Darien Tipps-Clemons runs for three second-half touchdowns.
TROY — Troy’s football foundation has been laid according to coach Matt Burgbacher.
“The kids have bought into our system,” Burgbacher said. “Competition breeds success. You have got to like what we will see in the future of Troy football. The JV and freshman teams ran the same system that we have up here. We have got a lot of good kids coming up. Our seniors have not had very many wins the last two years but they are a tough group. And the future of Troy football began with them. They are a great group of guys. The seniors started this future.”
Piqua got going in the third quarter with Darien Tipps-Clemons rushing for three second half touchdowns including a 65-yard TD run and also had a 5 yard run and a 1 yard run. He finished the game with 245 yards rushing on 24 carries and three touchdowns. And Tipps-Clemons also gathered the Rivalry Series game MVP with his outstanding performance on the field.
Troy offense finally got started when QB Hayden Kotwica connected with WR Luke Robinson for a 38 yard reception that set up Kotwica running the ball from 1 yard out and Troy cut the lead to 20-7. But the Indians responded with a 89 yard drive that QB Rupert Delacruz connected with TE Nate Monnin on a big third down reception that set up a Tipps-Clemons TD run.
Trojans played Piqua tough in first half with Piqua holding a 7-0 half time lead. Troy DB intercepted a Delacruz pass to halt one drive for Troy. Piqua missed a field goal at the end of the first half.
Indians got it going in the second half by doing just what they did in the first half. By running the ball. Delacruz’s key third down pass was a thorn for Troy.
“Their third down execution was excellent, “Burgbacher said.. “Their QB Delacruz threw some nice passes on third downs that gave them key first downs and kept the clock running. We just could not sustain any drives.
“Tipps-Clemons is a good running back. He’s a great back. That long run for a touchdown killed us.”
Coach Burgbacher concluded by saying: “We have a lot of young kids coming up and that is what we are focusing on for the future.”