The Final Score: Battle on the Miami one of Ohio’s greatest rivalries

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Troy and Piqua met for the 124th time Friday at Alexander Stadium in Piqua. Troy won 49-28 to deadlock the series 59-59-6.

While Massillon Washington and Canton McKinley prepare for their
117th meeting next Friday, another rivalry took place for the 124th time this Friday. It’s been contested since 1899, a stretch of 109 years. After Friday the series is deadlocked 59-59-6. This season both schools are 5-4. Troy versus Piqua. There’s nothing quite like it.


While Massillon Washington and Canton McKinley prepare for their 117th meeting next Friday, another rivalry – just as heated, just as close – took place for the 124th time this Friday.

It’s a rivalry that’s featured two Mr. Footballs, future NFLers and state champions.

It’s been contested since 1899, a stretch of 109 years.

After Friday the series is deadlocked 59-59-6.

This season both schools are 5-4.

Troy versus Piqua.

There’s nothing quite like it.

The game might not be as highly regarded as McKinley-Massillon or as old (the Tigers and Bulldogs first squared off in 1894), but any talk of Ohio’s greatest football rivalries has to include this one.

Separated by just nine miles, Troy and Piqua is the Ohio State-Michigan of the Miami Valley.

It is THE GAME in that region.

Has been since before Theodore Roosevelt was in office.

They say the first meeting between the two ended in a riot after a safety decided the outcome. The ensuing 123 additional games have produced sparks, spirit and sometimes the strange.

In 1900, the two teams played three times. One of those meetings it has been discovered was actually between “city” teams and not the high schools. The game is still counted in the series record. How many other rivalries do you know where they count a game between the actual towns?

The 1913 game was shortened five minutes due to darkness. No lights.

For a stretch until the early 1940s the game was always played on Thanksgiving.

For a stretch thereafter it was always the last game of the season.

When Troy and Piqua each joined different 10-team leagues for a time, the two met in the season opener. Think Daytona 500.

The two have met twice in a season 19 times. Although 18 of those meetings came before 1924, the two did tangle twice in 1992 with Troy winning the regular season match up and Piqua prevailing in the playoff rematch.

In 1985 the teams met for the 100th time. After Troy’s win the series was tied 47-47-6.

Talk about consistency.

Talk about the Battle on the Miami.

At least that’s what you can call it now.

Somehow, this game did not have an official title or traveling trophy until Friday.

Now it does.

The brainchild of Piqua athletic director David Palmer and Troy athletic director Jeff Sakal, the “Traditions Trophy” will go to the winner of the annual “Battle on the Miami,” a reference to both communities heritage on the banks of the Great Miami River.

Friday, Troy took the Traditions Trophy south on Interstate 75.

Although two of the last three games had been decided by one point, this one wasn’t.

Coming into the contest down one in the overall tally, the Trojans pulled even with a 49-28 win at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium.

Quarterback Tyler Wright and running back Matt Allen, a pair of seniors, did the most damage.

Wright became the first Trojan QB to throw for over 1,000 yards in a season since 1985 and ran for a touchdown. Allen, the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s leading rusher, scored five TDs and ran for 262 yards on 30 carries.

The duo soaked in the accomplishment.

And rightfully so.

The victory effectively ended Piqua’s playoff hopes.

Icing on the cake.

“You never stop thinking about this game,” Allen said. “When you are from one of these communities, you never stop thinking about this game.

“Week in and week out you want to prepare the same, but when it’s Piqua…like I said over there, we could be 8-0 and they could be 0-8 and its always going to be a good game just because it’s the Troy-Piqua rivalry.”

Added Wright: “Nobody ever stops thinking about this game. We’ve actually been thinking about it since two-a-days. We always say before every practice ‘Let the goons up north here us’ and that’s Piqua. We’ve been thinking about it every day.”

They still will.

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