By Rob Kiser
It is challenging enough trying to match wits with Piqua football coach Bill Nees.
Fairborn had that problem multiplied considerably in Piqua’s 37-17 win Friday night when the Piqua student section had dress like Bill Nees night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
Nees stopped for a photo with some of the students after Piqua improved to 3-2 and dropped Fairborn to 1-4.
“It is great,” Nees said about the students. “A lot of them are my students. It is and honor to have them to do this (dress like him) and a lot of fun.”
Who’s The Punter: That’s the question Fairborn fans could have been asking. For all the things Darien Tipps-Clemons does on the football field for the Indians, he didn’t have to punt Friday night. The few Piqua possessions that didn’t result in points, ended deep in Fairborn territory as Piqua faced only four fourth downs all night and converted two of them.
Setting The Tone: While Tipps-Clemons rushed for two TDs in the first half, he had a relatively quiet (for him) half with 37 yards.
His first three runs of the second half were 28, 22 and 55 yards — the last giving Piqua the momentum back after Fairborn had closed to 24-17.
“That’s what Darien (Tipps-Clemons) does,” Nees said. “At some point, he is going to get you.”
He finished with 170 yards on 15 carries for the night to lead the Indians.
Not This Time: Piqua running back Allen Schrubb had an 23-yard TD run called back in the first quarter. He wasn’t going to be denied in the fourth quarter, exploding for a 47-yard TD run to cap and 85-yard night on six carries.
Finding The Sticks: Following Josh Potter’s interception early in the second quarter, Piqua was in danger of wasting the opportunity.
On fourth-and-14 from the Skyhawk 21, Piqua quarterback Rupert Delacruz saw an opening and sprinted to the first down marker, getting the first down by half-a-yard. That led to Tipps-Clemons second TD of the night.
Double-Thud: For the second straight week, Piqua blocked a punt. Derek Hite sent Adam Knaub’s punt attempt back towards the Fairborn goal line, with Nathan Monnin recovering in the end zone for a touchdown to give Piqua a 24-3 lead.
Bringing The Heat: Piqua defensive line, led by Derek Hite, Nathan Monnin, Josh Potter and Tristan Cox had Fairborn quarterbacks Wesley Watts and Brent Grody on the run all night. The two finished with a combined minus-53 yards on 16 rushing attempts.
Hite was credited with 1.5 sacks, while Monnin, Cox and linebacker Ty Carnes were all credited with half a sack.
“Our defensive line got after it tonight,” Nees said. “They tore it up in the second half.”
Perfect Idea: Piqua attempted its first field goal of the season on its opening drive and Noah Lyman was perfect from 27 yards out.
Going Both Ways: Monnin continued to get it done on both sides of the ball. At tight end, he had three catches for 29 yards and long with his pass rushing from his defensive end spot and TD on special teams, he lead the Indians with nine tackles.
Safety Alex Nees and linebackers Ben Schmiesing and Jarrett Toopes all had eight.
Much Cleaner: Piqua reduced its penalty yardage from 133 yards to 35 and didn’t have a turnover.
“Sometimes, I think they (the players) get too diagnostic worry about how things are done instead of just playing football,” Nees said. “There were a couple times tonight, but for the most part, I thought we did a good job of not doing that.”
Which led to the third win of the season heading into the GWOC North opener Friday when Vandalia visits — and left everybody wanting to be like “Bill”.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.