By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — A couple of 2-2 teams that have bounced back from 0-2 starts will meet Friday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field when Piqua hosts Vandalia-Butler in a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Piqua is 2-0 in the MVL, while Butler is 1-1.
And one week after facing the MVL’s leading rusher in Sidney’s E.J. Davis, the Piqua defense will face the league’s leading receiver in Butler’s Ryan Wilson who has 14 catchers for 312 yards.
And how did Piqua meet the challenge of Davis in a 29-0 victory to keep the “Battered Helmet” Friday night?
By making possession nine-tenths of the law or more.
The Indians held the ball for 33:50 to the Jackets 14:10, dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
“It was one of the most complete games we have played in some time,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said.
Ground Piqua: The Indians did it by running, running and running some more.
Balance was not part of the playbook as Piqua ran the ball 58 times — compared to throwing just four passes.
Junior Ca’ron Coleman led the way with 86 yards on 17 carries, while sophomore Corey Miller picked up 66 yards on 16 carries.
Junior quarterback Blane Ouhl, junior Jerell Lewis and senior Makeegen Kuhn added another 91 yards on 22 carries as Piqua pounded out 249 yards on 58 carries.
“The coaches came up with a great game plan and we were able to execute it,” Ouhl said.
Don’t Forget The Pass: Ouhl also completed three of four passes for 53 yards.
Which may not sound like much, until you consider the significance of all three completions.
The first was 14-yard pass out to Coleman in the flat on a third-and-seven on the opening possession of the game to extend the drive.
The second was a 24-yard TD pass in the end zone to Garrett Schrubb, who used his 6-foot-4 frame to give Ouhl a big target.
The third was a 15-yard pass on a fourth-and-15 to Schrubb across the middle for a first down on the Sidney 19 late in the first half, that allowed the Indians to take a 21-0 lead to the locker room on a Ouhl nine-yard run two plays later.
“The fourth down play, I knew Garrett (Schrubb) would be between the safety and linebacker,” Ouhl said. “I just had to put it out there.”
Defense, Defense: The Piqua defense continues to shine.
In the era of spread offenses and teams putting points up like a pinball machine, the Indians have allowed just 27 points in the last three games and none in the last seven quarters.
The tackle numbers were well-balanced and not overly high, due to the limited number of plays Sidney ran.
But, junior linebacker Dylon Sever, sophomore defensive lineman Caleb Lyons and sophomore defensive back Aidan Meyer all had four tackles.
Sophomore defensive back Jasiah Medley had three, while senior defensive lineman Hudson Hall had two sacks and junior defensive tackle Lance Reaves-Hicks had one.
The Indians limited Davis to 53 yards on 19 carries — with almost half of that coming on one 24-yard run — before Davis was injured in the third quarter.
The Jackets finished with 19 yards rushing on 19 carries and quarterback Ryan Dunham completed seven of 14 passes for 72 yards.
And the biggest play of the game may well have been Jerell Lewis’s strip of the ball of Davis when Sidney was inside the Piqua 10 when the Indians were leading 14-0 early in the second quarter.
“This is what our defense does,” Lewis said about the shutout. “This is how you play ‘Punch You In The Mouth’ defense.”
All In The Numbers: Piqua outgained Sidney 302 yards to 91. More impressive was the fact that while Sidney was just 1-for-6 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth downs; Piqua was 8-for-13 on third downs and a perfect 3-for-3 on fourth downs.
When Ouhl was shaken up late in the third quarter, Piqua faced a fourth-and-eight from the Sidney 17 with backup quarterback Andru Hollopeter taking his first snap. He simply handed to Coleman who ran nine yards for the first down, before running for a TD three plays later.
“We hit some big plays tonight,” Nees said. “Maybe the best one was when we had our backup quarterback Andru Hollopeter in and were able to convert a fourth-and-eight.”
Don’t Forget Special Teams: Piqua knew it faced a big challenge in dangerous Sidney return man Quamir Brown. The Indians held him under 30 yards on both if his kickoff returns.
Freshman place-kicker Jackson Trombley remained perfect on PATs, making three more to go to 9-for-9 for the season.
On Piqua’s only punt, Sidney fumbled with Kuhn recovering.
And the final two points came when a bad snap on a Sidney punt went out of the end zone for a safety.
“I thought we did a great job on special teams, especially keeping them from breaking any returns on kickoffs,” Nees said.
And the Indians know if they want to celebrate homecoming Friday night, it will take a similar effort against Butler.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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