By Rob Kiser
It will be a matchup of two 1-2 football teams when West Carrollton visits Alexander Stadium/Purk Field Friday night to take on the Indians.
The Pirates are coming off a 22-20 win over Greenon on Friday night.
“They just picked up their first win,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said. “They run a spread offense. They like to run a lot of screens and things like that. They try to get their best athletes out in space on you.”
West Carrollton has used two quarterback.
Triston Dillon is 12 for 30 passing for 202 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, while Jordan Joseph is 11 of 25 passing for 84 yards.
Austin Tipton leads the receivers with 10 catches for 132 yards, while Jayven Webster has caught five passes for 50 yards and Denver Franklin has three receptions for 45 yards, while completing his only pass attempt for a 21-yard gain.
James Davis is the leading rusher with 33 yards on 15 carries, while Webster has 30 yards on nine carries.
“The quarterback is listed at 6-6,” Nees said. ‘They have some athletic receivers. They mix it up, but they probably pass about 60 percent of the time.”
Franklin leads the defense with 22 tackles.
Isiah McDonald has 21 and Toby Lamb has 18, to go with a sack.
“They play a 50 front on defense,” Nees said. “They like to pressure you from the defensive end positions.”
For Piqua, it is just a matter of getting back on track on both sides of the ball.
The Indians have been hit hard by the injury bug and are coming off two tough road losses — 38-6 to Trotwood-Madison and 30-6 to Franklin.
“We just need to regain some confidence,” Nees said. “We got hit with some more adversity last week. We just need to get some kids healthy and start executing on both sides of the ball.”
Offensively, quarterback Austin Davis is 15 of 35 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.
Ben Schmiesing has three catches for 91 yards, while Hayden Schrubb has five catches for 84 yards.
Allen Schrubb leads the rushers with 237 yards on 34 carries, while Schmiesing has 126 yards on 23 carries.
Last week, the Indians didn’t make a first down until late in the first half.
“We have got to find some different things to do on offense,” Nees said. “The three and outs are killing us. It is not just one thing, but we have to do a better job of executing.”
That would help the defense as well.
“We have only given up three first half touchdowns on defense,” Nees said. “We are wearing down in the second half of games.”
The Franklin game was a prime example.
Despite giving up a safety and a free kick returned for a touchdown on special teams, Piqua trailed just 15-0 at halftime.
Schmiesing, who leads the defense with 27 tackles — intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in the first half, while Hayden Schrubb ended Franklin’s first drive of the night with an interception.
“Special teams are really hurting us,” Nees said. “That is one of those trickle down things. That has got to change. I thought the turnover at the end of the first half was big when it looked like they might be going in. Then we score to start the second half and get a three and out and we were feeling great with eight minutes to go in the third quarter.”
That is when Piqua failed to catch a punt and it rolled 25 yards — the result was Piqua starting from inside its own nine-yard line.
“It is really tough right now for us to have a long field,” Nees said. “We just never executed after that.”
The Indians will look to do that Friday night — and be the team that improves to 2-2 on the season.
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