CLAYTON — It is always hard to see a season with so much success end.
But, the Piqua football team got in a hole early Friday night against a talented Winton Woods team in D-II, Region 8 final at Northmont High School and could never get out in a 38-17 loss to the Warriors.
Winton Woods, 11-3, will play Uniontown Green Friday night in a state semifinal.
Piqua finishes the season at 12-1 and has won 19 of its last 21 games.
“We had a good run,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “Other teams were in that situation the last three weeks. Now, it is our turn to reflect (on an outstanding season).”
And Nees knew what a challenge Friday night would be.
The Warriors are explosive offensively and tough to move the ball on defensively.
“What you saw tonight,” Nees said. “That is exactly what concerned me every day this week when I looked at the film.”
The Indians didn’t help themselves any in the early going.
After a three-and-out, the snap on fourth down bounced back to punter Jackson Trombley and he had to fall on it at the 15-yard line.
It took just three plays for Tyrek Spikes to find the end zone from two yards out and Dan Umba Domobele’s PAT kick made it 7-0 with 9:56 remaining in the first quarter.
After another Piqua three-and-out, Winton Woods showed its explosiveness.
On third-and-five from its own 38, Spikes exploded for a 62-yard run and Umba Domobele’s PAT kick made it 14-0 with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.
“He is really quick, but I think you have to give their offensive line a lot of credit,” Nees said. “That is the first time all season we have gotten down like that right off the bat.”
With Jasiah Medley slowed by an ankle injury, Piqua struggled to run the ball.
“They have two 300-pound (defensive) tackles,” Nees said. “That made the inside zone runs tough.”
But, Piqua was able to answer on its next possession.
On second and eight from it’s own 29, Brady Ouhl found H-back Colton Beougher across the middle. He broke one tackle and rumbled all the way to the Winton Woods 24-yard line for a 47-yard gain.
After a personal foul moved the ball to the 12, Piqua faced a fourth-and-four from the six.
Sam Schmiesing rumbled five yards to the one-yard line and pounded it into the end zone on the next play.
Trombley’s kick made it 14-7 with 2:46 remaining in the opening quarter.
Winton Woods then put together an 11-play drive, going 80 yards. Spikes ran 24 yards for the score and Umba Domobele’s kick made it 21-7. On the Warriors next possession, Umba Domobele would kick a 29-yard field goal to make it 24-7.
Piqua put together a drive late in the first half.
A late hit out of bounds on Ouhl moved the ball down to the 20-yard line.
After three incompletions, Trombley blasted a 37-yard field goal that had plenty of distance to make it 24-10 at the break.
Winton Woods got the ball to start the second half and key play happened early.
The Warriors faced a third and seven from the 23-yard line and Buddy Ellery connected with Derrick Lawson and Ta’je Frazier on consecutive plays for gains of 23 and 20 yards respectively.
“We had them on third and long,” Nees said. “That was a pretty big play. We lost a lot of momentum right there.”
Spikes would run it in from four yards out and Umba Domobele’s kick made it 31-10.
Piqua answered with a 69-yard drive with Ouhl throwing to Beougher for a six-yard TD and Trombley’s kick made it 31-17 with 1:56 to go in the third quarter.
Winton Woods would then seal the game with a 14-play, 80-yard drive.
James Minor III ran it in from five yards out and Umba Domobele’s kick made the final margin 38-17.
Winton Woods had 345 yards rushing on the night.
Spikes had 230 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries and Minor added 87 yards on 11 carries.
Ellery completed seven of eight passes for 109 yards and KC Spears had three catches for 43 yards.
Ouhl completed 16 of 24 passes for 123 yards for Piqua.
Beougher had three catches for 52 yards and Cory Miller had eight catches for 41 yards.
Medley led the rushing attack with 33 yards on 12 carries.
Schmiesing led the defense with 10 tackles.
Braiden Strayer had seven and Landon Hare and Devin Finley both had six.