Piqua wins battle with Trotwood-Madison, Mother Nature
By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
TROTWOOD - It was a night where even the ducks would have taken cover.
But, despite the miserable conditions at Bob Driver Stadium in Trotwood, Piqua football came away with a 23-6 victory over the Rams and Indian coach Bill Nees felt the Indians accomplished a lot in the process.
Brandon Stinson made his first start at offensive tackle, playing for Travis Heigel, who broke his leg in practice this week. With Mr. Everything Brad Erwin out, there were new Indians on both sides of the ball at running back, linebacker and handling the kicking duties.
“We had some new people in there we wanted to take a look at,” Nees said. “I thought they all did a good job.”
Considering the conditions, Piqua got the all important first score after a botched punt attempt by the Rams.
Trotwood had fourth and 10 from its own 21. The Rams punter tried to run with the ball, but was tripped up at the line of scrimmage, giving Piqua the ball.
Tyler Haines had an eight yard run on fourth and six and took it in from 1 yard out for the score. Ryan Karn’s PAT kick was perfect to give the Indians a 7-0 lead.
“We have been an opportunistic team all year,” Nees said. “We wanted to get on the board first and put them in a position where they had to throw.”
Linebacker Jeff King gave Piqua a spark on the offensive side of the ball in the second quarter.
After two possessions in which the Indians failed to score, King broke loose on a 37 yard run down the right sideline to set up his 8 yard scamper into the end zone.
Karn’s kick made it 14-0.
“Jeff King had a big game for us,” Nees said. “He gave us a big lift (in the backfield).”
A 58 yard pass from Tyler Haines to Austin Netzley moved Piqua down inside Trotwood’s 10. A fumble gave the Rams the ball, but on the first play Bob Hull sacked Ram quarterback Will Morrow in the end zone for a safety to make it 16-0 at the break.
Brad Valentine also had an interception for Piqua in the first half.
“We wanted to put them in a position where they had to throw,” Nees said. “I thought we had our passing game going pretty good...then it just became impossible to throw the ball.”
Piqua was content to keep the ball on the ground in the second half in a driving rain with near freezing temperatures.
Adam Heath went four yards for Piqua’s final score and Karn again booted the extra point. Heath converted two fourth downs with runs up the middle on the drive.
“Adam Heath did a good job tonight,” Nees said. “So did Tyler Haines. Our backs have done a good job all year.”
Piqua nearly had its third straight shutout.
A streak of 14 quarters without allowing any points ended when Trotwood quarterback R.J. Higgonbotham ran 15 yards for a score.
The touchdown was set up when Deandre Sloan returned Piqua’s third fumble of the night to the Indians 23.
“That’s football,” Nees said. “That happens sometimes.”
Mark Ritter injured his ankle in the first half and did not return. The seriousness of his injury was not known after the game.
Piqua improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the GWOC.