touchdown for Troy, with Mason Gessert locking in the extra point.
“We talked about it at halftime, it was all hands on deck, and I thought our guys just flat competed,” Nesbitt said after the game. From there, Troy just had to hold on to its lead and continue to throw up walls in front of Hickman’s offense.
Bova’s late-game score wasn’t the only standout play of the night. Early in the second half, Hickman almost ran clear down the field with the ball, finding an opening in Troy’s lines, and it looked like they were going to edge into the lead. However, Bova had been giving chase from behind, and put on the gas to tackle the runner just ahead of the end zone. Following that, Devin Robinson made a leaping interception to bring the ball back into Troy’s grips.
With the first game of playoffs done, Troy is heading to face Blue Springs South this Friday, Nov. 8.