Trojans win big vs. Wave: Mayfield’s 4 TD passes lead Troy past Greenville

Troy’s Nick Barr catches one of his three first-half touchdown receptions Friday against Greenville. The Trojans led 28-0 at halftime.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

Troy’s La’Manual Kemp-Short lowers his shoulder as a Greenville defender tries to tackle him Friday.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

Troy’s Nick Kawecki breaks loose on a 34-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter against Greenville Friday night at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

Troy’s Will Wolke stiff-arms a Greenville defender Friday.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

Troy’s Alex Greene brings down Greenville quarterback Hayden Bush Friday.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

Troy’s Austin Johnson (31) and Alex Greene (33) bring down Greenville quarterback Hayden Bush Friday.

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today

TROY — When Troy quarterback Josh Mayfield saw Nick Barr so wide open, he had a difficult time believing it.

“It was mind-blowing,” Mayfield said. “Just don’t overthrow it — that’s all I was thinking.”

And even though Barr wasn’t as open the next time, the two connected again on another long touchdown pass.

And then again.

Mayfield and Barr hooked up three times for scores in the first half against Greenville, Mayfield finished the night with four touchdown tosses and Troy shifted the focus from last week’s disappointing loss to Tippecanoe to a 42-6 victory over the Green Wave Friday at Troy Memorial Stadium — and to its impending playoff run, which begins in two weeks.

Troy improved to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the Miami Valley League Miami Division with one regular-season game remaining next week at Stebbins before the playoffs begin in Week 7. Greenville, meanwhile, fell to 0-5 and 0-4 in the MVL Miami.

“Last week was upsetting, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ve just got to move on,” Mayfield said. “This will help us going into next week and get us going into the playoffs.”

“Our theme this week was going 1-0, and it had nothing to do with the score — it was how we played the game,” Troy coach Dan Gress said. “How we played, who we are and who they want to be as individuals and as a team. That’s been our focus. Not the score.

“It’s what we do during the week. When we’re focused on ourselves and do the little things, we put ourselves in a good position to have a chance on Friday night.”

Barr finished with three catches — all of them for touchdowns — for 158 yards, scoring on grabs of 46, 56 and 56 yards. Mayfield, meanwhile, was 6 for 8 on the night passing for 189 yards, adding a 13-yard third-quarter touchdown pass to Shaeden Olden that made the score 42-0 at the time.

“We just clicked,” Mayfield said of the connection with Barr. “All week in practice, we’ve been working and working, and it finally showed up in the game. It feels good.”

“We liked our matchups,” Barr said. “The safety was playing pretty shallow, and we knew he couldn’t get over the top. Mayfield put a great ball out there three times, and we were just taking advantage of what they gave us.”

After Greenville chewed up nearly eight minutes on the game’s opening possession but came away with nothing, Troy struck quickly, going 86 yards in only six plays, with Nick Kawecki breaking a 34-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive and make the score 7-0 Troy with 1:48 remaining in the opening quarter.

Kawecki, who had 81 of his 86 yards on the night on that drive, was injured on Troy’s next possession and did not return. But Mayfield found Barr with no one within 20 yards of him and hit him in stride for a 46-yard score to make it 14-0 Troy with 10:23 left in the second quarter.

After another quick stop by the defense, Mayfield and Barr hooked up on the second play of the ensuing possession for a 56-yard score to give Troy a 21-0 lead with 6:16 until the half. And after another three-and-out by Greenville, the duo connected again on the third play of the Trojans’ next possession, again for 56 yards to make it 28-0 with 4:10 on the clock, and that’s where it remained at halftime.

“When you find certain things like that working … let’s not out-think ourselves,” Gress said. “The O-line protected great and had a tremendous night, Mayfield did a great job connecting and Nick did what Nick does.”

The bruising La’Manual Kemp-Short — who took over in the backfield after Kawecki’s injury — picked up the load on Troy’s first possession of the third quarter, carrying the ball seven times on a nine-play scoring drive and eventually punching it in on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Troy a 35-0 lead with 9:22 left in the third. Kemp-Short finished with 123 yards and a score on 11 carries.

“Kawecki goes down, and then Manny has a big night coming in and carrying the load. He put the game on his back and let us lean on him when we needed him,” Gress said.

Mayfield then capped off an eight-play, 54-yard touchdown drive with his fourth score of the night, the 13-yarder to Olden to give Troy a 42-0 lead with 1:26 left in the third. Greenville’s Hayden Bush later threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Conner Mills in mop-up time with 2:00 remaining in the game, and Troy turned its sights to Week 6’s matchup at Stebbins and its plans for the playoffs.

“It feels good. We knew what we had to do coming in this week,” Barr said. “We’ve just got to keep improving every single week, because the playoffs are coming up soon. We’ve just got to get better every single week. If we come out and play the way we know how to play, we can take care of things.”

“We’re going to continue to stay focused on us, focused on next Friday, and that’s it,” Gress said.