TROY – To Piqua and Troy football fans of this era, Saturday’s 137th edition of the Miami County rivalry will be remembered as the rain game.
Piqua will also remember senior Jasiah Medley scoring four touchdowns in the Indians’ 28-7 Miami Valley League victory.
And so will Medley.
“It’s an unreal feeling just because of the atmosphere of this game always,” said Medley, who stayed on his feet better than most for 107 yards on 20 carries. “It’s always – I don’t even know – I can’t even explain it. It’s just a great feeling to play in it.”
Troy will remember what could have been had the pigskin not behaved like a greased pig. The Trojans (0-2) lost three fumbles, and, as the rain went from light to heavy, they had a special teams play go bad late in the first half that was maybe the game’s biggest play.
Piqua (2-0) led 14-7 late in the first half when a punt snap sailed over Troy punter Jack Kleinhenz’s head. He picked up the ball at the one-yard line and tried to kick it, but before he could he was hit in the chest and the ball fell to the ground. Piqua’s Landon Hare recovered for the Indians at the one.
However, a 15-yard penalty for hitting Kleinhenz with the crown of the helmet pushed the Indians back to the 16. No matter. Medley scored his third touchdown on a four-yard run and the Indians led 21-7 at the half.
“Piqua had some plays that did not hurt them, and we had some that really hurt us,” Troy coach Dan Gress said. “That to me was the difference in the first half.”
The rain turned even heavier during halftime and remained steady to heavy for much of the second half.
“It’s really nice when you come out of the locker room and it is wicked and you know you’ve got at least a two-touchdown lead,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said.
Troy, which leads the series 66-65-6, started strong with hard running from quarterback Josh Mayfield (20 carries, 83 yards) and Nick Kawecki (19 carries, 109 yards). JJ McCoy scored from the two for a 7-0 lead.
“We knew obviously Piqua’s stout up front, let alone this year, so we were pretty happy at the beginning that we were able to establish the run,” Gress said.
Piqua, seen as the favorite coming in, quickly realized the challenge was far more than the rain. “That right there, we knew they came to play,” Medley said of Troy taking the lead.
After an early interception, the Indians stuck to the run game behind Medley, Tanner Kemp (12 carries, 99 yards) and quarterback Brady Ouhl (eight carries, 64 yards) for a 21-point second quarter. They outrushed the Trojans 284-186.
“They worked hard – you can tell that they wanted it,” Mayfield said. “We went up 7-0, and they didn’t care. They just kept swinging, we kept swinging, but they got us.”
Medley scored on runs of 5 and 7 yards to build a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter. He added an 8-yard score with 2:04 left in the game.
“He’s playing great football right now,” Nees said. “He wasn’t able to play in this game when he was a sophomore, and he really appreciates being able to come here and play and help his teammates.”
Playing from behind the Trojans had to stick with their game plan even though the weather made it difficult. Mayfield completed 7 of 17 passes for 58 yards.
“We were really looking to throw it around a little bit, run it a little bit, but with this we had to make the most of it,” Mayfield said as he motioned upward and looked up at the rain.
Still, the Trojans had an opportunity to cut their deficit to a touchdown in the third quarter. Piqua had a long touchdown pass called back on a penalty. Then Ouhl was sacked by McCoy on fourth down and fumbled at midfield. The Trojans drove to the Piqua 15 but a low and bobbled snap on fourth-and-three led to an incompletion.
“We saw a lot of really good things, and there a couple plays if they go our way it was a little bit different,” Gress said. “But that’s what happens when you play a good team when they make a couple good plays, and we don’t.”
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