By Rob Kiser
GREENVILLE — The Piqua football team wanted to make a point when it took the field Friday night against Greenville at Harmon Field.
The Indians hadn’t forgotten a rare loss to Greenville last season — or last week’s 28-21 loss to Vandalia-Butler.
Piqua set the tone from the start, rolling to a 48-7 victory over Greenville, with the game played under a running clock much of the second half.
“Now, we have to keep the momentum going,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said. “We have been getting stung and bouncing back. Now, we just have to keep rolling from here.”
Piqua quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead an never lead back.
The Indians started with a nine-play, 82-yard drive following the opening kickoff.
Darien Tipps-Clemons had runs of 22, 11 and 12 yards on the drive, before scoring from seven yards out.
Noah Lyman’s kick made it 7-0.
After two three-and-outs by Greenville, the Indians had a three-play, 45 -yard drive.
Tipps-Clemons went 35 yards on the first play of the drive and Elijah Hudson ran it in from the nine-yard line two plays later, with Lyman’s kick made it 14-0.
“That was a nice opening drive we had,” Nees said. “Then, our defense shut them down a couple times.”
Greenville was able to put together a 59-yard drive to get back within 14-7.
Codi Byrd had a 22-yard run on the drive and Clay Guillozet threw eight yards to Justin Brown for the score. Jordan Ernst’s PAT kick made it 14-7.
Piqua would answered with a 56-yard drive, started with a punishing 22-yard run by Hudson, who appeared to be stopped after a short gain.
On fourth-and-one from the seven, Greenville jumped offsides and Clemons ran it in from the three on the next play.
The kick was wide, leaving Piqua up 20-7 with 7:23 to go in the half.
With 3:52 left in the half, Greenville got the ball back on its own 13 after Piqua’s only punt, setting up a pivotal point in the game.
If the Wave could score, they get within 20-14 at the break and get the ball back to start the second half.
Instead, three incompletions led to Piqua getting the ball at its own 48, 24 seconds later.
Piqua quarterback Rupert Delacruz went 4-for-4 in a perfectly executed drive, throwing a 22-yard TD pass to Lyman with 48 seconds remaining in the half. Delacruz threw to Monnin for the two-point PAT to make it 28-7 at the break.
“I thought that was big,” Nees said. “We felt like we had the game in control anyway, but that was big.”
Piqua outgained Greenville 265-52 in the first half and had 15 first downs to the Wave’s 2.
Guillozet, who was injured late in the first half and did not return, was 3-for-11 passing for 22 yards and had minus-one yards rushing.
“That guy (Clay Guillozet) is an explosive guy,” Nees said. “That was a great job by our defense to control him.”
Piqua continued the romp in the second half.
Clemons had a 3-yard TD run, while Schrubb had TD runs of 6 and 25 yards, with Lyman adding two PATs.
Byrd added a four-yard TD run for Greenville, with Ernst’s kick making the final 48.14.
Unofficially, Tipps-Clemons had 203 yards on 21 carries and Schrubb added 75 on nine carries.
Delacruz completed 11 of 15 passes for 115 yards and Lyman had seven catches for 77 yards.
Ben Bynum had a fumble recovery in the second half for the Indians.
“I thought all of our backs ran the ball well,” Nees said. “Obviously, our offensive line did a great job. The thing I liked most is this was three straight games with no turnovers. That is a big deal.”
Greenville dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the GWOC North, while Piqua improved to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the GWOC North.
Now comes a big road game at Trotwood-Madison Friday — with a chance to keep the momentum going.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.