PIQUA — For a half, Friday’s matchup between undefeated Piqua and Stebbins was every bit as tight as the team’s matching records made it out to be.
In the end, though, there was no doubt which Indians team was better.
Three different Piqua running backs punched in second-half touchdowns as the team made Stebbins pay for five turnovers throughout the game, with Piqua posting its second shutout in as many weeks with a convincing 27-0 victory over Stebbins Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field.
Jerell Lewis caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Brady Ouhl with 8:32 left in the opening quarter, but that was the only score of the first half as both defenses stiffened up until halftime, leaving Piqua (4-0) leading 7-0 at the break.
“Those guys are very, very good on defense,” Piqua coach Bill Nees said of Stebbins. “They’re really solid. They don’t give a lot of big plays up.”
Piqua changed that, though.
With 4:31 remaining in the third, Jasiah Medley broke a 75-yard touchdown run to put Stebbins (13-0) down 13-0. Ca’Ron Coleman then recovered a fumble on defense and punched in a 5-yard score on offense with 2:15 to go in the quarter to put Piqua up 20-0. Tanner Kemp added a 61-yard touchdown scamper early in the fourth quarter to seal the win, and the defense did the work from there.
“As soon as Medley broke that big one, that helped us,” Nees said. “High school football is all about big plays and momentum.”
Piqua amassed 341 yards of total offense to Stebbins’ 204, and the defense piled up five takeaways with Aidan Meyer, Damien Lawson and Braiden Strayer each intercepting a pass and Coleman and Sam Schmiesing both recovering a fumble.
“Those three guys (in the secondary) were all starters as sophomores. They took some lumps last year, but they’re playing with a lot of confidence now,” Nees said.
On offense, Ouhl finished 8 for 15 passing for 107 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Medley led the Indians’ stable of running backs — which totaled 234 rushing yards — with 87 yards and a score on nine carries.
Piqua takes on another undefeated team in Week 5, traveling to 3-0 Tippecanoe.