By Rob Kiser
CLAYTON — There were plenty of positives as the Piqua football team went 2-1 at the Northmont 7-0n-7s Saturday.
The Indians, who will host Northwestern at 11 a.m. Monday and Miami East at 11 a.m. Tuesday, lost to Northmont 28-26 in the scoring system, which includes points for interceptions — and defeated Beavercreek and Tippecanoe by identical 28-22 scores.
“It is good (to get out and see the team against competition),” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “We have a lot of new guys out here this year.”
The Indians got stronger as each game went on — closing an earl y gap on Northmont and rallying to get past Beavercreek and Tippecanoe.
“We have a lot of new people out there,” Nees said. “And the other thing is, you don’t really know what to expect from the other team.”
Starting quarterback Mick Karn — a senior — finished 24 of 44 for 394 yards, with nine touchdowns and just one interception. Sophomore Blaine Ouhl got some valuable experience. He threw a 40-yard TD pass against Beavercreek, then took Piqua down for the winning drive on its final possession against Tippecanoe.
Receiver/defensive back Owen Toopes had a huge day for the Indians.
The senior caught 10 passes for 210 yards — including five TDs and one two-point PAT — and also had two if the Indians five interceptions, both against Beavercreek.
Senior receiver Jake Meyer caught five passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns, while junior running back Colin Roe caught five passes for 98 yards, including three touchdowns.
Nine different receivers caught passes for Piqua.
Sophomore running back Jerrell Lewis had three catches for 32 yards — including the winning catch against Tippecanoe and one PAT; while sophomore receiver Garrett Schrubb had three catches for 31 yards.
Sophomore receiver Devon Sever had a 12-yard reception, sophomore receiver Dylan Chaney had an eight-yard reception, senior tight end Grant Toopes had a seven-yard reception and sophomore running back Lance Reaves-Hicks had a five-yard reception.
On defense, Karn and Owen Toopes combined for the most spectacular play of the day against Beavercreek.
Karn tipped the ball off a Beavercreek receiver’s helmet and Toopes made the pick.
Senior linebacker Nikoah Medley had an interception against Beavercreek, Karn had one against Northmont and junior defensive back Zane Beougher stopped a drive inside the five-yard line against Tipp with a pick.
The Indians finished plus-4 in the interception department.
“We didn’t have a lot of interceptions (last year),” Nees said. “And we have three new guys in the secondary. So, that was good to see.”
Former Piqua standout Darian Tipps-Clemons has transferred from Michigan State and will play for Eastern Kentucky this fall.
Tipps-Clemons will make a trip to Ohio in September, when Eastern Kentucky takes on Bowling Green.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.