Indians, Devils to face off: Week 5 high school football previews

MIAMI COUNTY — A normal high school football season would by just hitting the halfway mark Friday night.

But in 2020, Piqua and Tippecanoe are battling for a division title and then shifting their sights to the playoffs in two weeks.

Friday night’s matchup between the undefeated Indians and Red Devils highlights a Week 5 slate of games with a pair of Miami County rivalries — along with Miami East’s game at Bethel — but is also one game short after Lehman’s cancellation at Waynesfield-Goshen.

• Piqua (4-0, 3-0 MVL Miami) at Tippecanoe (3-0, 3-0 MVL Miami): Piqua is 4-0 for the first time since its undefeated 1999 regular season and just finished knocking off another unbeaten team in Stebbins last week. Tippecanoe, meanwhile, is 3-0 for the first time since its last trip to the playoffs in 2016 and just picked up its first victory over Troy since 1939.

Now both teams are playing for the MVL Miami Division title Friday at Tipp City Park. For the Indians, it would be the first division title since its state championship year in 2006 when they shared the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division crown with Northmont. For Tippecanoe, it would be the first since winning the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division in 2015. The Indians have won four straight over the Devils since a 37-12 2015 playoff loss at Tippecanoe, including a 28-14 victory last year — which was Piqua coach Bill Nees’ 200th career win.

• Greenville (0-4, 0-3 MVL Miami) at Troy (2-2, 1-2 MVL Miami): Troy hasn’t been 2-2 since 2017, a season that the Trojans finished 8-2 and won one of its four straight division titles entering this season. Troy will look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 30-26 loss to Tippecanoe Friday against visiting Greenville, which has been outscored by opponents 150-6 in four straight losses this year, scoring for the first time just last week in a 17-6 loss to Butler.

Troy has won four straight against Greenville, including a 35-7 win last year on the road.

• Miami East (1-3) at Bethel (1-3): It’s been a struggle for the young Miami East and Bethel teams in this shortened season. Both lost to division leaders Fort Loramie and Covington, with the Bees falling 19-13 to Tri-County North in Week 3 and the Vikings losing 25-14 to the same Panthers last week. Miami East’s lone win was 7-6 over Twin Valley South in Week 1, while Bethel topped those Panthers 34-13 last week.

Miami East hasn’t lost to Bethel since 2006, including a 55-14 victory last season.

• Milton-Union (3-1) at Valley View (2-2): Milton-Union travels to Valley View Friday for its only non-league game of the six-game regular season. The Spartans are back-to-back overtime losses away from being undefeated, having lost 28-21 to undefeated Bellbrook in Week 3 and 9-3 to 3-1 Franklin last week.

The Bulldogs, coming off of a 26-8 win at Preble Shawnee in Week 4, lost 49-48 in overtime to Valley View last season and haven’t defeated the Spartans since 2007, a four-game losing streak.

• Covington (3-1) at Tri-County North (3-1): Covington’s 41-7 loss at the hands of defending Cross County Conference champion Fort Loramie stung, but the Buccaneers face another test Friday at 3-1 Tri-County North in a battle for second place in the Cross County Conference. The Panthers have won three straight after dropping their opener 42-0 to the undefeated Redskins.

Covington has won five straight over Tri-County North since a 36-6 loss in 2014, including a 74-6 rout last year.

• Dayton Christian (0-4) at Troy Christian (1-3): Troy Christian’s lone win of the season came in Week 1, 42-6 over Dayton Christian on the road. Friday, the two teams will meet again in Troy, with the Warriors still searching for their first victory. Dayton Christian has opted out of the playoffs that begin in Week 7, though, while the Eagles will participate.

• Bradford (0-4) at Arcanum (2-2): Bradford has opted out of the playoffs this year, instead adding a Week 7 game against 0-4 Springfield Catholic Central. This week, the Railroaders will try to break their lengthy losing streak at 2-2 Arcanum, which shut out Bradford 55-0 last year.

• Lehman (2-2) at Waynesfield-Goshen (4-0): Lehman’s game at Waynesfield-Goshen was cancelled on Wednesday due to concerns about COVID-19. The game is tentatively rescheduled for late October, barring a lengthy playoff run by either team.