E.A. Sports Today

Smith gets 200

County roundup: Piedmont coach secures coaching milestone; Oxford takes region lead; Jacksonville keeps pace; Anniston gets first win; Alexandria falls in shootout

Piedmont quarterback Taylor Hayes (11) follows his blockers against Weaver. Hayes rushed for 86 yards, threw for 239 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. (Photo by Daniel Lee)

Piedmont quarterback Taylor Hayes (11) follows his blockers against Weaver. Hayes rushed for 86 yards, threw for 239 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. (Photo by Daniel Lee)

By East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – The Piedmont football team hasn’t trailed many times this season, but when it does, it’s usually not for long.

The top-ranked 3A Bulldogs fell behind midway through the first quarter Friday night, then scored the next six touchdowns of the game to beat Weaver 49-15 and hand coach Steve Smith his 200th career victory.

The Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0) extended the state’s longest active winning streak to 17 games with an offense that rolled up 551 net yards and a defense that held Weaver (4-2, 1-2) to 62 yards rushing.

More importantly, they didn’t hang their heads when they fell behind.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with Austin Brazier’s 8-yard touchdown catch, but the Bearcats answered with a short halfback pass on fourth down and kicked the extra point to take a 7-6 lead.

The deficit was erased about three minutes later and from there it was all Piedmont. Taylor Hayes ran for two touchdowns and Lee Stanley scored the first of his two before the half ended. In the second half, Hayes hooked up with Cardavion Myers on the opening drive, Stanley scored again and Chase Bobbitt scored on a fourth-quarter run.

“That’s a sign of a mature team that you can come out and answer the bell when you fall behind,” Smith said. “When something like that happens I think it’s critical you find a way to go back and find a way to snatch the momentum back.

“It was important at that moment we put something together and get the momentum back. I’m proud of our team that as soon as that happened we went on a 70-80 yard drive.”

The two other times Piedmont has trailed this season, the Bulldogs got back on top quickly.

They fell behind Cedartown (Ga.) in the season opener 22-21 and rallied to win in the last minute 29-22. They lost an early lead to Leeds last week 7-6, but took the lead for good midway through the second quarter.

Hayes passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 86 yards and two scores. Stanley rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Brazier caught four passes for 100 yards, while Myers caught two passes for 99.

With the victory, Smith improved to 200-68 in 22 seasons as a head coach, 115-23 in 11 seasons at Piedmont. He became the Bulldogs’ all-time winningest coach last season.

“You do have to stick around for a while and be lucky enough to coach that long,” Smith said. “I’ve been very fortunate both places I’ve worked to have a great group of administrators and booster clubs and also the loyalty of coaches and great players.

“I don’t really ever think about (those milestones). My only focus tonight was to get our guys ready to play a real good Weaver team and I’m pleased we played well.”

If the Bulldogs hold serve and win at Wellborn next week, it would set up a Region 5 championship showdown at Ohatchee on Oct. 14. Ohatchee is open next week after shutting out Wellborn 21-0 Friday night.

Piedmont 49, Weaver 15

Weaver 7 0 0 8 — 15
Piedmont 14 13 15 7 — 49

P – Austin Brazier 8 pass from Taylor Hayes (kick failed), 8:35 1Q
W – Paul Hubbard 3 pass (Riley Benavides kick), 5:23 1Q
P – Taylor Hayes 1 run (conversion good), 2:13 1Q
P – Lee Stanley 3 run (Easton Kirk kick), 7:44 2Q
P – Taylor Hayes 1 run (kick failed), 0:09 2Q
P – Cardavion Myers 80 pass from Taylor Hayes (conversion good), 10:37 3Q
P – Lee Stanley 1 run (Easton Kirk kick), 5:52 3Q
P – Chase Bobbitt 6 run (Easton Kirk kick), 9:22 4Q
W – Dalton Hamby 3 run (Dalton Hamby run), 2:40 4Q

Team stats Wea Pied
First downs 7 24
Rushing yds 62 312
Passing 10-16-0 9-13-0
Passing yds 239 96

Piedmont's Cardavion Myers (10) stretches to make a one-handed grab in front of Weaver's Maurice Goodman. (Photo by Daniel Lee)

Piedmont’s Cardavion Myers (10) stretches to make a one-handed grab in front of Weaver’s Maurice Goodman. (Photo by Daniel Lee)

Oxford 24, Southside-Gadsden 21

SOUTHSIDE – Tye Smith-Lindsey scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the Yellow Jackets preserved the victory in the final two minutes when they moved the chains on a 23-yard pass with a fake punt.

The victory, combined with Pell City’s one-point loss at Cullman, gave the fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets (7-0, 4-0) sole possession of first place in Class 6A Region 7.

Oxford opened a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, but three straight touchdowns by Alaric Williams gave Southside a 21-14 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter. Williams, a long-time Auburn commitment playing in his first game since injuring a knee in Week 2, rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries.

His return provided a much-anticipated matchup with Oxford four-star linebacker Kenney Britt Jr. Britt had eight tackles and forced the fumble Jordan Swain recovered that led to Smith-Lindsey’s go-ahead touchdown.

Smith-Lindsey rushed for 137 yards on 27 carries to go over 1,000 yards for the season. Abe Peoples rushed for 35 yards and scored the Yellow Jackets’ first two touchdowns.

