Piqua football struggles in 1955 season

Duane Bachman

Duane Bachman


FALL 1955

“Finessed, but not out-played by a clever Stivers team, Central High school’s Indians went down to a 19-7 defeat in their football opener here Friday night. A shirt-sleeved crowd of nearly 3,500 turned out for the Roosevelt Stadium inaugural. They saw a bruising football game in which neither faction asked or gave quarter, departed proud of their ‘losers’. In defeat, Central was a team play, lacking sometimes the savvy play, lacking sometimes the savvy to cope with the situation but never-the-less meeting the play.”

“Hurricane “Wapak”, spawned in the mud of Blume High school stadium, bowled over Central High school like so many wooden Indians in a 33-6 debacle Friday night in Wapakoneta. Unmatched for sheer shock effect was the beating Wapak handed an almost defenseless Piqua team. Rain and mud took their toll on the Indians, but Central’s troubles went much deeper. So deep, in fact, that even the coaching staff was at a loss to explain the youngsters’ collapse.”

“Rising up and out of the mud of Wapakoneta, Central High school’s Indians opened the Miami Valley League season with a 24-18 victory over Fairborn on the fresh green turf of the Flyers’ new Memorial Stadium Friday night. The soul-satisfying triumph, won in a brilliant show of offensive football, was Piqua’s first MVL victory since last October of 1953. Prior to Friday, the Indians had lost eight straight in a league they once dominated. Following in the wake of last week’s 33-6 beating at Wapak, the Indian’s ability to move the ball was amazing, even stunning. Yet Piqua drove up and down the field, although their defense never quite matched the offense.”

“Greenville’s defending Miami Valley League champions lost 20 lettermen to graduation last year, but Piqua’s timid Indians managed to make them look like world beaters Friday night. Before a Dad’s Night crowd of over 3,500 in damp, chilly Roosevelt Stadium, the Green Wave exploded for three quick touchdowns in the second quarter and went on to scalp the Indians 31-6.”

“Xenia, undefeated in 11 football games over a span of two seasons, kept its win streak intact here Friday night, but Piqua was a better team in defeat than the Buccaneers were in a 24-12 victory. Coasting with a hard-won 18-0 lead after three quarters , the Bucs suddenly saw Piqua explode for two lightning-like touchdowns to narrow the gap to 18-12 with five minutes remaining in a ball game that had suddenly become wide-open. Even the fact that Xenia marched straight up the field with Piqua’s second half kickoff for a face-saving score detracted little from the Indians’ stature in this one.”

“Piqua Central ended Sidney’s one year reign in a neighborhood rivalry with a thrilling 7-6 win over the Yellow Jackets at Julia Lamb field Friday night in Sidney. Employing their best defense of the season, Coach Jack Bickel’s forces took charge of the game from the opening play and although it was a toss-up from the start to the finish, the Indians showed supremacy to the end. Playing by far their best game of the season, Bruce Culpepper, Jack Prater, Skip Vosler, and Ron Weldy brought victory to the Indians. Weldy not only booted the point that made the difference, but helped lead a unison line, which rose to the occasion four different times in the final half to stop the Jackets inside the ten.”

Jack Miller of the Troy Daily News reported on the Trojan/Indian battle.

“Troy fans are still enthusing over the victory over Piqua Thursday night and are still a little breathless at that 48-0 score. While Trojans are thus engaged, Piqua fans are wondering what happened to their boys to cause them to blow up so badly in the second half. The first two periods were closer than the 13-0 score would indicate. Twice the Piqua Indians were heading goalward only to lose the ball on fumbles inside the Troy 10 yard line. Even early in the third period the Indians made a determined bid for a touchdown.

“Then suddenly the flood gates opened and Troy poured through for a flock of points. Of course, Troy was constantly putting on the pressure but that does not explain all of it. The same thing happened to Troy only more so back in 1947. The Troy-Piqua game was the season’s finale and the two came up to that game undefeated in league play. Troy particularly had a fine record of five straight wins in which the opposition was held to six points while Troy had piled up 34. Troy was given an excellent chance to win the game and the title though Piqua also was undefeated.

“The game started off rather evenly but Piqua was the first to score. Troy was battling hard and the fans still envisioned a victory when suddenly the same thing happened as did at Piqua Thursday night. Troy fell apart and the final score was Piqua 40 and Troy 6. A team that had given up only six points in five previous gave up 40 in this championship game. Why, nobody could figure. Like Thursday night, one team got the jump and just kept going.”

“Chilly Miamisburg was the scene of another reverse english Indian massacre Friday night as the ‘Burg rolled to a 38-7 victory over a lethargic Piqua team. Punchless inside Miamisburg’s 20-year line after gaining all sorts of yardage on other areas of the field, the Indians looked like a team that has lost all hope –yes, even the desire to play football. It is by now no secret to Piqua fans that there’s something wrong with their football team. Whether it’s the ‘losing habit’, dissension in the ranks, lack of confidence, utter unconcern or a combination of all, the undeniable fact is that the Indians are merely going through the motions.

“Insult and injury have been heaped upon Coach Jack Bickel’s kids this season. The breaks have been few and the going tough. There are undoubtedly many youngsters on this team with tremendous desire. There are others who apparently have lost all interest in football.”

“A much-maligned Piqua team struck back at its critics in the final game of the season here Thursday night, but saw one of its finest football efforts frustrated in the last four minutes of play. Rising from the depths of despair and weeks of incredibly bad football, the Indians had victory literally stolen away from them while driving for the winning touchdown. It happened with first-and-ten on the Fairmont 31 yard line as Fairmont’s Bobby Colburn snatched the ball from reserve halfback Kent Slaby and raced 69 yards for the touchdown that gave the Dragons a 19-13 victory.

“Up to then, the Indians successfully handled every phase of Fairmont’s diversified attack. They led 7-0 at halftime and fought the Dragons for a 13-13 standoff in the third and fourth quarters. It was bitterly ironic that Piqua’s own offense was Fairmont’s instrument of victory.”

Duane Bachman
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/03/web1_bachmanmug.jpgDuane Bachman