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Valley Sports Report
TROY — Sayre scored in the final minute of week 7 to pull out a 22-21 win over Troy, but hasn’t won a game since, dropping its final three regular-season games.

Tonight, the Redskins travel to Alparon Park to square off with the Trojans in the quarterfinals of the District 4, Class AA playoffs. Game time is 7 p.m.

“The past few weeks have been tough on us,” said Sayre coach Kevin Gorman. “We’re trying to stay focused and do our jobs to get back on track.

“We’ve been getting back to basics and doing what we’re suppose to do.

“We don’t need any heroes, we just need the team playing together, that’s been our message throughout the week,” added Gorman.

Troy, which finished the regular season at 7-3 after a 36-0 loss to Canton last week, was riding a five-game win streak heading into its week 7 match-up at Sayre.

Gorman believes Troy will be drawing from the loss at the Lockhart Street Bowl.

“Troy is going to come out fired up, and try to get some revenge for that loss earlier in the year,” he said. “It’s tough to beat a team twice.

“(Troy) was the seventh game of the season,” said Gorman. “You may add some things throughout the following weeks, but you’re already pretty set in what you do.

“I told the guys Troy may have added some things, and they will definitely looking for some payback, but if we play the way we did against them before, we’re going to be set up for another win — hopefully, not in the final minute this time,” added Gorman.

Troy averages 24.4 points per game, while Sayre allows 20.4 points per game.

“I’m pretty confident that Troy is going to come out and run the ball,” laughed Gorman. “It’s not too much of a stretch to think that they’ll come out in their power sets and try to run it right down our throat.

“With (Zack) Smith not playing the last few games, it changes their offense a little bit,” noted Gorman. “It’s put a bigger weight on (Damien) Landon’s shoulders and their QB (Justice Chimics), who is a pretty good runner, too.

“While they don’t have all three of their backs, you still have to be ready for them to pound the rock, and run the option once in a while,” he added.

While the Trojans don’t throw much, they have hit on some big plays this season.

“We can’t get lazy, and the secondary can’t fall asleep because every once in a while, they will throw in a pop pass or a pitch pass and catch you sleeping,” said Gorman.

“We don’’t need to give up those big plays, we need to make them drive the ball and keep snapping it because every snap there could be a mistake; that’s our game plan,” added Gorman.

Sayre averages 27.1 points per game this season, while Troy allows 11.3 points per game.

“They do a couple things … they do the 3-man front, then go to the 4-man front,” said Gorman. “They do play a lot of man, but I could also see them putting in a quick zone coverage to try to throw us off a little bit, because we did a pretty good job against their man coverage last time we played.

“They like to blitz and they move (6-3, 300-pound) Mason Imbt all over the place to make him a disruption throughout the front.

“We know we’re going to get man coverage and blitzing, so if we can handle their 3- and 4-man fronts,and take what’s there, hopefully we can come out with a win,” added Gorman.

Imbt, says Gorman, is someone the Redskins will need to account for.

“I don’t think we do anything special, it’s probably what every other team does,” said Gorman. “We’ll throw more bodies at him, whether it’s a back to help a tackle if he’s out wide, or double-team down with a guard if he’s at nose.

“You try to keep him guessing and keep two hats on him …it’s probably nothing different than he’s seen his entire career,” he added.


IN PHOTO: Sayre's Kevin Gorman.

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