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CJ quarterback makes spectacular debut in 42-22 defeat of Piqua

There was no one more amped up for Chaminade Julienne to open the high school football season than Ryan Minor.

A promising junior quarterback, his transfer from Stebbins lit fireworks at both programs in the offseason. That ended only when the Ohio High School Athletic Association ruled there was no transfer bylaw violation.

“It was refreshing, knowing that I’m finally here and I got that out of the way,” said Minor, who unloaded a spectacular debut in a season-opening 42-22 dismantling of visiting Piqua at Roger Glass Stadium on Friday Night. “I was trying to prove as much as I can.”

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That’s because Minor is eligible to play for the Eagles only through Week 5, or the first half of the regular season. He then must sit out the remainder of the season, including playoffs. That’s a new OHSAA transfer rule that was approved last spring. It also reverses the OHSAA’s prior sit-out period.

“The five games that I have, I want to make the best of them,” he said.

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Piqua had no answer for Minor, who completed 17 of 22 passes for 219 yards. He hit Colin Downing twice for scores (15 and 2 yards) and had touchdown passes to Dom Wilcox (44 yards) and Matt Willis (15). Minor also had a 4-yard TD run.

And the Eagles had more than Minor. Junior Marquis Henry, a thick 5-foot-10, 210-pounder, had 111 yards rushing and scored. David Frederick (nine tackles), Henry (six) and defensive end Shane Cokes (three) were difference makers on defense.

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“I love all three of those kids,” said CJ coach Marcus Colvin, who credited offseason work in the weight room the main difference. “You win games because you’ve got really great players, they listen, they’re coachable and they work hard. We said the hay is in the barn, all we’ve got to do is make some signals and go play football.”

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It was the first matchup of a two-year contract. CJ lost to defending Division VI state champ Marion Local each of the last two openers and Piqua rocked Meadowdale in 2016-17.

CJ broke the game open with two late first-half scores in just 14.5 seconds. Minor’s short TD run with 33.6 ticks left put CJ up 14-0. CJ intercepted Piqua QB Micah Karn on the following possession and turned that into Minor’s scoring heave to Wilcox with less than 10 seconds left in the half.

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“Those two scores got us in a hole,” said veteran Piqua coach Bill Nees, the dean of Greater Western Ohio Conference coaches. “Momentum swung and they have a lot of weapons. We just weren’t able to overcome it.”

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Karn had 111 yards rushing and had an 8-yard TD pass to Owen Toopes. Makeegan Kuhn also had two short scoring runs for the Indians.

“We have a lot of new faces on the team,” Nees said. “We’ll rebound back.”

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CJ, 9-4, last season, is on a 10-2 run over the last two years, losing only to Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rival Alter and being knocked out of the D-III playoffs by eventual state champion Trotwood-Madison.

Piqua, 6-4 last season, has lost two straight over the last two seasons.

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