PIQUA — Piqua football coach Bill Nees said it is not as easy as the final scores make it look — or the perception people may have.
The Indians rolled to their 15th straight regular season win and 16th win in last 17 games with a 49-14 victory over Vandalia-Butler Friday night.
Piqua is 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the MVL, clinching a share of the MVL title.
The Indians can wrap it up with a win at Stebbins on Friday.
Butler dropped to 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the MVL and will play at Troy Friday night.
In the nine games this season, Piqua’s average victory margin is over 35 points and closes game was last week’s 42-23 win over Tippecanoe.
“Look, these are all good football teams we are playing,” Nees said. “These are tough games. It is a lot more challenging than people may think or it appears.”
And Friday night’s opening quarter was a perfect example, with Butler matching Piqua’s opening touchdown drive.
Jasiah Medley — coming off a 310 yard game against Tippecanoe that included runs of over 50 yards on his first three carries — showed he can do it by moving the chains as well Friday night.
While his longest run was 28 yards, Medley reached nearly 200 yards — rushing for 193 yards on 20 carries. He also scored four more touchdowns to run his season total to 25.
“I am never going to complain about a five-yard gain,” Nees said.
Piqua took the opening drive and went 70 yards in eight plays, with Medley running for 58 yards on seven carries — including the three-yard touchdown run and Jackson Trombley kicking the PAT to make it 7-0.
But, Butler would answered with an 80-yard driving, effectively using the short passing game.
Luke Seibert connected with Luke Mitchell on a nine-yard TD pass and Landon Oliver’s PAT kick left the game tied 7-7 heading to the second quarter.
The Indians then took control, scoring 29 straight points to go up 36-7 at the break.
“They (Vandalia-Butler) put a drive together to start the game, so I was happy to come back with another long drive,” Nees said.
Piqua went 64 yards in nine plays, with Medley running 28 yards for the score and Brady Ouhl throwing to Sam Schmiesing for a two-point PAT to make it 15-7.
The Indians next drive was 13 plays and 61 yards, with Bryson Roberts carrying the ball on six of the final seven plays of the drive. Roberts ran the ball in from two yards out and Trombley’s kick made it 22-7 with 5:01 remaining before half.
Then, Piqua used two explosion plays to help finish off the first half.
First, Cory Miller hauled in a 42-yard pass from Ouhl to set up a five-yard TD run by Medley.
Then, Dre’Sean Roberts returned a punt 50 yards for a score.
Trombley added the PAT kicks after both scores, making it 36-7 at halftime.
“I thought the punt return was a big play,” Nees said.
Butler opened the second half with another long drive.
They went 79 yards with, Seibert running it in from two yards out.
Oliver kicked the PAT to make it 36-14, before Piqua closed the game’s scoring with two TDs.
Medley ran 18 yards for a score, with the two-point PAT pass going incomplete and Roberts ran 12 yards for a score, with Trombley adding the PAT.
Braiden Strayer had a huge game for Piqua on defense.
Not only did he have six tackles, he had the rare hat trick with three interceptions.
He returned one for a touchdown, but it was called back on a block in the back that had no impact on his return.
“He (Braiden Strayer) doesn’t give up yards after catch,” Nees said. “He had a couple interceptions playing behind them. They were trying to keep things as closes as they could to the boundaries. He just makes plays.”
Landon Hare had six tackles and a sack, Schmiesing had seven tackles and Wyatt Dobbins had a sack.
Roberts added 60 yards on 10 carries to the Piqua rushing attack, while Ouhl completed 10 of 13 passes for 89 yards.
Miller led the receivers with two catches for 48 yards.
Seibert completed 23 of 31 passes for 151 yards.
Mitchell had nine catches for 72 yards, Kyle Fullam had four catches for 42 yards and Cason Bennett had seven catches for 34 yards.
Austin Flohre had seven tackles for Butler and Chandler Perdue added six.
Now, it is on to another tough opponent for Piqua to close the regular season — as they look to win the battle of the Indians.