|By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call
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PIQUA - It would have been easy not to.
But, Piqua showed great sportsmanship after a 49-28 loss to Troy Friday night at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field, presenting the Trojans with the first "Battle on the Miami" Traditions trophy.
And the final score was deceiving.
The Indians trailed just 35-21 early in the fourth quarter when the game swung.
Facing third and 29 from its own 16, Piqua appeared to have picked up the first down when the Indians receiver was tackled before the pass arrived beyond the first down marker.
However, there was no pass interference call on the play and the Indians were forced to punt.
It was clear that play took a lot out of the Indians.
Matt Allen, whose longest run from scrimmage up to that point was 14 yards, went 54 yards for a touchdown on the first play after the punt and ran for 32 yards to Piqua's 1 on the next Troy possession to lead to the final score.
"We had a lot of things we didn't do very well tonight," Piqua coach Bill Nees said after the game. "Stopping the run has been an achilles heel for us all year. It was all too much for us to overcome."
After a Piqua three-and-out to start the game, Troy first possession was a sign of things to come. It took the Trojans just five plays to go 66 yards, with four of the five plays going for more than 10 yards.
Allen found the end zone from 13 yards out and Ashlin Stoltz kicked the first of seven PATs.
After Piqua forced Troy into a three-and-out on the next possession, the Indians evened the score.
Piqua went 75 yards on 10 plays. The Indians did most of the damage through the air, with Tavian Williams catching the first of two touchdown receptions on third-and-10 from the Troy 19.
The first of three Terry Perkins PAT kicks made it 7-7.
With Troy controlling the ball with the runs of Allen, the Trojans were able to take a 21-7 lead with 1:52 remaining in the first half. Allen scored on runs of eight and three yards.
"When, we have struggled this year, it has been the running game," Nees said. "And Troy came at us with that power running game."
Again, Piqua was able to answer through the air. Gomez White caught a 27-yard touchdwon pass just 23 seconds before the half. Selsor also hooked up with Williams on a 26-yard pass to set up the score.
That got the Indians within 21-14 at the break.
The teams traded touchdowns after two three-and-outs to start the second half.
Allen ran 12 yards for a score, while Kendall Taylor ran six yards for a Piqua touchdown.
Selsor hooked up with a 25-yard pass to Williams and a nine-yard pass to Logan Johnson on the drive.
On Piqua's next possession a fumble inside the 20 on the first play of the fourth quarter, gave Troy a short field and Tyler Wright ran the ball in from the five to make it 35-21.
Trying to stay in the game, it appeared Piqua would get out of a hole created by a holding penalty. But, after the no-call, everything went south.
Selsor finished with 208 yards passing, completing 19 of 25 passes. Williams caught nine passes for 128 yards.
Allen carried 31 times for 271 yards to lead the Trojans.
Now Piqua will finish the season with a home game with Xenia, after a show of sportsmanship after the game.
Which is what the "Battle of Miami" should be all about.