By Rob Kiser
DAYTON — Meadowdale week is over.
Now it is on to Trotwood-Madison.
That’s the approach the Piqua football team is taking after cruising to a 50-12 victory over an outmanned Meadowdale team Friday night at Welcome Stadium.
“We know we have some big games coming up,” Piqua senior running back Ben Schmiesing said. “But, we are taking it one week at a time. So our focus will be on Trotwood-Madison this week.”
Schmiesing, who rumbled for 105 yards and two TDs on nine carries — as well as being a big part of the defense — was just happy to get the season rolling.
“It just felt great to be out there,” he said.
For defensive end Derek Hite, it felt even better.
Hite, who missed the last eight games of the season last year with an ACL injury and missed the preseason this year with an offseason injury, made his presence felt immediately.
He smother a ball carrier for a seven-yard loss on one play and later tipped a pass that was intercepted by Mick Karn.
“It just felt great to be back out there,” Hite said. “It was a lot like last year (watching the preseason games). It was a little tough, but it felt great to get out there tonight.”
Piqua rolled to a 50-6 halftime lead, before the second half was played with a continuous clock.
“The thing I liked is we weren’t sloppy,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “Except for a few plays, we were sharp.”
Piqua got going on its first drive and never had to punt in the opening half.
The Indians started on the Meadowdale 37 after a Lions punt and seven plays later, Schmiesing ran into the end zone from two yards out, with Robbie Comstock kicking the PAT.
After Jerome Tinsley had a 61-yard kickoff return to give Meadowdale the ball at the Piqua 22, the Indians defense stiffened.
It would take Piqua only five plays to go 82 yards.
Schmiesing had a 29-yard run to set up a 44-yard touchdown pass from Austin Davis to Cale Meckstroth, with Meckstroth going 40 yards after catching the pass in the flat. Comstock’s kick made it 14-0.
On the play before Meckstroth’s score, a pass went off a Piqua receiver’s hands and it appeared Meadowdale would intercept near the goal line, before Piqua’s Colin Roe knocked the ball to the ground.
“We made a lot of smart plays out there,” Nees said.
After Meadowdale bobbled the snap on its next punt, Piqua took over on the Lions 19.
On fourth-and-four, Schmiesing ran 13 yards for the score and Comstock’s kick made it 21-0.
Meadowdale’s next possession ended when Hite penetrated in the backfield and tipped a pass that was intercepted by Karn and returned to the Meadowdale 43.
“I was very happy with what I saw out there from Derek Hite tonight,” Nees said.
On the next play, Hayden Schrubb hauled in a 43-yard pass in the end zone and Comstock’s kick made it 28-0.
Davis and the passing game really clicked on the next Piqua drive.
On consecutive plays, Meckstrtoh made a diving catch for a 33-yard reception to the Lions 20, followed by Owen Toopes making a diving grab in the end zone for a 20-yard TD. The PAT failed, making it 34-0.
Davis would complete 11 of 16 passes for 180 yards.
Meckstroth caught four for 90 yards, while Schrubb caught two for 50 yards.
“That was as sharp as our passing game has looked for a long time,” Nees said. “The good thing about it is we had a number of receivers involved, which just helps open things up for Hayden (Schrubb).”
Piqua would add scores on a safety when the punter fell on the ball in the end zone after Tyler Bolin and Grant Toopes combined to block the punt, a six-yard run by Arturo Mendoza and a seven-yard TD pass from Davis to Schrubb.
That was set up by an interception and 47-yard return to the Meadowdale eight-yard line by Devon Brown.
Piqua also got an interception from Adrian Tory in the second half
Meadowdale scored on a 38-yard fumble recovery and return by Bryson Flucas in the first half and a 40-yard TD pass from Elijah Carson to Jonte Tinsley in the second half.
“It is just like any other game,” Nees said. “You have to go out and execute. The thing I like is we are healthy right now.”
As the Indians move on to Friday’s home opener with Trotwood-Madison.
Rob Kiser is the Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.