Sidney makes statement in 34-33 win over Piqua


Coach Adam Doenges said players showed resiliency when Piqua made run in second half

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Sidney’s Darren Taborn runs the ball as Piqua’s, left to right, Brennan Toopes, Devon Brown and Makeegan Kuhn make a tackle on Friday.

Sidney’s Darren Taborn runs the ball as Piqua’s, left to right, Brennan Toopes, Devon Brown and Makeegan Kuhn make a tackle on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Sidney’s Isaiah Bowser, left, shakes off Piqua’s Devon Brown as Dylan Vanderpool, right, blocks Piqua’s Makeegan Kuhn during a Greater Western Ohio Conference game on Friday at Piqua.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

PIQUA — Isaiah Bowser knows what it is like for opposing defenses to key on one player, and he turned the tables on Friday.

Bowser, who has gotten a lot of carries and attention from defenses the last three years as a running back, was playing at linebacker late in Sidney’s game against Piqua. After Piqua running back Ben Schmiesing ran for a short touchdown to bring Piqua within one point, he got the ball again on a two-point conversion run.

Bowser was ready. He keyed on Schmieing and tackled him on the two-point conversion try and helped Sidney preserve a 34-33 win in a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North game.

“We all knew it was going right there to him,” Bowser said. “Coach told me to move over a little bit and be ready for it after I had been in the wrong spot on a couple of plays. I saw him get the ball and hit him on the legs. He came down, and we got the win.”

For Sidney, it was a statement win in front of a packed Alexander Stadium. Though the Yellow Jackets (6-0, 1-0 GWOC North) were ranked sixth in the state in Div. II in last week’s AP poll, Bowser and coach Adam Doenges said many team members heard from people outside the town that the players don’t work hard enough and are overrated.

“It’s all about toughness,” Bowser said. “Everyone says were not tough enough, we don’t work hard enough, all this stuff. They don’t respect us. We need some respect around here. We’re good.”

Doenges said it was a defining win as far as the team’s character is concerned.

“We talk with our kids all the time about what people perceive of our town,” Doenges said. “We brought it up back in May and brought it up again this week. Those kids took it upon themselves. They want to change that perception.

“They took it on their 16, 17, 18-year shoulders to change the perception of this town. We said it back in May and we said it again this week about being resilient, not falling under pressure, and being able to handle adversity through life. Those are all things people have said about our community, but our guys showed what we have tonight and backed us up.”

Sidney took the lead late on a big play by Andre Gordon and Ratez Roberts. On a fourth-and-goal from the 21-yard line, Gordon threw a touchdown pass to Roberts which broke a tie and gave Sidney a 34-27 lead.

“I give Coach (Greg) Snyder a lot of credit,” Doenges said of the touchdown pass. “We had a play called, and he said let’s switch it to this, get them rolling out and peak to the backside post and whip it in there if it’s there. It was a great call, a great throw, and a great catch by Ratez to hold onto it.

“I’m real proud of my two coordinators. The defense played tough tonight. I don’t know what the yardage was, but we played tough and we played well. Coach (Kyle) Coleman has done a tremendous job the last couple of weeks trying to get our kids in the best position.”

Schmiesing scored on a 2-yard run with 45 seconds left, but Bowser and Sidney’s defense didn’t let the Indians get any closer.

Sidney’s players celebrated with a large student section on the field after the game and hoisted the Battered Helmet in a postgame huddle. It’s only the third win for Sidney over Piqua in the last 15 seasons, but it’s the second in the last three.

“This feels great,” Bowser said. “We’ve got some tough games coming up, but Piqua’s one of the toughest we’ll face. This was a tough GWOC game for us, and I’m glad we could come out on top. …I love beating Piqua.”

Bowser rushed for 186 yards on 38 carries. Gordon completed 11-of-14 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown and also ran for 87 yards and one score. He extended several plays on scrambles Friday night.

Sidney had 418 yards of offense while Piqua had 379. Schmiesing had 119 yards on 13 carries, while Devon Brown had 83 yards on 20 carries. Austin Davis completed 12-of-19 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

Sidney led 21-7 at halftime, but the Indians got to work quickly in the second half. After a long run by Schmiesing, Davis threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Schrubb with 10:30 left in the third quarter, which cut Sidney’s lead to 21-13 after a missed two-point conversion play.

After Sidney turned the ball over on downs, the Indians quickly drove down the field and scored when Brown ran in from eight yards out with 1:50 left in the third quarter. Piqua missed another two-point try, and Sidney maintained a two-point lead at 21-19.

Gordon broke open a run and ran 66 yards for a touchdown with 57 seconds left in the third quarter, but Sidney led by just eight points after a missed extra-point attempt following a bad snap.

Piqua took advantage of the missed two-point try. Schmiesing scored on a 1-yard run with nine minutes left in the fourth and then ran for a two-point conversion to tie the game 27-27.

Piqua scored on a 20-yard pass from Davis to Cale Meckstroth with 6:32 left in the first quarter, but Sidney scored the last three touchdowns in the first half.

The Yellow Jackets scored on their first drive after Meckstroth’s reception on a run by Bowser. Bowser weaved through the line, ran around Piqua’s secondary and dove across the goal line for a 30-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.

Sidney recovered a fumble by Piqua on the 50-yard line with 9:40 left in the second and scored about three minutes later on a 1-yard touchdown run by Bowser to take a 14-7 lead.

Piqua was forced to punt from near its own goaline at the end of the second quarter after a tackle for loss by Devan Rogers and a sack by Zach Webb. Sidney took over near midfield after the punt and scored with 19 seconds left in the first half on a 1-yard run by Bowser. Bowser fumbled the ball after diving into the end zone but recovered the ball for a score.

Darren Taborn intercepted a 30-yard pass from Davis in the end zone as time expired in the first half to protect Sidney’s 21-7 lead.

Video Highlights:

Isaiah Bowser’s game-saving tackle of Ben Schmiesing:

Andre Gordon’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Ratez Roberts:

Isaiah Bowser’s fumble recovery for touchdown:

Postgame celebration:

Sidney’s Darren Taborn runs the ball as Piqua’s, left to right, Brennan Toopes, Devon Brown and Makeegan Kuhn make a tackle on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/10/web1_SidFB1.jpgSidney’s Darren Taborn runs the ball as Piqua’s, left to right, Brennan Toopes, Devon Brown and Makeegan Kuhn make a tackle on Friday. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Sidney’s Isaiah Bowser, left, shakes off Piqua’s Devon Brown as Dylan Vanderpool, right, blocks Piqua’s Makeegan Kuhn during a Greater Western Ohio Conference game on Friday at Piqua.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/10/web1_SDN093017SidFB2.jpgSidney’s Isaiah Bowser, left, shakes off Piqua’s Devon Brown as Dylan Vanderpool, right, blocks Piqua’s Makeegan Kuhn during a Greater Western Ohio Conference game on Friday at Piqua. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Coach Adam Doenges said players showed resiliency when Piqua made run in second half

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.