By Rob Kiser
Piqua football will be looking to bring back the “Battered Helmet” Friday night.
After a rare year away from the locker room at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field, the Piqua football team will look to come home with it on the bus Friday night after traveling to Sidney Memorial Stadium to open GWOC North play.
Both teams will bring 3-2 records into the game.
Piqua’s losses have come to Chaminade-Julienne and Trotwood-Madison, while Sidney’s losses have come to St. Marys and the Rams. All three of those teams figure to be in the D-III losses.
While Andre Gordon may have not returned for his senior year, Sidney still has plenty of weapons on offense.
Junior Ryan Dunham (5-10, 180) has taken over the quarterback duties for the Yellow Jackets.
He has completed 57 of 113 passes for 717 yards, with six TDs and nine interceptions. That is is good for a 105.3 quarterback rating.
Senior Caleb Harris (5-10, 168) leads the rushing attack with 63 carries for 499 yards and four touchdowns.
The receiving corp is led by senior Ratez Roberts (6-2, 174).
Roberts, who caught the game-winning touchdown in last year’s game, has 16 receptions for 203 yards.
Junior Lathan Jones (6-1, 162) has 13 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior Darren Taborn (6-0, 161) has nine receptions for 124 yards, while senior Josiah Hudgins (6-0, 165) has seven catches for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior defensive lineman Brayden Dean (5-11, 200) has 58 tackles and 1.5 sacks to lead the Jackets, while junior linebacker Ryan Cagle (6-0, 168) has 47 tackles.
Six different Jackets have intercepted passes this season.
Senior Noah Houts (5-10, 170) and Dunham have split the punting duties.
Houts has averaged 35.3 yards on six punts, while Dunham has averaged 36.5 yards on four punts.
Junior Hallie Truesdale (5-8, 135) handles the kicking duties.
She is a perfect 2-for-2 on field goals and has made 14 of 16 PAT kicks.
While Sidney is coming off a romp over Fairborn, Piqua is looking to bounce back from a loss to Trotwood-Madison — and the Indians will be playing their second straight road game.
Senior quarterback Mick Karn (5-11, 150) has completed 29 of 54 passes for 431 yards and five touchdowns with four interceptions. That is 136.5 QB rating.
He is also the team leading rusher with 64 carries for 369 yards and six touchdowns.
Junior Makeegen Kuhn (6-1, 218) has 241 yards and five touchdown on 40 carries.
Senior Owen Toopes (6-2, 171) leads the receivers with 11 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Kuhn leads the defense from his linebacker position with 26 tackles, while junior linebacker Matt Blankenship (5-11, 204) has 25.
Sophomore defensive lineman Lance Reaves (6-0, 263) adds 23 tackles and a sack, while senior defensive linemen Grant Toopes (6-3, 226) and Brennan Toopes (6-0, 209) both have 1.5 sacks.
Karn is among the GWOC leaders with three interceptions, while Owen Toopes has two.
Senior Trenton Foster (5-9, 159) averages 27.2 yards on kickoff returns, while Owen Toopes averages 13.6 on punt returns.
Karn is averaging 41.7 yards on 12 punts and is 8-for-10 kicking PATs.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.