By Rob Kiser
Piqua set the tone early — on both sides of the ball — and never let up in finishing off a 48-0 win over Meadowdale Saturday morning at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field to open the season.
The game was stopped at halftime Friday night with Piqua leading 14-0 by lightning and resumed Saturday morning.
“We get off to a great start,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said about the resumption of play. “We wanted to come out and set the tone and we did that.”
Piqua had the ball five times in the second half — scoring four touchdowns. On the final possession, the Indians took a knee at the Meadowdale 10 to run out the clock.
“We wanted to come out and set the tone,” Allen Schrubb, who finished with 142yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, said.
Piqua took the opening kickoff and went 62 yards on five plays — after four runs by Darien Tipps-Clemons went for 28 yards, Schrubb rumbled 34 yards for the score and Robbie Comstock’s kick made it 21-0 with 9:49 remaining in the third quarter.
Following a three-and-out by Meadowdale, Tipps-Clemons had a 32-yard run and 10-yard run by Schrubb set up a 5-yard TD run by Tipps-Clemons with Comstock’s kick making it 28-0.
Hunter Hawk then had his second interception of the game and returned it for a touchdown, but it was called back on an illegal block.
But, it took the Indians only two plays to go 51 yards.
Derek Hite caught an 18-yard pass from quarterback Austin Davis and Schrubb rumbled 33 yards on the next play with Comstock’s kick made it 35-0 with 4:46 to go in the third quarter.
“The offensive line did a great job,” Schrubb said. “And Darien (Tipps-Clemons) did a great job blocking for me. I know we get on the offensive line a lot, but they do a great job.”
Then, on second-and-10 from the Meadowdale 20, Piqua linebacker Ben Schmiesing tipped a pass to himself and ran 15 yards to the end zone to put Piqua up 41-0.
“We changed to lockdown right before the play,” Schmiesing said. “I was trying to decide whether just to go for the ball or just stop and tip it and I ended up tipping it to myself.”
It was a heads up play by the junior.
“We changed coverages right before the play,” Nees said. “That gave Ben (Schmiesing) that extra step to get there and make that play.”
Piqua’s final score came on a six-yard run by Janes Congdon to make the final 48-0.
The Indians run defense was steallar all game — led by Tristen Cox. The Lions finished with minus-13 yards rushing on 19 carries.
“We just talked about coming out and doing the things we needed to do,” Cox said. “Now, we get ready for a big game with Trotwood.”
The pass defense was just as impressive on Saturday.
After Lions quarterback Elijah Carson completed 10 of 21 passes for 91 yards Friday with an interception — he was just 1-for-8 passing Saturday for minus-5 yards and two interceptions.
“We changed up a few of the coverages,” Schmiesing said. “We just changed a few things in the secondary.”
Nees felt the Indians pass rush was also part of that.
“I know we didn’t have a lot of sacks,” Nees said. “But, we were able to affect the quarterback on some throws and get our hands on some balls.”
Tipps-Clemons added 116 yards on 20 carries to the pronged attack.
Davis completed five of 10 passes for 118 yards.
Hayden Scrubb had two catches for 63 yards, Schmiesing had two for 38 yards and a TD and Derek Hite had an 18-yard reception.
Now, the Indians will become road warriors — playing away from home four of the next five weeks — starting Friday at Trotwood-Madison.
“It is always nice to get that first win,” Schmiesing said. “Now, we have got a big game with Trotwood.”
After setting the tone from the start Saturday.