Troy had 366 yards of offense and held Piqua to 118 in Friday’s win.
TROY — In a game that was played under extremely wet conditions, the Troy Trojans defeated rival Piqua by a score of 32-6.
The Trojans came out throwing the ball early and later went strictly to the run game as the Piqua defense could not stop running backs Jaydon Culp-Bishop and Sam Jackson.
After getting the ball with excellent field position at the Piqua 36, Sam Jackson scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night from 5 yards out with 10:28 left in the second quarter. And then both teams exchanged punts twice before Troy got a break when Piqua quarterback Austin Davis fumbled the snap from center and Troy recovered on the Indians 46-yard line. S
am Jackson scored again from 1-yard out with 21 seconds left in half to give Troy a 12-0 lead. Piqua’s offense was a no-go the whole first half against a very tough Troy defensive effort.
“Our defense stood out again. Just as they have for virtually all season. Our offense sputtered in the Trrotwood game and put them in the hole. But since then they have played lights out,” stated Troy coach Matt Burgbacher said. “The seniors came together when we were 1-2 and talked about what they needed to do to turn around our season. The guys just gutted it out.”
A third touchdown run from Jackson from 10 yards out gave Troy an 18-0 with 10 minutes left in third quarter.
Troy missed their first three extra-point attempts after a bad snap and wide kicks and a missed pass. After Troy linebacker John Wehrkamp recovered a fumble, Culp-Bishop ran for 7 yards and fumbled the ball which was recovered by Ben Schmiesing, who returned it 35 yards for a Piqua touchdown. The extra point was missed, and the Indians would not get any closer than what the score was at 18-6.
Very early in the fourth quarter, Culp-Bishop ran for 60 yards and a Troy touchdown to seal the win. His touchdown and the extra point gave Troy a 25-6 lead with 11 minutes left in the game. Offensively, Piqua could do no better as their quarterbacks continued to try throwing the ball with no receivers open.
“We knew coming in that Hayden Schrubb had big time stats with 900 receiving yards,” Burgbacher said. “And with the field conditions getting worse with the rain we were determined to not let him beat us. He’s a great receiver.”
Troy finished the scoring when Piqua muffed a hand off and defensive lineman Joah Stricker caught it in the air and ran it in for another touchdown. That set up the final score at 32-6.
“The feeling is awesome” Burgbacher said. “Our No. 1 goal is to win the GWOC North each season and anything else like the playoffs is just icing on the cake. We will take a look in the morning and see who we play. I don’t really care to speculate on who our opponent is. We are just happy to be in that position. Because when we were 1-2 it was unlikely to go 8-2, but our seniors let us accomplish that.”
“The field conditions were bad,” Culp-Bishop. “I am frozen, but I just kept running behind my line. They took care of me.”
Culp-Bishop had 250 yards rushing on 30 carries and 1 touchdown for the night. Sam Jacxkson ran five times for 18 yards and three touchdowns. Sam Coleman ran for 51 yards on nine carries and passed for 30 yards going. Matt McGillvary caught two passes for 27 yards and two big first down catches.
“It was our defense that set the tempo,” Burgbacher said. “All 11 of played outstanding and I am proud of their effort. The field conditions tonight were tough. But we like our field and love to play on grass. We practice on grass all week and I think it showed tonight. PIqua’s passing and running could not get started.”
Troy finished the 2017 season 8-2 and now lead Piqua 64-63-6 in the all-time series. The win is the second in a row for Troy in The Great American Rivalry Series.
Piqua finished 6-4 on the 2017 season. Up next for Troy is the Division II playoffs and a team to be determined officially on Sunday afternoon — though it will likely be Cincinnati Anderson, who Troy beat in a thrille to open the playoffs last season.