Troy football visits Piqua Friday night for “The Game”

The Piqua-Troy football game is the stuff of legends — as you might expect with a game being played for the 138th time at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field Friday night.

It seems only fitting that there are trophies on the line in Friday’s game.

But, the Battle on the Miami and the Great American Rivalry Series aren’t the first trophies the game was played for.

There is information that back in 1934 — when the game was traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day and was the final game of the season — the two teams played for the permanent Troy News-Piqua Call trophy.

Up to then it had been a traveling trophy, with Piqua having 29 points and Troy 24 (it is unknown how the points were accumulated).

Some facts many may not know is it matched up two former college teammates in Piqua coach George P. Wertz and Troy coach William Howald.

And while Troy’s school colors were purple and white at the time, they wore navy blue uniforms, trimmed in white.

Piqua would win that game 28-6 and reports on the game would say that it was do to the Indians air attack.

The Great American Rivalry Series began in 2004, while the Battle on the Miami trophy came into play in 2010.

For the players on both teams, this is a week few high school football players get to experience.

From all the community spirit and support, the walking out on the field for the game itself.

The two communities had a blood drive competition before Covid brought it to a stop.

The Indians come into this game after wins of 55-0 over Belmont and 58-0 over West Carrollton and have yet to punt this season. Bill Nees’ squad hasn’t lost a regular season game since 2019.

Piqua quarterback Brady Ouhl has completed 11 of 14 passes for 229 yards and five touchdowns.

Receiver Ryan Brown leads the receivers.

He has caught four passes for 141 yards — with all four going for touchdowns.

Sam Schmiesing has led the rushing attack with 122 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Bryson Roberts has rushed for three touchdowns and Jerico Burns has rushed for two touchdowns.

Dre’Sean Roberts has a 98-yard kickoff return and is averaging 11.8 yards on punt returns.

Schmiesing has 17 tackles on defense, with five tackles for loss and three sacks from his linebacker position.

Colten Beougher has 17 tackles and three for loss, Devin Finley has 13 tackles and Mickey Anderson has 10 tackles.

Anson Cox has four tackles for loss.

Bryson Roberts had a pick-six in the win over West Carrollton, moving from linebacker to play cornerback.

Kicker Jackson Trombley is 15-for-16 on PATs and all nine of his kickoffs against West Carrollton were touchbacks.

After opening with a win over Dunbar, Troy is looking to bounce back after a 50-20 loss to Xenia.

Troy’s offense will feature a return to the Wing-T under first-year coach Troy Everhart.

Jahari Ward leads the rushing attack with 226 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries.

Colin Stoltz has 130 yards on two touchdowns on 17 carries and Nick Kawecki has 111 yards and three touchdown on 17 carries.

Quarterback Donnie Stanley has completed three of six passes for 124 yards.

Willie Ritchie leads the receivers with two catches for 81 yards and Ward has two catches for 45 yards.

Ritchie is averaging 28 yards on kickoff returns and 18 yards on punt returns.

Andrew Helman, Cameron Stoltz and Tyler Lewis are combined 10-for-11 on PATs.

Defensive back Logan Ullery leads the defense with 11 tackles and two interceptions, returning them both for touchdowns.

Gavin Burris had nine tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.

Evan Johnson has 10 tackles.

Throughout the long series that began in 1899, there have been stretches of dominance, but it always seems to even out.

Piqua won nine of 10 games played between 1924 and 1932.

Troy won 11 of 13 games played between 1969 and 1981.

Piqua won the only playoff game ever played between the two schools in 1992.

Troy won five straight games from 2007-2011 to take the lead in the series, then Piqua won the next four games from 2012 through 2015 to take it back.

Troy won all four games from 2016-2019 to regain the lead and Piqua has won the last two games and can even the series at 66-66-6 with a win tonight.

No matter, whoever wins will have a victory well worth the trophies they receive.

You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]