By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — The message was the same as it has been every step of the way for the Piqua football team in the buildup to the regular season.
Find a way to get better every day,
And while the Indians faced a big challenge in the final scrimmage Friday night against visiting Northmont at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field, Piqua did that.
And in the end, a few mistakes over the two-quarter scrimmage made Northmont’s 21-7 victory seem a little bigger than it was.
“We had a couple of mistakes on special teams,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said.
The big one came early.
After the two teams exchanged three-and-outs, Piqua fumbled a Northmont punt inside the Indians 10-yard line and Northmont recovered at the three.
Three running plays later Northmont had a 7-0 lead.
It took Piqua just two plays to answer.
On second-and-10 from its own 35, Jasiah Medley burst up the middle for a 65-yard TD run and Jackson Trombley’s kick tied things 7-7 with 7:08 to go in the first quarter.
After a touchback on Trombley’s kickoff, Northmont put together a 90-yard drive and a 49-yard TD on a screen pass and the PAT kick made it 14-7 with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Piqua then put a drive together.
After Colin Roe’s kickoff return to the 40-yard line, Blane Ouhl hit Cory Miller on a 19-yard pass to the T-Bolts 41.
Makeegen Kuhn ran for five yards and Jerrel Lewis ran for four yards on third-and-four for a first down at the 31, but the drive stalled from there.
Northmont added a 32-yard TD pass on another 90-yard drive to make it 21-7 with 11:57 remaining in the half.
After Piqua’s next drive stalled, Northmont appeared off to the race on a punt return before Lance Reaves-Hicks chased down the punt returner and knocked him out of bounds at the Piqua 20.
That became huge when three players later, Medley intercepted a pass at the Piqua two and returned it 62 yards to the Northmont 36.
“We had another breakdown on special teams,” Nees said. “What a play by Lance Reaves-Hicks to hustle down there and save the TD. That was a heck of a play and then we get an interception three plays later.”
Ouhl had a seven-yard run for a first down and Kuhn ran 11 yards down to the Northmont 14 for another first down.
But, on fourth-and-one from the five, the T-Bolts defense held and three plays later the half ran out.
Northmont completed eight of 14 passes for 164 yards, while the T-Boltz running backs had minus eight yards on 13 carries.
“I think we did a great job on their running game up the middle,” Nees said.
Piqua had 112 yards rushing on 23 carries, with Medley picking up 58 yards on three carries.
“We had the nice trap play (for the touchdown),” Nees said. “We had a lot guys step up and make plays. It was good just to get out there in live action tonight. I think playing a team that has been to the playoffs in Division I the last three years, you are going to get better.”
And Piqua will look to continue that improvement Friday when Chaminade-Julienne visits for the home opener.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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