By Rob Kiser
TROY — While Friday night’s 32-6 loss to Troy in GWOC North action brought the Piqua football season to an end Friday night with a 6-4 mark and 3-2 in the GWOC North, while Troy finished 8-2 and 5-0 — it was a season that brought many highlights for the Indians.
Receiver Hayden Schrubb became the single-season and career yardage reception leader at Piqua, while quarterback Austin Davis broke a number of school passing records.
And there was drama and excitement galore.
There was pushing Trotwood-Madison to the limit before losing 42-35, there was the heartbreaking loss to Sidney by one point.
But, there was also Ben Schmiesing stealing the ball to preserve a 33-27 win over Vandalia-Butler and Davis running 45 yards to seal a win against Tippecanoe the following week.
But, in a game played in a miserable weather on less than ideal field conditions Friday night, Troy proved to be better mudders than Piqua.
While the weather severely limited Piqua’s passing game, Troy was able to run — and throw the ball when it needed to — to produce the victory.
And the final score belies the closeness of the game for the better part of three quarters.
Piqua failed to convert on third-and-one on its first two possession — the first time on a procedure penalty and the second on a fumbled snap.
But, Troy’s first two drives ended with fumbles deep in Piqua territory.
Troy was eventually able to break through to take a 6-0 lead after taking over at the Piqua 36 after the Indians had to punt from inside their 10.
The drive started with runs of 12 and 10 yards by Jaydon Culp-Bishop and Sam Jackson finished the drive with a six-yard TD run on fourth-and-two. The PAT failed and Troy led 6-0.
The score remained that way for much of the first half.
But, after a Piqua drive ended with a fumble recovered by Troy at the Troy 49, the Trojans went 51 yards to score in the final minute of the first half.
It was Jackson again running it in from 10 yards out to make it 12-0 at halftime, catching the pylon with a dive.
The PAT failed, leaving the score 12-0 at halftime.
Troy received the second half kickoff and returned it to near midfield.
The Trojans would march down the field and Jackson would score his third touchdown, this time on a 1-yard run. The PAT failed and Troy led 18-0.
After A Piqua drive stalled inside the Troy 20 late in the third quarter, the Indians seemed to get back in the game.
Ben Schmiesing picked up a fumble at the Troy 40-yard line and ran it in to cut the deficit to 18-6 with 17 seconds to go in the third quarter.
But, following the kickoff, Culp-Bishop went 60 yards for a TD and Braydyn Siler booted the extra point to make it 25-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Troy’s final score would come when Josh Schricker recovered a fumble in the end zone and Siler’s PAT kick made the final 32-6.
Ken Magoteaux was inducted into the Greater American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame, while Brent Lemmon received the scholarship was Piqua’s top scholar athlete on the football team.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.