By Rob Kiser
The Piqua football team is coming off a big win over Sidney 14-12 last Friday night to improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the GWOC North.
But, the Indians can’t afford to let down against a much improved Greenville team Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field as Piqua looks to improve to 4-0 on its home field.
The Green Wave is 3-3 overall after losing its GWOC North opener to Vandalia-Butler Friday night.
Junior quarterback Tyler Beyke (5-11, 160) leads the Green Wave offense.
He has completed 55 of 106 passes for 769 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Junior Marcus Wood (5-10, 155) has caught three of those four touchdown passes and has 26 receptions for 296 yards.
Junior receiver John Butsch (6-1, 175) has 11 catches for 230 yards.
Senior running back Landon Eldridge (5-11, 180) is back in a big way after missing most of the last two seasons with injuries.
Eldridge has 906 yards and 14 touchdowns on 114 attempts, averaging 7.9 yards per carry.
Defensively, junior linebacker Tony Sells leads the Wave with 50 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Butsch, a linebacker, and sophomore defensive back Hayden Sharp (5-11, 190) both have 39 tackles.
Senior defensive lineman Nathan Fry (5-10, 215) has two fumble recoveries.
The Greenville pass defense has been opportunistic, intercepting nine passes.
Wood has four of those interceptions, while Eldridge has two.
On special teams, Wood has a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Junior kicker Ethan Flanary has averaged 34.4 yards on 19 punts and made his only field goal attempt — from 22 yards — while kicking 18 of 22 extra points.
Senior quarterback Mick Karn (5-11, 192) directs the Piqua offense.
He has completed 37 of 67 passes for 554 yards, with five touchdowns and four interceptions.
Senior Owen Toopes (6-2, 171) leads the receivers with 17 catches for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
Karn also leads the rushing attack with 510 yards and eight touchdowns on 86 carries.
Junior Makeegen Kuhn (6-1, 218) adds 267 yards and five touchdowns on 48 carries, while sophomore Ca’ron Coleman (5-10, 176) has 184 yards on 28 carries.
Junior linebacker Matt Blankenship (5-11, 204) has 35 tackles, while Kuhn is next with 32.
Senior Grant Toopes (6-3, 226) leads the pass rush with 2.5 sacks, while senior Brennan Toopes (6-0, 209) has 1.5 sacks.
Sophomore Jerell Lewis (6-1, 242) has recovered two fumbles.
Karn has three interceptions, while Owen Toopes has two.
One of the keys to the win over Sidney last week was special teams.
Brennan Toopes set up Piqua’s first score with a block and 33-yard return on a quick kick to the Sidney three-yard line, while Kuhn downed a Piqua punt on the Sidney one in the final two minutes to seal the Yellow Jackets fate.
Senior Trenton Foster (5-9, 159) is averaging 27.2 yards on kickoff returns and 10.0 yards on punt returns; while Owen Toopes is averaging 19.1 yards on kickoff returns and 11.2 on punt returns.
Karn is averaging 39.8 yards on 16 punts and has kicked 10 of 12 PATs for the season.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.