An early midway point: Week 3 high school football previews

MIAMI COUNTY — The last time the Piqua football team was 2-0 to start a season, it was 2015.

The last time the Indians were 3-0? Wasn’t even in the current century.

Friday night, Piqua will join three other Miami County teams looking to be undefeated at the early halfway point of 2020’s six-game regular season as Week 3’s action fast approaches.

• Greenville (0-2) at Piqua (2-0): Not even in Piqua’s state championship year of 2006 did the Indians begin a season 3-0.

To find a 3-0 Piqua season, one has to go all the way back to 1999, when the Indians went an undefeated 10-0 in the regular season before falling to Anthony Wayne in the first round of the playoffs. In 2006’s state title season, the Indians lost their season opener to Grove City before winning their next eight straight.

Standing in the way of a 3-0 record this season is 0-2 Greenville, which has yet to score a point this season in its two losses, 56-0 against Sidney to open the season and 28-0 against Tippecanoe in Week 2. Last year, the Indians defeated the Green Wave 21-7, with Ca’Ron Coleman rushing for all three Piqua touchdowns and the Indians forcing a whopping five Greenville turnovers. The last time the Wave defeated the Indians was 2014, a five-game winning streak for Piqua.

• Troy (1-1) at Butler (0-2): Troy bounced back from its season-opening loss in a big way in Week 2, scoring touchdowns on its first two plays from scrimmage and scoring 34 unanswered points in a 34-7 victory over Xenia at home.

In Week 3, the Trojans return to the road, making the short trip to Butler. That Aviators have struggled to score in their first two losses, falling 30-13 at Tippecanoe and then 43-18 to Piqua at home.

Last year, the two teams met in Week 2. After Butler tied the score at 7-7 early, the Trojans ripped off 21 unanswered points to take control and pulled away for a 35-14 victory. Butler’s last win over the Trojans came in 2015, when Troy went 2-8.

• Fairborn (2-0) at Tippecanoe (2-0): Tippecanoe doesn’t have to go quite as far back for its last 3-0 start — the Red Devils won three straight to begin the 2016 season when they went 7-3 and last qualified for the postseason.

This weekend, the Red Devils will face a big test in fellow unbeaten Fairborn. Since joining the Greater Western Ohio Conference for three years in 2016 and the Miami Valley League for the last two, Tippecanoe has won four straight matchups with the Skyhawks, including beating them 20-7 last season.

Fairborn’s two wins this season have also come against two 0-2 teams: 21-16 over Xenia and 45-32 over West Carrollton in Week 2. That Week 2 game could be a concern, though — early Tuesday, West Carrollton’s Week 3 game at Sidney was cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 test on the team.

• Waynesville (1-1) at Milton-Union (2-0): Milton-Union held off Madison by the skin of its teeth in Week 2, stopping a two-point conversion with no time on the clock to preserve a one-point victory.

Now the Bulldogs will look to win their third straight to start the season, with defending Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division champion Waynesville standing in the way. Last year, the Spartans defeated the Bulldogs in Waynesville 35-21 to win the outright division title. This year, Waynesville dropped its opener 48-0 at Bellbrook but bounced back with a 42-7 victory over Preble Shawnee.

• Covington (2-0) at Twin Valley South (0-2): At this point, the only thing that can keep Covington from being 3-0 is getting caught looking ahead to Week 4.

Friday, the Buccaneers travel to Twin Valley South, which has lost its last two games against Covington by a combined score of 98-0. The last time the Panthers beat the Buccs was in 2015.

Covington’s Week 4 game, however, is a Thursday Night Lights matchup against two-time defending Cross County Conference champion Fort Loramie.

• Miami East (1-1) at Fort Loramie (2-0): Following Week 2’s 43-14 loss to Covington, things won’t get any easier for Miami East in Week 3 as it travels to unbeaten Fort Loramie.

The Redskins have beaten the Vikings the past two seasons, 34-0 last year and 21-7 in 2018. This year’s Redskins have routed Tri-County North 42-0 and Bethel 61-7 and are a contender for a third straight title in the CCC’s final season.

• Bethel (0-2) at Tri-County North (1-1): Bethel has had it rough to start the 2020 season, facing the CCC’s top two teams in the first two weeks.

But after losses to Covington and Fort Loramie, the Bees will get a chance to bounce back at Tri-County North. The Panthers were blown out by Fort Loramie in their opener but bounced back themselves with a 42-7 win over 0-2 Twin Valley South in Week 2. Last season, the Bees also began the year 0-2 before defeating Tri-County North 19-18 in a Week 3 game.

• Wayne Trace (1-1) at Troy Christian (1-1): Troy Christian showed that they were for real in Week 2, even in a 28-14 loss to McComb. The Panthers have qualified for the playoffs every year since 2010 and are two years removed from a Division VII state title, and the Eagles — who lost to McComb 44-16 last year — gave them a competitive game.

This week, the Eagles will host 1-1 Wayne Trace, which went 4-6 last season. This year, the Raiders lost to 2-0 Fairview 47-0 in the season opener and bounced back with a 16-12 victory against 1-1 Ayersville in Week 2.

• Bradford (0-2) at Mississinawa Valley (0-2): The Railroaders know that this week is its opportunity.

Bradford travels to 0-2 Mississinawa Valley in Week 3. The Railroaders have lost 34 straight games, remaining tied with 0-2 Buckeye Central for the longest current streak in the state. Last year, Mississinawa Valley — which ended up with a strong season, going 7-4 — defeated Bradford 70-13. The Blackhawks have lost 37-0 to 2-0 National Trail and 48-12 to 1-1 Arcanum so far this season.

• Ridgedale (0-2) at Lehman (1-1): Lehman struggled to get started and to hold onto the football in Week 2’s 39-7 loss to Riverside. Now the Cavaliers will face a new opponent in 0-2 Ridgedale.

The Rockets, who went 3-6 last season, have started this year with back-to-back losses, 27-6 to Upper Scioto Valley and 48-8 to Hardin Northern. Ridgedale will join the Northwest Central Conference in 2021 when Lehman leaves it to join the Three Rivers Conference.