SIDNEY — The second half of Sidney’s Miami Valley League crossover game against archrival Piqua on Friday went slowly. After a speedy first half, there were several stoppages of play in the second half due to injuries to Sidney players.
Some of that was due to cramping on a hot, humid mid-September night. The rest of it was due to the undefeated Indians, which were ranked No. 10 in Division II in the first Associated Press state poll.
The Yellow Jackets matched Piqua’s physicality for some of Friday’s contest but couldn’t keep it up for four quarters.
After a close first half, the Indians added a TD in the final seconds of the second quarter, then scored three more in the second half to beat Sidney 42-7 and retain possession of the Battered Helmet for another year.
“The kids kept battling,” Sidney coach Adam Doenges said. “They played their hearts out. They left it on the field.
“It hurts. It’s not fun to lose to your rival. The good thing or bad thing is, we’ve got a short week here, and we’ve got to pick ourselves back up and get ready to come back quick.”
Sidney (2-3, 2-2 MVL Valley) is scheduled to travel to Troy this Thursday for an MVL crossover game that will be broadcast by Fox 45 as a part of the station’s “Thursday Night Lights,” series. The Trojans improved to 2-3 with a 55-0 victory over winless Fairborn on Friday.
It’ll be Sidney’s first Thursday game since 2018.
“It’s a neat thing for the kids,” Doenges said. “The eyes of the Miami Valley will be on that game, so it’s kind of a cool thing.”
It’s the fourth consecutive victory for Piqua over Sidney, which won 29-0 in 2019 and 44-0 last year. EJ Davis scored a late TD for the Yellow Jackets to prevent a third consecutive shutout.
It was 14-0 before Sidney punted after a three-and-out late in the second quarter. After stalling for much of the first half offensively, the Indians put together a quick drive, and quarterback Brady Ouhl scored on a 1-yard TD run with 29 seconds left to boost the lead to 21-0 at halftime.
The Indians (5-0, 4-0 MVL Miami) received the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards, with the drive being capped off with a 4-yard TD pass from Ouhl to Colten Beougher with 7:47 left in the third quarter.
Bryson Roberts then grabbed his second interception of the game deep in Sidney territory, and the Indians scored shortly after on another 4-yard TD pass from Ouhl to Beougher to take a 35-0 lead with 5:43 left.
Sidney put together its best drive of the game in the fourth quarter. After senior quarterback Donavin Johnson left due to an injury, Davis took over and scored on a 2-yard run with 6:43 left.
The Indians scored soon after when Jasiah Medley broke free for a 65-yard TD run with 5:25 left.
“It was a couple big plays they got us on,” Doenges said. “They’re a really good offense. I’m proud of the defense overall. They played hard and we made them work for a couple of those drives. But at the end of the day, the score is what it is. We’re going to continue to come to work and get better.”
Things started badly for Sidney.
Roberts intercepted an errant throw from Johnson and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game to give the Indians a 7-0 lead with 11:53 left.
“I didn’t know if it was possible to start a game down seven only seven seconds in,” Doenges said. “… It was an interesting way to start and not the way we drew it up, but I’m proud of the kids for keep battling.”
The Yellow Jackets defense shut down Piqua’s high-powered offense the rest of the quarter as the teams traded punts or turned the ball over on downs. The Indians made some big plays in the second quarter to extend their advantage before halftime.
Sidney went three-and-out to start the second quarter, and Piqua quickly scored. Ouhl threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Brown with 10:16 left to increase the lead to 14-0.
The squads traded punts the rest of the quarter until the final two minutes. The Indians quickly drove and scored on Ouhl’s short run with 29 seconds left to take a 21-point halftime lead.
Sidney had 210 yards of offense while Piqua had 389.
Johnson completed 10-of-24 pass attempts for 94 yards with two interceptions and ran for 72 yards on 18 carries. Sam Reynolds caught six passes for 60 yards while Julius Spradling gained 42 yards rushing on four carries.
Jaden Swiger led Sidney with nine tackles while Chris Hudgins made 6.5.
Ouhl completed 11-of-15 passes for 192 yards and three TDs. Medley ran for 166 yards on 19 carries. Cory Miller caught seven passes for 94 yards.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.