2014 Rivalry Series
October 29, 2012Great American Rivalry Series
Meeting for the 128th time in the longest continuously played rivalry in the state of Ohio, the Piqua High School Indians hosted the Troy High School Trojans in the “Battle of Miami”. Playing since 1899, this is the epitome of a Great American Rivalry, with Troy leading the all-time series 62-59-6 thanks in large part to a run of five straight victories over their neighbor to the north.
This year’s version saw the two teams come in with identical 4-5 records, but this would not put a damper on the game, neither would all-day rain showers. Thousands of fans braved the inclement weather to watch two teams fight for every single yard. Both teams would pull out all the stops, evident from the opening kickoff when Troy attempted an onside kick to start the game. Piqua was well-coached and ready for the Trojan trickery, and, after recovering the kick, put together a strong drive within the Troy 20-yard line. The Indians, however, would fumble the ball on the Trojan 12-yard line beginning a long stretch of defensive domination by both clubs. The highlight of which was a big stop on 4th and 2 by the Trojan defense with Piqua knocking on the goal line.
After playing a field position game for much of the first half, the first scoring did not occur until less than a minute was left on the first half clock. After a fumble by the Trojans on their own 26, the Indians moved quickly down the field and found paydirt with RB Ryan Hughes powered in behind his tremendous offensive line for a 3yd touchdown and 7-0 Indian lead heading into the half.
The second half was an almost exact copy of the first with the defenses dominating much of the storylines. Penalties also came to play heavily in the 3rd with over ten total penalties called on the two teams combined. The wet weather clearly led to issues on offense, as the driving wind and rain limited both teams ability to create much of an aerial threat.
With the game being decided in the trenches, the Indians exerted their authority on both sides of the ball repeatedly. On the defensive side of the ball, Piqua dominated the Trojan offense holding their opponents to no first downs until four minutes were left in the third quarter. On offense, the Indians line created holes for running backs Austin Covault and Ryan Hughes, who combined for over 200 yards rushing.
With the score still 7-0 Piqua midway through the fourth, the Trojans were forced to try to throw the ball in the increasingly worsening weather. Receiving the ball deep in their own end, Troy finally threw the ball deep, but when the receiver fell down on the slick field Piqua defensive back Troy Pruitt found himself with an easy interception. Pruitt returned the ball to the Trojan five-yard line, and three plays later Hughes again found paydirt for a 14-0 Indian lead.
The score would be the last of the game, and the Piqua Indians ended a five-game losing streak to their arch-rivals. Hughes was named Great American Rivalry Series MVP thanks to his two-touchdown performance along with almost 100 yards rushing. The entire defense for Piqua, however, also received several votes for their performance on the evening, as they truly dominated the Trojan offense. Piqua walked away with the hardware and a hard-fought victory over their Trojan neighbors.