By Rob Kiser
CLAYTON — The Piqua football team faced three playoff-caliber opponents in 7-by-7 action Saturday and the Indians were up to the challenge, with wins over Franklin and Troy and a loss to Northmont.
Franklin and Troy were both in the postseason a year ago, while Northmont just missed the Division I playoffs.
“Those are three playoffs teams,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “I thought we played well in all three scrimmages. These teams come to play.”
The Indians opened against Franklin — in a 7-on-7 preview of a much anticipated week 2 game at Piqua.
Neither team disappointed.
Both teams had four touchdowns and three PATs, with Piqua also getting a “Mick Pick” for the difference.
After picking off two passes Thursday, Piqua junior Mick Karn had an interception Franklin’s second play and later took what looked like a long gain for Troy against Piqua away when he stripped the receiver of the ball.
“He (Mick Karn) is really stepping up out there,” Nees said. “With Ben (Schmiesing) not here, he really stepped in and filled that leadership role.”
Devon Brown also deflected a pass on Franklin’s failed PAT.
Against Franklin, Austin Davis completed 18 of 22 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns, while Franklin was 13 of 19 passing for 193 yards and four TDs, with one interception.
Piqua receiver Hayden Schrubb caught 10 passes for 144 yards, with three TDs and one PAT.
Colin Roe caught a TD pass and had one of the other two PATs.
Against Troy, Piqua had five TDs and three conversions, while holding Troy to two TDs.
Davis was 15 for 24 for 242 yards, with six TDs and one interception, while Troy was 17 of 27 passing for 159 yards and two TDs.
Schrubb caught nine passes for 188 yards and five TDs and two PATs against Troy.
Owen Toopes caught a 5-yard TD pass and Colin Roe caught a PAT.
Piqua found the going tougher against Northmont.
The T-Bolts had four TDs and two PATs, while Piqua had two TDs and one PAT.
Davis was 12 of 20 passing for 142 yards with two TDs and one interception.
Northmont was 11 of 16 passing for 195 yards and four TDs.
Roe had an 11 yard TD catch, while Sam Herndon caught a PAT.
Schrubb had two catches for 43 yards and a TD.
His totals for the day were 21 catches for 371 yards and nine touchdowns and three PATs, while Davis completed 45 of 66 passes for 609 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.
“He is working towards being one of the top receivers in the state,” Nees said about Schrubb. “Now, we will see how much double coverage we are going to see. But, we have a strong running game to go with it. We will be ready for what we see.”
Saturday completed another step leading to the opening of the season against Meadowdale on Aug. 25. That game is a scheduled 8 p.m. start and is the second game of a doubleheader at Welcome Stadium.
“The competition part is over for the most part,” Nees said. “Now, we start working on getting our ones and twos ready to play. We have three grueling days next week and then about a 10-day break before the start of practice.”
Practice officially begins July 31.
Piqua will scrimmage at Lima Senior Aug. 11 and host Springboro on Aug. 18, with both scrimmages beginning at 7 p.m. before opening the season with Meadowdale on Aug. 25 at Welcome Stadium.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.