By Rob Kiser
While any loss is always disappointing, there was a lot more good than bad that came out of Piqua’s 42-35 loss to Trotwood-Madison Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
Seven things we learned from Friday night:
1.That Piqua offense is pretty good
The Indians offense went up-and-down the field all night against a Trotwood defense that was coming off a shutout of Trotwood.
With the offensive line holding up against a strong Trotwood pass rush and quarterback Austin Davis standing in under pressure when he needed to, Piqua rolled up 354 yards of offense.
Davis made good decisions all night, completing 20 of 31 passes for 284 yards and has now thrown seven touchdown passes in two games without an interception.
The Indians had 20 first down to the Rams 19, possessed the ball for 24:53 compared to Trotwood’s 20:53, converted seven of 12 third downs and one of two fourth down attempts.
Piqua has now amassed 688 yards of offense in two games and Davis is the second leading passer in the GWOC, with 30 completions in 47 attempts for 463 yards and a 195.7 quarterback rating.
2.Hayden Schrubb is a “baller”
The 6-foot-3 senior receiver, while also spending time on defense as well, caught 10 passes for 140 yards and hauled in a leaping 33-yard TD pass in the end zone with 3:10 left to keep Piqua in the game.
He is tied for fourth in the GWOC with 190 yards receiving and had over 100 yards receiving in the second half Friday night.
3.Plenty of weapons
Any team that tries to focus on Schrubb will pay.
Senior receiver Cale Meckstroth is having a breakout season and now has nine catches for 155 yards.
Derek Hite saw action at tight end for the first time and it was pretty productive.
Along with being a force on the defensive line, Hite was targeted twice by Davis — with both going for touchdowns.
He hauled in an 11-yard TD pass in the first half and a 44-yarder in the second half.
And focus on the passing game and the running attack can do plenty of damage as well.
The Indians have a three-pronged attack with Ben Schmiesing, Devon Brown and Arturo Mendoza running the ball. Schmiesing leads the way with 161 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
4.Defense makes plays
You might think giving up six touchdowns is a tough night — but the Rams offense features two tallented receivers in Dallas Daniels and William McDaniel — and one of the top running backs in the state in Raveion Hargrove.
But, with Piqua linebackers Schmiesing and Mick Karn combining for 15 tackles, the Piqua defense made plenty of plays.
The Indians started the game with a three-and-out, limited the Rams to just one first down midway through the fourth quarter to get the ball back and keep Piqua in the game and held the Rams under 50 percent on third downs, with Trotwood converting just three of eight times.
5.Controlling Own Destiny
All Piqua’s goals are still in front of them.
And when you consider they still have three opponents from Region 12 on their schedule — Franklin (2-0), Tippecanoe (2-0) and Vandalia-Butler (1-1) on the schedule, the Indians certainly control their postseason fate.
Place-kicker Robbie Comstock is getting plenty of work in the first two weeks and is a perfect 11-for-11 on PATs.
7.Ignore Weather Forecasts
Some advice for any Piqua football fans who let the forecasts of rain keep them away Friday night.
The rain never came and you missed a great game.
Franklin visits Friday night and you don’t want to miss another one.