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Troy to face Ronan; both seek first win

by Phil Johnson
| September 13, 2013 2:52 PM

The Troy Trojans will look to even their record this week against the Ronan Chiefs in a matchup of 0-1 football teams. 

After a frustrating 34-13 home loss to Conrad that was far more competitive than the score line suggests, the Trojans will take a 150-mile trip southeast. 

Troy will again look for solid performances from senior quarterback Gabe Hickman and sophomore running back Sean Opland. Hickman threw 13-23 for 183 yards in the season opener, 103 of those yards going to Opland. Opland also led the team with nine tackles at linebacker. 

The Trojans read-option, spread offense will face a Chiefs’ 4-3 defense that returns eight starters. Rangy senior middle linebacker Austin Hakes leads a unit entirely constructed of upperclassmen. 

Senior quarterback and coach Jim Benn’s son, Connor Benn, conducts Ronan’s Wing T offense. Six-foot-1, 225-pound senior fullback Lucas Gerhardt leads the Chiefs’ ground game.

Both teams will look for cleaner performances with first-game jitters behind them. The Chiefs turned the ball over seven times in their 24-10 loss to the Eureka Lions. The Trojans missed two key first-half scoring opportunities against Conrad, one on a penalty and another on a goal line fumble. 

“The Troy coaches are a class act,” sixth-year coach Benn said. “We beat them the last two years, but they have a lot of physical kids.”