By Rob Kiser
It was one of the most amazing quarters in recent memory for Piqua football — especially where the defense is concerned.
What is easy to overlook in a 38-6 win — like Friday night over Greenville — was the 31 of those points were scored in the second quarter, including 18 by the defense.
It started with a safety on the second-play of the quarter, followed by a Dylan Cole pick-6, a second safety and a second pick six by Ben Schmiesing.
The first safety came when Piqua swarmed running back Logan Eldridge in the end zone — the second started on the 26-yard line on a bad snap. With Piqua defensive lineman Nate Monnin in hot pursuit, Greenville had to fall on the ball in the end zone.
“I think we scored something like 18 points in the quarter,” Schmiesing, a junior linebacker, said about the defense. “We have been working our butts off on defense and I think it is starting to show.”
Cole led the defense with nine tackles, while Schmiesing had seven. Monnin, Zayne Arbogast and Ty Carnes all had four.
“It was a good effort by our defense all the way around,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said.
It seemed to spark the offense as well, who scored following both safeties. One was setup by a return by Jacob Bushnell on the free kick into Greenville territory.
“When the defense makes plays like that, the offense gets rolling,” Cole said. “We needed to make a play (on the first safety. We had them backed up (on the one-yard line) and needed to make a play.”
Not a Chance: When Cole took his interception back for a score, Greenville quarterback Owen Paulus had a chance to make a tackle at the 20-yard line.
“I just gave him a little shove with my hand,” Cole said with a laugh. “He wasn’t going to tackle me.”
Not A Chance 2: Greenville’s Devin Hendrix might have thought he was off to races near midfield on a kickoff return in the second half. After all, the closest guy to him was the kicker.
But, Robbie Comstock is not your typical kicker — and the Piqua soccer player had no problem aggressively taking Hendrix to the ground, bringing a roar from the Piqua sidelines and crowd.
On The Rise: The Piqua defense took the losses to Trotwood-Madison and Franklin as personal as anyone. And the Indians ‘D’ has responded in a big way. In the last four gmes, Piqua has surrendered just 20 points in the first half and 45 overall.
Simple as 1-2-3: The Piqua passing game made a quick adjustment to Greenville’s pass rush Friday night.
After a couple early sacks, Piqua quarterback Austin Davis went to a three-step drop and completed 12 of 14 passes for 142 yards and a TD.
“We could see we weren’t going to have time (with a deeper drop),” Davis said. “It was a pretty simple adjustment.”
Done To Perfection: While the Piqua offense often times relies on the run, Davis relished the chance to put his arm on display late in the first half.
Getting the ball on the Greenville 41 with 2:37 remaining in the half, Davis was 4-for-4 for 43 yards on the drive (Piqua had a five-yard penalty).
“I love it (getting a chance to throw the ball),” Davis said.
Pitch and Catch Cuz: Davis has a familiar target in the receiving corp. On that two-minute drive, he capped it with a 20-yard TD pass to Hayden Schrub. And if the two seem to have a good repoir, there is a reason.
“Actually, we are cousins,” Davis said. “We have been throwing the ball around forever.”
First 100: Hayden Schrubb accomplished one of his goals Friday night. And it is probably just the beginning for the junior receiver. He hauled in seven passes for 108 yards.
“It has always been one of my goals to have 100 yards (in a game),” Schrubb said. “I just want to keep going.”
Staying Focused: Piqua is on a roll after four straight wins.
But Nees isn’t about to get caught up in that.
“We need to come back Monday and start getting ready for Vandalia-Butler,” Nees said.
The Indians will travel to Vandalia Friday night, before hosting Tippecanoe and Troy in the final two regular season games.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.