By Payton Ross,
Trojan Tempo Sports Editor
PIQUA- On Friday, the Trojans traveled to Piqua’s Alexander Stadium to take on their rival, a game dating all of the way back to 1899. In a wet, fierce game, the Trojans came out on top, winning by a score of 7-6 and clinching the GWOC American North championship.
Going into the Piqua game, the Trojans were 8-1 and had tallied a total of 1,207 passing yards and 2,131 total rushing yards. Troy’s running back, Jaydon Culp-Bishop had a total of 1,739 rushing yards, with 399 of them being against Greenville last week. Piqua was 6-3, with their losses coming to Chaminade Julienne, Trotwood-Madison and Vandalia Butler. The Indians had a total of 1,974 rushing yards and 803 passing yards. With Troy’s tough offense and pressing defense, many thought Troy wouldn’t struggle much. That was not exactly the case.
The game got off to a slow start, with a scoreless first quarter. In Piqua’s final drive of the first half, they scored a touchdown. The Indians’ quarterback suffered an injury early in the first quarter, so Piqua was forced to put in their backup quarterback. The Indians’ starting quarterback was also their place kicker and after his injury they were forced to go for two rather than kick the extra point. Troy’s Kobe Feltner punished the Piqua receiver keeping the score at 6-0. Right before halftime, Culp-Bishop broke off a big run, but there wasn’t enough time left on the clock for the Trojans to score before going into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Trojans were trying to get the ball moving, but would turn the ball over on downs. Piqua also struggled to get much going offensively during the third quarter.
Nearing the end of the fourth quarter, with Piqua clinging to a narrow six point lead, Brayden Siler threw a 41-yard pass to Shane Shoop. Shoop hauled the ball at the Piqua 10, broke a tackle and twisted his way into the end zone. Siler’s extra point was good, putting the Trojans up 7-6 with 3:58 left to play. Once the Indians got the ball back, the Trojan defense held them, forcing a fourth and seven at the two minute mark. The Indians snapped the ball but it slipped right through Piqua quarterback’s hands giving the Trojans the ball and sealing the game.
“I can’t even put it into words how pumped I am that we won,” said Shane Shoop. “We rose to the occasion. I am so proud of our team for not giving up and just continuing to push themselves to get the win, especially against our rivals. We have a lot to improve upon before playoffs, but I can’t wait to see how far our team goes.”
To continue the rivalry, the Trojan student body competed in the blood drive challenge and the chin up challenge. Piqua won the blood drive by seven units, but Troy also won the chin up contest.