By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
TROY – Things started off on the wrong foot for Piqua Friday night at Troy Memorial Stadium – and never really got any better in a 27-7 loss to the Trojans.
On the third play from scrimmage, Devin Blakely stepped in front of a Piqua pass and returned it to the Indians 29.
Five plays later, Marcus Foster ran it into the end zone from the one and after Zach Thompson’s kick, Troy had a 7-0 lead it would never relinquish.
“Things got started on the wrong foot,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said. “We just seemed out of sync at times and made some uncharacteristic mistakes.”
Late in the first quarter, Troy quarterback Cody May would connect with Isaiah Williams on a 61-yard pass to the Piqua three and Williams ran it in on the next play to make it 13-0 with :31 left in the first quarter.
“We had a blown coverage and all of a sudden we were in a big hole,” Nees said.
Piqua had a chance to cut into the lead on its next possession.
Travis Nees had runs of 15 and 26 yards and Tyler Sage caught a 19-yard pass from Taylor Wellbaum as the Indians drove to the Troy 17-yard line.
But, on third and nine from the Troy 16, the snap was high and an incomplete pass on fourth and 22 from the 29, turned the ball over on downs.
The score was still 13-0 when Piqua put together a long drive on its first possession of the second half.
The powerful running of Jon Dembski and Ryan Hughes, along with the a 37-yard pass from Wellbaum to Trae Honeycutt moved the ball to the Troy five where Piqua had a first-and-goal on the five.
But a holding penalty and two consecutive plays where Piqua wasn’t set with less than five seconds on the play clock lead to rushed snaps over the head of Wellbaum, resulted in Troy taking over at the 42 after recovering a fumble there.
“We were just out of sync all night,” Nees said. “Just uncharacteristic mistakes.”
Runs of 20 yards by Nick James and 23 yards by Zach Jones set up a seven-yard touchdown pass from May to Ian Dunaway on fourth-and-three.
Piqua punted on its next possession, with Dunaway returning it to the Indian four.
On the first play, Kindric Link would tackle Miles Hibbler for a three-yard loss, but Piqua’s Austin Covault suffered a neck injury leading to a long delay. Covault’s condition was not known after the game.
Williams ran it on the next play and Hughes would add a one-yard TD run on Piqua’s next possession, set up by Dembski’s 25-yard run to the one to make the final 25-7.
Dembski led all rushers with 91 yards one 18 carries, while Evan Grissom had a spectacular night punting the ball.
He averaged 50.4 yards on five punts, with a long of 62. That came after a game with Trotwood-Madison last week where he had a 74-yard punt.
Piqua dropped to 3-4, while Troy improved to 6-1.
“We will regroup and bounce back from this,” Nees said.
Piqua hosts Sidney Friday at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.