By Rob Kiser
Piqua football showed much improvement in its second-round of 7-on-7s Saturday at Northmont High School in the Northmont 7-on-7 Invitational.
And at the end of the day, the results were similar in one way to a week ago when the Indians played four games at the University of Dayton camp.
“We had some good moments and some bad moments,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “I feel good about where we are at (heading into camp next week).”
The Indians opened with an impressive win over Beavercreek, scoring five touchdowns and holding the Beavers off the board much of the game.
Hayden Schrubb and Ben Schmiesing both had strong showings and it started right away.
Schrubb caught a TD pass on Piqua’s first possession and Schmiesing catching the PAT.
On Beavercreek’s first play, Schmiesing stepped in front of a Beavers pass for the pick.
That led to a Schmiesing touchdown reception from Austin Davis, who took all the snaps at quarterback. The two connected for the PAT as well.
After a defensive stop, Darien Tipps-Clemons caught a 25-yard pass to set up a Schrubb TD reception.
Caleb Patton and Tipps-Clemons added TD receptions for Piqua, while Beavercreek would score touchdowns.
Piqua also scored four touchdowns in a win over Troy.
Schmiesing caught a TD pass on the second play, while Patton caught the PAT.
After a Troy TD, Schrubb scored on a crossing pattern and added the PAT as well.
Long passes to Schrubb and tight end Derek Hite set up two more TD passes to Schmiesing, while Troy would finish with three TDs in the game.
“We came out and did some really good things,” Nees said.
In-between, Piqua lost to Northmont in a competitive game.
After a couple interceptions early, Piqua’s passing game seemed to get in sync with Davis throwing TD passes to Schmiesing and Tipps- Clemons.
After a JV game with Bethel, Piqua closes the day against Trotwood-Madison, the opponent for the Indians in week two this fall.
The Rams scored on all six possessions, while keeping the Piqua offense out of the end zone.
Part of that had to do with it being the fifth of five games and being unable to match Trotwood’s speed. Not unlike a week ago, when Piqua closed the day playing Springfied and struggled.
“With the 7-on-7s, a lot of it comes down to speed,” Nees said. “In this format, you get five seconds to throw and you are rarely going to get that in a game. We have been ‘fortunate’ enough to be matched up against the best team at the end of both of these (tournaments).”
Neese likes where the team is heading into camp next week.
“We will have camp next week and start working on the running game,” Nees said. “We go into that healthy and are doing a lot of good things. Then we get ready for practice (Aug. 1) and our first scrimmage (with Lima Senior).”
And the Indians will look to continue the improvement and build on the positives.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.