Zach Troxell is the kind of football player who doesn’t care about what he does as an individual as long as his team, Phillipsburg, wins.
Troxell did a whole lot of everything in the Stateliners’ 14-6 Mid-State 38 Delaware Division defeat of Montgomery Friday night in front of a large Homecoming crowd at Maloney Stadium, a win that the P’burg senior tight end/defensive end really put his stamp on.
But there was one little thing Troxell wanted he didn’t get for himself.
“Their quarterback (senior Mike Patrizio) was really elusive,” Troxell said. “I was mad at myself that I didn’t get the sack I wanted.”
Indeed, after one play where the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Troxell gave heroic chase to the 5-foot-8, 140-pound (maybe) Patrizio and just missed dragging the Cougar quarterback down, Troxell pounded his fist on the field in frustration.
But given that the play ended in an incompletion thanks to Troxell’s pressure and the Montgomery series ended in a punt, you’d have to say he was definitely helping the team. And he helped P'burg's defense hold the Cougars to 80 total yards in a first half where the Stateliners took control of the game.
However, it was when Troxell had the ball in or on his hands that he made the most impact.
His key 17-yard reception allowed the Stateliners (4-2 overall, 3-2 division) to convert a 3rd-and-12 from on their first touchdown drive.
In the third quarter, Troxell wound up with the ball in his hands in a rather unusual way to help the Stateliners. Senior fullback Garrett Boures was running the ball at the Montgomery 30 when a Montgomery (3-4, 1-3) defender knocked the ball loose.
“The ball popped right out of Garrett’s hands and into mine before I even realized it,” Troxell said. “I tucked it and started running. We got a first down on the play.” Indeed, the result was a 23-yard gain.
Then there was when Troxell had his hands on the ball, twice batting down Patrizio passes at the line of scrimmage.
“At some point when I was rushing (Patrizio) I realized that if I wasn’t going to hit him I should get my hands up and try to get the pass,” Troxell said. “And it worked a couple of times.”
Like most things Zach Troxell does on the football field, it worked well to help Phillipsburg win a football game.
Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.