By Rob Kiser
It was a billed as a D-III, Region 12 showdown Friday night when Franklin visited Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
But, for the second straight season, Piqua had no answer for running back Ryan Montgomery and the Piqua offense never got started as the Wildcats rolled to a 21-7 win over the Indians.
While many were expecting an offensive shootout — given Piqua’s 35-point effort against Trotwood-Madison last Friday and Franklin’s explosiveness in its first two games, just the opposite occurred.
Franklin overcame two turnovers deep in Piqua territory to put up 21 points, while Piqua managed just six first downs and had three Devon Brown TD runs called back by holding, including two on the one drive where Brown eventually would score.
And Franklin did most of its damage without starting quarterback Braiden White who was injured on a run in the first half.
Piqua started the game with a three-and-out and it was sign of things to come all night for the Indians offense.
White hit Montgomery for a 24-yard pass on Franklin’s first play and the Wildcats had a third-and-5 at the Piqua 10 when Devon Brown tipped a pass to Mick Karn in the end zone for an interception and Karn returned it 55 yards to midfield.
Piqua had two more three-and-outs to start the game, as the Indians could never get the running game going and the Piqua defense came up with one more stop before Franklin started to take over.
Montgomery capped a 77-yard drive with an 8-yard TD run and Matt Schneider’s kick made it 7-0.
After picking up its first first down of the game, Piqua had to punt and Franklin went 63 yards in nine plays.
Montgomery had runs of 25 and 10 yards before scoring from 1-yard out and Schneider’s kick made it 14-0 with 54 seconds to go in the half, a lead the Wildcats took to the break.
Brown had an 89-yard TD run in the closing 30 seconds call back by a holding penalty.
Franklin outgained Piqua 228-47 in the opening half and had 13 first downs to the Indians one.
After stopping Montogmery on a fourth-down run to start the second half, the Indians showed signs of life.
They did most of the damage through the air.
Austin Davis was 7-for-7 on the drive for 71 yards, with the Indians converting a third-and-13 and second and 21.
After having two TD runs called back by penalty, Brown ran it in from 10 yards out and Robbie Comstock’s kick made it 21-7.
It took Franklin just five plays to answer, with Montgomery catching a 25-yard TD pass from Braden Woods. Schneider’s kick made it 21-7 and Piqua would make just one first down the rest of the game.
Montgomery finished with 27 catches for 149 yards and four catches for 68 yards.
Three Franklin quarterbacks combined to complete 14 of 19 passes for 210 yards.
Davis completed 13 of 21 passes for 119 yards, with one interception.
Schrubb caught seven passes for 54 yards, while Brown led the Piqua rushing attack with 22 yards on 10 carries.
Piqua, 1-2, will travel to West Carrollton Friday for a GWOC crossover game.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.