By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
In one of the wilder high school football scrimmages you will see, the Piqua High School football team learned some valuable lessons — and made an amazing comeback before falling 32-27 to Xenia Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
The Indians rallied from a 26-0 halftime lead in the three-quarter scrimmage to take a 27-26 lead at the break.
But, with just over two minutes remaining and the Bucs facing a third-and-17 at their own 27, a toss play led to a 73-yard TD run for the deciding run.
Piqua drove down to the Xenia 20, before an interception with less than 30 seconds to go sealed the win for Xenia.
Tate Honeycutt had an 18-yard reception on the drive and Noah Lyman had two catches for 16 yards.
Quarterback Rupert Delacruz ran for 22 yards on the preceding two plays before the interception.
On the play before Xenia’s winning score, the quarterback was stripped in the backfield and with three Indians around the ball, Xenia made the recovery.
“That run shouldn’t happen,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said about the score. “When you have the opportunity (to get off the field), you have to make plays. We just had a lot of mistakes.”
The scrimmage got off to a rough start.
Xenia returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a score and recovered the ensuing kickoff.
As a result, it was 12-0 less than two minutes into the game.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the half, the Indians trailed 26-0 and their only first down was by penalty.
That is when Piqua showed their explosiveness.
It started with a 13-yard TD run by Trent Yeomans.
Yeomans had a 16-yard run on the drive and Delacruz had three carries for 43 yards to set up the TD to make it 26-6.
On the Indians’ next possession, Delacruz hooked up with Colton Bachman on a 34-yard TD pass and Dylan Runge’s kick made it 26-13.
With 3:21 to go in the half, Delacruz ran four yards for a score and Runge’s kick made it 26-20.
Delacruz carried on the final three plays of the drive for 20 yards, while Darien Tipps-Clemons had two carries for 21 yards.
Piqua got it back with less than two minutes to go in the half and went 87 yards in six plays.
Yeomans had a 31-yard run and Noah Gertner added a 16-yard reception, setting up a second TD pass to Bachman, this one from 13 yards out.
Runge’s kick made it 27-26 at the break.
Yeomans finished with 16 carries for 115 yards, while Delacruz rushed for 75 yards on 10 carries and completed nine of 16 passes for 140 yards, with two TDs and two interceptions.
Bachman had 47 yards on two receptions, while Gertner added 46 yards on two receptions.
Piqua will play at Springboro at 7 p.m. Friday in the final tuneup for the regular season.
story modified on Friday 8/15/2014 at 9:20:49 pm by Robbin Kiser