E.A. Sports Today

Say hello to a familiar foe

Piedmont routs Oakman 64-22 to set up annual Class 3A showdown with Madison Academy

By East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Quarterback Taylor Hayes accounted for 308 yards of offense and four touchdowns and Piedmont scored a school record for points in a playoff game in routing Oakman 64-22 at the Field of Champions Friday night.

The win sends the Bulldogs (11-1) into what seems like an annual playoff showdown with Madison Academy (11-1) next week in Huntsville.

It will be the third year in a row the teams will meet in the playoffs. The teams played in the third round two years ago, with the Mustangs winning 34-33 in overtime. Friday’s game will be carried on WCKA radio (810 AM, 94.3 FM, 97.1 FM).

“We’re excited about it,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “The only negative is I’d rather get them at our place, but the way the bracket falls we’re going to make that trip back to Huntsville.

“We’ve got a lot respect for that team, knowing they’ve got three straight state championships under their belt and they’re the big dog in 3A unless somebody proves otherwise. Big challenge for us and we’re excited about it.”

Hayes passed for 184 yards and two first-quarter touchdowns and rushed for 124 yards and two more scores. The Bulldogs amassed 564 yards of offense as a team.

His TD passes covered 36 and 17 yards to Neonta Alexander and Bayley Blanchard, respectively, and staked the Bulldogs to a 27-0 first-quarter lead after Darnell Jackson scored on two touchdown runs on their first two possessions of the game.

Jackson finished with 79 yards rushing on eight carries. Freshman T.J. Fairs rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown – all in the fourth quarter – and senior fullback Jamie Crutcher scored a touchdown in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs’ defense was thrown for a small loop when backup Nathan Hall played at quarterback for Oakman, but they handled the change. Hall completed 10 of 34 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns, but one of the scores was swing pass that went for 93 yards.

Piedmont held an Oakman offense that came into the game with two 1,000-yard rushers to 60 yards net rushing. The Bulldogs allowed their opponent only five yards in their first five possessions.

“Run defense was great, for the most part pass defense was great,” Smith said. “Our defense was playing lights out; everything was staying trapped on their side of the 50 and we were taking over with a short field. I thought it was a really nice job of our offense, defense and special teams working in unison.”

Piedmont had scored at least 60 in a playoff game twice before under Smith. The Bulldogs’ previous single-game playoff high was 63 in a third-round win over Hamilton in 2009. They scored 62 in an opening-round win over Winston County in 2010.

Piedmont 64, Oakman 22

Oakman 0 7 7 8 — 22
Piedmont 27 14 17 6 — 64

P – Darnell Jackson 8 run (Easton Kirk kick), 10:00 1Q
P – Jackson 20 run (Kirk kick), 8:38 1Q
P – Neonta Alexander 36 pass from Taylor Hayes (kick failed), 4:55 1Q
P – Bayley Blanchard 17 pass from Hayes (Kirk kick), 1:54 1Q
P – Hayes 23 run (Kirk kick), 7:20 2Q
P – Jamie Crutcher 1 run (Kirk kick), 5:18 2Q
O – Nick Moody 11 pass from Brayden Hall (Hall kick), 1:52 2Q
P – Kirk 36 FG, 6:43 3Q
O – Nathan Gilbert 93 pass from Hall (Hall kick), 6:13 3Q
P – Hayes 60 run (Kirk kick), 5:49 3Q
P – Lee Stanley 5 run (Kirk kick), 5:25 3Q
O – Hall 1 run (Garrett Martin run), 7:46 4Q
P – T.J. Fairs 52 run (Kirk kick), 6:18 4Q

Team stats Oak Pied
First downs 14 25
Rushing yds 60 380
C-A-I 10-34-2 9-17-0
Passing yds 213 184
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-avg 5-22.0 1-31.0
Penalties-yds 8-50 9-80

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