E.A. Sports Today

Piedmont takes upper hand

Bulldogs win battle of state-ranked 3A teams with big offense, break out of logjam for region lead

By East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Darnell Jackson rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Taylor Hayes accounted 281 yards and three scores as third-ranked Piedmont grabbed the upper hand in 3A Region 6 with a 44-26 win over No. 9 Glencoe Friday night.

Jackson scored on runs of 96, 15 and 1 yards, while Hayes ran for two scores and threw for another. The Bulldogs (4-0, 3-0) rushed for 507 yards as a team, had 648 total yards and controlled the ball for nearly 27 minutes.

The victory, Piedmont’s first in its last six games with a ranked opponent, gave the Bulldogs a one-game lead over Glencoe, Weaver, Wellborn and Westbrook Christian going into the region open week.

“I knew we had a lot of territory we were covering up and down the field,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “If we don’t turn the ball over and get penalties I think we have a chance to be a pretty good offensive team.

“(Jackson) is a great playmaker to be getting back in the fold this year and getting himself into playing shape, and I thought he had an outstanding game tonight. I thought Taylor did a good job with our offense managing it from a rushing and passing standpoint.”

Jackson scored the first two touchdowns of the game — the first one a 96-yard run sprung by the block of Will Mitchell — and although the Bulldogs never trailed, they couldn’t shake the Yellow Jackets until late.

The Jackets (3-1, 2-1) followed Jackson’s two scores with two defensive touchdowns to tie the game at 12. They later tied the game at 19.

Hayes’ first touchdown – in the final minute of the first half – put Piedmont back on top 19-12 at the break. Glencoe retired it at 19 on quarterback Chase Wilson’s 2-yard run with 9:32 to play, but 20 seconds later Hayes put the Bulldogs on top for good with a 67-yard touchdown run.

Jackson’s third touchdown extended the lead to 32-19 with 2:11 left in the third quarter, but seconds later Wilson’s 54-yard touchdown run got Glencoe within a touchdown.

Cardavion Myers gave the Bulldogs some breathing room with a 7-yard run 15 seconds before the end of the third quarter and Bayley Blanchard closed the scoring when he hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Hayes.

Blanchard caught six passes in the game for 109 yards. Hayes was 8-of-14 passing for 141 yards.

Wilson rushed for 134 yards and had 122 yards passing for Glencoe. The Bulldogs held the Yellow Jackets to less than 300 yards total offense.

“I thought our defense played extremely well,” Smith said. “We had a couple offensive turnovers there that gave them (their) first 12 points of the game, but I thought besides them catching us off guard a little bit with an unbalanced set there the second half the defense played well tonight.”


Glencoe 0 12 14 0 — 26
Piedmont 6 13 19 6 — 44

P – Darnell Jackson 96 run (pass failed), 4:58 1Q
P – Jackson 15 run (pass failed), 11:43 2Q
G – Dalton Roberts 31 interception return (kick blocked), 9:00 2Q
G – Pace Ozmint 41 fumble return (run failed), 8:17 2Q
P – Taylor Hayes 8 run (Easton Kirk kick), 0:43 2Q
G – Chase Wilson 2 run (Andrew Lang kick), 9:32 3Q
P – Hayes 67 run (Kirk kick), 9:12 3Q
P – Jackson 1 run (kick failed), 2:11 3Q
G – Wilson 54 run (Lang kick), 2:10 3Q
P – Cardavion Myers 7 run (pass failed), 0:15 3Q
P – James Blanchard 4 pass from Hayes (kick failed), 1:48 4Q

Category Glen Pied
First downs 14 23
Rushes-yds 30-168 47-507
C-A-I 7-18-2 8-14-1
Passing yds 122 141
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Punts-avg 4-40.8 1-37.0
Penalties-yds 4-63 7-84
Possession 21:07 26:53

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