By Rob Kiser
Piqua football coach Bill Nees had to smile when he saw the plaque honoring past great coaches who have coached against Sidney over the years.
The names of Nees and Steve Nolan (Troy, Troy Christian) were recently added to the list that included Bucky Wertz (Piqua), Harold Dodd (Bellefontaine), Skip Baughman (St. Marys), Chuck Asher (Piqua, Bellefontaine, Lehman), and Al Hetrick (Versailles).
“That was pretty cool,” Nees said after the Indians 33-13 victory Thursday night over the Jackets. “That is quite an honor.”
The win continued a pretty good stretch for the Indians. Piqua has now won 12 of the last 14 meetings, 32 of the last 37, leads the series 77-38-6 and has not lost two games in a row to Sidney since 1980.
Playing on TV, as part of the Fox 45 Thursday Night Lights in its inaugural season, didn’t change anything.
“This was a good win for us,” Nees said. “And the good thing about it was it is a Thursday, so we have an extra day to get ready for next week.”
Touchdown Maker: Piqua running back Allen Schrubb is becoming well acquainted with the end zone. His three touchdowns Thursday gives him 11 in the last three weeks and Schrubb has scored all 13 of his TDs in Piqua’s four victories.
So the formula for the Indians success seems a simple one.
Throwing to the Good Guys: Junior quarterback Austin Davis has now thrown 56 passes in his career and has yet to be picked off.
Another number that will increase your opportunity for success.
His 33 receptions have gone to seven different receivers. Junior Cale Meckstroth became the seventh Thursday night, making his first varsity catch a big one on third down to keep a drive alive. The Indians had a third and five on their own eight-yard line when Meckstroth made a 16-yard reception to get them out of a hole.
Can You Blame Him? The Sidney center struggled on snaps in the shotgun Thursday night, which was a big part of Piqua’s seven tackles for loss.
Which is understandable when you have the “Twin Terrors” lining up against you all night. Piqua defensive tackles Tristen Cox (6-4, 308) and Josh Potter (6-2,326) are a scary proposition for anyone to face.
“That was all them,” defensive end Nate Monnin said about one sack after a bad snap. “Tristen (Cox) and Josh (Potter) were on him all night. They had him scared.”
Stronger in the Pile: On consecutive onside kicks by Sidney, it looked like the Jackets might be on the ball. But, Piqua was stronger in the pile, coming away with the ball both times.
Picking Your Battles: When you face a running back as talented as Isaiah Bowser, you understand you are not going to stop him — it is all about limiting the damage.
While the leading rusher in the GWOC — who had more than 1,000 yards in the first five games — got over 100, it took him 32 carries to do it, just over a three yards a carry and got in the end zone just once.
Overall, the Indians defense was 4-for-7 on fourth down stops, with one of Sidney’s conversions coming on a penalty before the ball was snapped. The other two were Sidney’s scores, a fourth-and-goal from the one and a fourth-and-goal from the 16.
“I didn’t like the touchdown pass we gave up in the third quarter on fourth down,” Nees said. “That upset me. But overall, I thought it was good team defense.”
Now, the Indians have a three-game win streak, are 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Great American North and have three of the final four at home — beginning with the homecoming game with Greenville Friday night.