TROY — Ironically, the Troy-Piqua football game being moved to early in the season from week 10 a year ago would have seemed to create much better weather for the game — instead of it being played in late October in week 10.
But, that was certainly not the case Saturday night at Troy Memorial Stadium.
In a game pushed back one night, the two teams played in a driving rain storm and Piqua used four touchdowns from Jasiah Medley to record a 28-7 victory and narrow the overall gap in the series.
Troy now leads 66-65 with six ties, but it the Indians got their second straight victory in the series.
“It was tough (the conditions on the grass field),” Medley said. “I was hoping it would be played last night (Friday) because of the weather. I was ready to go all week (after not playing last week). It feels great (to score four touchdowns in the rivalry game). To be honest, it just feels kind of unreal.”
Piqua coach Bill Nees was not concerned about missing a game last week.
“We were ready to go last week (when West Carrollton cancelled) and then it didn’t happen,” he said. “Jasiah (Medley) was really looking forward to the game. He missed the game here two years ago.”
Troy coach Dan Gress said losing to Piqua is always tough — but he feels better about his team despite an 0-2 start.
“This one really hurts,” he said. “We had a number of guys miss practices this week (because of quarantine). That’s not an excuse. But, when I go home tonight, I will be so proud of these kids for work they put in to get ready for this game and everything they did.”
The game started with Troy going right down the field on a 14-play drive between the running of quarterback Josh Mayfield and running back Nick Kawecki.
JJ McCoy then capped the 88-yard drive with a 1-yard run and Jack Kleinhenz kicked the PAT to make it 7-0 with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter.
Then, Kleinhenz ended Piqua’s first drive with an interception at the Troy 16-yard line.
“Piqua has a good defense,” Gress said. “So, I was really pleased with the way our kids came out on that opening drive.”
But, the Trojans would not score again and Piqua began to take control.
“I thin we adjusted to their speed and what the field conditions,” Nees said.
Piqua’s second possession started on its own 10.
On the first play, Tanner Kemp ran 49 yards to get Piqua out of a hole.
Medley completed the 90-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run and Jackson Trombley’s kick tied it 7-7 with 9:17 remaining in the first half.
Piqua would then go 79 yards in five plays on its next drive.
Quarterback Brady Ouhl had a 34-yard run, with 15 yards added on for a late hit.
Ouhl would then have a 15-yard run to the seven-yard line before, Medley ran it in on the next play and Trombley’s kick made it 14-7 with 5:29 left in the half.
Then, two big plays changed the game.
Troy would go three-and-out on its next possession and the snap on the punt was high, with Piqua’s Landon Hare recovering at the one-yard line. A personal foul would move the ball back to the 16, but on third-and-four from the 10, Ouhl ran for six yards.
Medley found the end zone on the next play and Trombley’s kick made it 21-7 with 2:47 remaining in the half.
Then, with Troy driving late in the half, Hare recovered a fumble at the Piqua 15-yard line with 33 seconds to go in the half.
“Piqua had some plays that didn’t hurt them,” Gress said. “And we had some plays that hurt us.”
In the driving rain, the conditions became much tougher in the second half, with neither offense having much success.
“It is tough, but it was the same for them,” Gress said.
Medley capped the scoring late in the fourth quarter with an eight-yard TD run for Piqua, who had TDs brought back by penaltytwice in the second half. Trombley’s kick made the final 28-7.
“We were able to make some plays,” Nees said.
Medley led Piqua with 107 yards on 20 carries, while Kemp had 99 yards on 12 carries.
Ouhl added 64 yard on eight carries and was 1-for-3 passing for nine yards.
Sam Schmiesing led the defense with 12 tackles, while Tate Adams had nine and Medley added eight. Braiden Strayer had an interception.
Kawecki finished with 109 yards on 19 carries for Troy, while Mayfield had 83 yards on 20 carries and completed seven of 17 passes for 58 yards. Willie Ritchie caught three passes for 31 yards.
Kristifer Wiliams and Noah Zumbro led the defense with nine tackles and Gavin Burris recovered a fumble on a night better suited for ducks than playing football.
“The funny thing is one of the things about moving the game earlier in the season was because of the weather,” Nees said.
But, as Piqua prepares to host Xenia Friday night and Troy hosts Stebbins, the Piqua coach had no complaints after keeping the Battle on the Miami trophy for a second straight year.