By Rob Kiser
TROTWOOD — The streak is over — and the Piqua football team is on the verge of its first trip to the postseason since 2007.
The Indians picked up its first win over Trotwood-Madison and handed the Rams their second straight loss in GWOC North action by a 28-7 score.
Trotwood may have been missing leading rusher Raveion Hargrove in the first half, but this was all about Piqua’s offense being efficient when it need to be and big plays by the defense all night long.
“It is hard to single out one group,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “The defense made some big plays to get out of situations and the offense excuted when they needed to tonight.”
And the two biggest plays came as Piqua was trying to hold on for the win.
With the Indians up 22-7 and just under four minutes remaining, Trotwood was deep in Piqua territory.
First, Andrew Lee sealed the win with an interception at the goal line.
Then Darien Tipps-Clemons, who again rushed for almost 200 yards, put the exclamation point on it with a 68-yard TD run four plays later to make it 28-7 and vanquish all Rams hopes.
“Those were huge plays, no doubt about it,” Nees said.
Piqua had a long drive to start the game — including converting a fourth down in its own territory — but eventually turned the ball over on downs.
After the defense stopped the Rams, Piqua was forced to punt and Dylan Cole recovered a fumble for the Indians on the punt at the Rams 31.
While Piqua again couldn’t score, it kept field position in the Indians favor.
After a short put, Piqua got the ball on the Rams 38 and four plays later, Tipps-Clemons exploded 25 yards for the score and Lyman’s kick made it 7-0 early in the second quarter.
A 22-yard TD pass to Colton Bachman set up a 1-yard TD run by Tipps-Clemons with 3:03 to go in the half and Lyman’s kick made it 14-0.
Again, Trotwood was driving late in the half, when Alex Nees picked off a pass deep in Rams territory to maintain the lead.
“That was another big play, no doubt,” Nees said.
Late in the third quarter, Piqua recovered a fumble at the Trotwood 28 and on fourth-and-1 from the six, Tipps-Clemons took it all the way to the end zone. After a Rams penalty put the PAT at the one, Clemons ran it in to make it 22-0.
“I think we came up with four turnovers tonight,” Nees said. “That is huge.”
Trotwood got on the board with 8:58 to go on a 6-yard run by Hargrove and Ta’Miya Allen kicked the PAT to make it 22-7.
Piqua was stopped on fourth-and-four at the Trotwood 42 with under five minute to go, setting up the late game dramatics by Lee and Tipps-Clemons.
“We have been on the other side of some of these,” Nees said. “It was great to see these kids come through and get a big win like this.”
Both teams are now 5-3 overall and Piqua is 2-1 in the GWOC North, while Trotwood drops to 1-2.
The Indians now finish with two big rivalry games, hosting Sidney next Friday before traveling to Troy.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.