Nate Dodge breezes past Whitewater’s Andy Tautges as he catches a pass for a 2-point conversion after a touchdown during the Trojans’ 34-6 win over the Whippets Aug. 31. (Bob Mischka photo)

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

A strong ground game was a huge key to success last season for the East Troy football team.

And while the Trojans remain a threat to strike with their feet, they’ve also shown they can hurt the opposition through the air as well.

Just ask Whitewater, which had a front-row seat to the aerial assault Friday night.

East Troy quarterback Brandon Matz threw for 310 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Trojans to a convincing 34-6 Rock Valley Conference win. The victory improved the Trojans to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the RVC.

“We weren’t able to run the football as well as we would like to, (but) Brandon had another good game,” East Troy coach Eric Sulik said. “He spread the ball to a number of different receivers.

“We didn’t really play a real clean game. We had some penalties and were our own worst enemy a few times. … Defensively, we played pretty well.”

Even though his team can still improve, however, Sulik certainly was happy to see the Trojans secure the win.

“It’s kind of nice to see about 1,000 different things you can do better and still win 34-6,” he said. “Winning football games isn’t easy, and sometimes we can’t lose sight of that, either.”

Matz opened the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Nate Dodge just four minutes into the contest, then hit Cody Studt with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 4:17 left in the first quarter.

After Whitewater cut the deficit to one score at 14-6, Matz went back to work to put the Whippets away for good.

With 4:56 left in the second quarter, he found Matt Miller for a 46-yard touchdown pass to rebuild the lead to 20-6. Matz connected on his fourth touchdown pass of the game near the end of the period when he and Studt combined on a 4-yard score.

Sulik said the passing game worked on several fronts throughout the night.

“We pass-blocked really well,” Sulik said. “Whitewater was bringing pressure from a couple different areas. Our running backs did a nice job of picking that up.

“When Brandon is on, and he was again Friday, he’s tough to stop. He throws a really nice pass.”

The Trojans put their last points of the night on the scoreboard with just 12 seconds left in the third when Matz hit Cory Zaeske on a 71-yard touchdown pass.

East Troy also converted two of its two-point conversions, one time on a pass from Matz to Zaeske and the other on a pass from Matz to Dodge.

Joey Dedick led the Trojans’ rushing attack with 15 carries for 84 yards, followed by Matz with eight carries for 51 yards and Zack Lamb with seven carries for 48 yards.

Matz continues to hurt the opposition with both his feet and his arm, Sulik said.

“He can take off and go with it,” Sulik said. “That just makes you that much more difficult to defend. That’s what we like about our spread offense.”

Dodge had a team-high four receptions for 71 yards, while Studt finished with four catches for 31 yards.

East Troy looks to stay perfect this week when it hosts Palmyra-Eagle Friday night at 7 p.m. The Panthers improved to 1-1 with a 42-0 whipping of Beloit Turner last week. Brett Knobel led the Palmyra attack with 111 yards rushing.

“They have some pretty good athletes on defense, some fast kids,” Sulik said. “They have some people who are pretty good football players.

“We’re not going to worry too much about what they do and do better and what we’re trying to get done. … I’m pretty impressed with them. W’re definitely not looking past them.”

 

 
 

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