Football

Troy football romps past Averill Park

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TROY — Faced with the daunting challenge of containing Troy’s explosive offense, Averill Park brought the effort and played hard but, in the end, the Flying Horses overwhelmed the Warriors in a Class A matchup of unbeaten teams.

Senior Xavier Leigh rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns while quarterback Alex Wolfe rushed for 103 and threw for 126 yards and a touchdown as Troy knocked off Averill Park 46-0 Thursday night at Troy High in a penalty-filled contest.

Troy (3-0, 3-0) led 6-0 after the first period but broke loose in the second quarter, taking a 26-0 lead into halftime and finished the game with 338 yards rushing as a team.

Troy’s defense kept the ball-control offense of Averill Park (2-1, 2-1) in check, permitting just 87 yards of total offense on 30 plays.

“We made some adjustments with our blocking schemes up front. ‘X’ (Leigh) is a special player, its nice to have guys like that, it makes us look good,” Troy coach Bob Burns said. “I’m not overly pleased with the way we played, sloppy, penalties, got a couple of kids ejected, as much as the score looks like we should be happy, we’ve got a lot to work on.”

Leigh was held in check in the first quarter with just four yards on four carries — he did have a 35-yard touchdown run called back on a penalty — but broke loose early in the second when he took the ball up the middle before finding room down the right sideline for a 46-yard touchdown run to put Troy up 12-0 with 9 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half.

“We started out slow but we got our rhythm as the game went on,” Leigh said. “They were stopping me at first and we made some adjustments. Alex gave me the ball and the hole popped and I was flying.”

Following an Averill Park punt, Wolfe connected with Nasir Dawud-Soto (five catches, 112 yards) for a 43-yard pass play to continue the drive and completed the possession with a 10-yard touchdown run with just less than six minutes left in the second quarter.

Leigh’s 15-yard run with 49.3 seconds left in the quarter pushed the score to 26-0.

“It causes trouble for the defense. We hand the ball off to him (Leigh) and they stop him, then we just throw the ball,” Wolfe said. “We are versatile.”

Averill Park came into the game hoping to control the ball and the time of possession but never found a flow on offense.

“They are a good team. These guys have been playing together for three years, they are a tough team with good athletes,” Averill Park coach Zach Gobel said. “We needed to do a better job on offense and possess the football. That is the nature of what we do. Our guys played really hard but we needed to make more plays.”

Leigh scored on runs of 21 and 65 yards in the third quarter and Wolfe provided the final highlight of the night when he blocked a Warriors punt in the fourth quarter and teammate Jaylen Riggins picked the ball out of the air at the Averill Park 30-yard line and took it into the end zone to cap the scoring.

“I’m not on many special teams and since we don’t have a lot of guys and two of our guys got ejected, I had to play,” Wolfe said. “I just seized the opportunity and I took it.”

Sean Martin, a local freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to the Times Union.

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