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PREVIEW: Piqua vs. Troy (OH)

October 24, 2012

The Piqua Indians are set to host the Troy Trojans in the 128th “Battle of Miami” this Friday night. The game is the featured “Game of the Week” on GreatAmericanRivalry.com. This matchup is the oldest rivalry in the state of Ohio. Troy defeated the Indians 27-7 last season and has now won 5 straight contests in the series. The series dates all the way back to 1899 with Troy leading the all-time series in wins, 62-59-6. Both teams enter the game with 4-5 records and are tied in 3rd with 2-2 records in the Greater Western Ohio North Conference.

The Troy Trojans have a new head coach at the helm in 2012. Scot Brewer replaced Steve Nolan who was the head coach for 28 years. The Trojans are coming off an 8-3 season that saw them lose in the first round of OHSAA Division 1 playoffs. Troy lost 9 All-GWOC North players from last year’s squad, including their quarterback Cody May. Junior Matt Barr will replace May under center. The backfield will feature the duo of junior Miles Hibler and sophomore Brandon Lee at running back. The 2 combined to run for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in last weekend’s game against Greenville. The senior Nick Zimmer has emerged as Barr’s go-to receiver. Zimmer caught 12 passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Trojans 28-6 win last weekend. The Trojan defense will need a stellar game to get the win against Piqua. Against Greenville, the defense allowed just 6 first downs in the game.

Head coach Bill Nees lost 10 All-GWOC North players from last year’s 6-4 team. Most coaches would have a tough time replacing the holes left from so many graduating seniors, but Nees will have plenty of seniors with playing experience ready to step up into starting roles. The offense will be led by senior quarterback Justice Young. Backing him up will be junior Dan Monnin. The backfield will feature the electrifying senior running back Ryan Hughes. Lining up in the wide receiver positions will be sophomore Tate Honeycutt and seniors Josh Holfinger and Cody Combs. The defense will be the strength of this year’s Indian squad, led by senior Solomon Carnes at defensive end. Carnes returns from his All-GWOC North honors last season. The 6’2” 241 pound end recorded 45 tackles and 7 sacks in 2011. He will be joined by fellow senior Mike Haney on the line. The senior Austin Covault will lead the linebacking unit at outside linebacker, while Luke Karn, senior, will lead a tough Indian secondary. The Indians are looking to get back and win the state finals for the first time since they won it all in 2006.

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Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.