Oxford 24, Southside-Gadsden 21

Oxford 7 7 3 7 — 24
Southside 0 14 7 — 21

O – Abe Peoples 10 run (Keaton Borrelli kick), 8:22 1Q
O – Abe Peoples 2 run (Keaton Borrelli kick), 8:13 2Q
S – Alaric Williams 4 run (Nolan Johnson kick), 2:50 2Q
S – Alaric Williams 3 run (Nolan Johnson kick), 0:08 2Q
S – Aleric Williams 23 run (Nolan Johnson kick), 5:30 3Q
O – Keaton Borrelli 31 FG, 1:30 3Q
O – Tye Smith-Lindsey 5 run (Keaton Borrelli kick), 10:11 4Q

Team stats O S
First downs 6 12
Rushing yds 190 207
Passing yds 73 80
Passing 3-4-0 3-8-0
Fumbles lost 1 1
Punts-avg 4-46.5 NA

Jacksonville 23, Ashville 13

JACKSONVILLE – Nico Richmond rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns and Jacksonville’s defense made it tough for Ashville ballcarriers to get back to the line of scrimmage as the Golden Eagles celebrated their return to the statewide rankings with a win at Homecoming.

Richmond’s two touchdowns came on the front and back ends of a run in which the teams traded scores on the first three possessions of the second half. His first TD snapped a 7-7 tie and his second – a 49-yard burst – extended the Golden Eagles’ lead to 21-13.

Jacksonville kept pace with Cherokee County atop the Class 4A Region 5 standings. Ashville (2-4, 1-3) did succeed in holding the ninth-ranked Golden Eagles (6-0, 4-0) to their lowest point production of the season.

The Jacksonville defense recorded 14 tackles for loss in the game, including three sacks. Jamel Mays had two sacks among his three tackles for loss, one of which produced a fourth-quarter safety.

Blake Morris had six tackles, four for loss. Makyah Curry had five tackles, three for loss, including the other sack. Josh Glass was Jacksonville’s leading tackler with eight.

Jacksonville 23, Ashville 13

Ashville 7 0 6 0 — 13
Jacksonville 0 14 7 2 — 23

A – Kyle King 8 run (PAT kick), 0:19 1Q
J – Taye Ackles 6 run (Preston Harvey kick), 8:10 2Q
J – Nico Richmond 21 run (Preston Harvey kick), 8:57 3Q
A – Hunter Huckbay 30 pass from Landon Cornutt (kick failed), 4:09 3Q
J – Nico Richmond 49 run (Preston Harvey kick), 3:05 3Q
J – Safety, Jamel Mays sacks QB in end zone, 2:49 4Q

Scottsboro 41, Alexandria 28

SCOTTSBORO – The numbers on the paper would have you believe the game was pretty even, but as hard as it tried, once Scottsboro got ahead, Alexandria just couldn’t catch up.

The Valley Cubs (2-4, 1-3) had more yards than their hosts and even had success throwing the ball, but their only turnover of the game proved to be a deal-breaker.

The Cubs had been chasing the fifth-ranked Wildcats (6-0, 4-0) since late in the first quarter. They had gotten it to 24-20 with 5:12 left in the third quarter on Quentin Bowie’s second touchdown run of the game and stopped the Wildcats on their next possession, but fumbled on their 20 and it seemed to sap their momentum.

Scottsboro kicker Justin McGaha Potter kicked a 36-yard field goal late in the third quarter and the quarterback Bo Nix ran 46 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats a cushion.

Nix, the sophomore son of coach Patrick Nix already holding four SEC offers, threw for 173 yards, rushed for 71 more and accounted for three touchdowns. Dekarlos Billingsley, a Troy commitment, rushed for 148 yards and scored three touchdowns

Alexandria’s only lead (8-3) came on Keenan Woodruff’s 4-yard run midway through the first quarter. Still nursing an ankle injury, Woodruff rushed for 28 yards on eight carries. Grayson Chaffin was the Valley Cubs’ leading rusher with 81 yards on 14 carries.

The Cubs had nearly 400 yards of offense and surprising success throwing the ball.

Quarterback Quentin Bowie completed six of 12 passes for 182 yards; he was 6-of-9 until the Cubs’ final possession of the game. He was 12-of-30 for 216 yards coming into the game. Josh Tucker caught three passes for 103 yards.

Scottsboro 41, Alexandria 28

Alexandria 8 6 6 8 — 28
Scottsboro 10 14 3 14 — 41

S – Justin McGaha Potter 34 FG, 9:49 1Q
A – Keenan Woodruff 4 run (Josh Tucker pass from Quentin Bowie), 5:47 1Q
S – Dekarlos Billingsley 20 pass from Bo Nix (Justin McGaha Potter kick), 4:41 1Q
S – Nicholas Metz 66 pass from Bo Nix (Justin McGaha Potter kick), 8:00 2Q
A – Quentin Bowie 23 run (pass failed), 5:38 2Q
S – Dekarlos Billingsley 6 run (Justin McGaha Potter kick), 1:19 2Q
A – Quentin Bowie 7 run (PAT failed), 5:12 3Q
S – Justin McGaha Potter 36 FG, 1:20 3Q
S – Bo Nix 46 run (Justin McGaha Potter kick), 9:49 4Q
A – A.J. Martin 8 run (Josh Tucker pass from Quentin Bowie), 5:48 4Q
S – Dekarlos Billingsley 25 run (Justin McGaha Potter kick), 3:32 4Q

Team stats Alex Scot
First downs 19 12
Rushes-yds 46-215 24-219
Passing 6-12-1 8-14-0
Passing yds 182 173
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Punts-avg 1-42.0 1-36.0
Penalties 6-60 5-55

Anniston 55, White Plains 13

The Bulldogs (1-5, 1-3) picked up their first victory of the season in their first-ever meeting in football with White Plains. The 55 points were the most Anniston has scored in a game since it put 67 on Locust Fork in 2011.

The win snapped a seven-game losing streak. White Plains (0-6, 0-4) has lost 11 in a row.

Cover photo: Piedmont head coach Steve Smith, who earned his 200th career head coaching victory Friday night. Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos.

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