E.A. Sports Today

Friday roundup

Piedmont, Jacksonville fall to fourth-quarter rallies; Rockmart ends Piedmont’s 25-game winning streak, Trinity spoils Carr’s J’ville debut

Friday’s county scores
Alexandria 37, Talladega 0
Ohatchee 21, Ragland 6
Oxford 21, Hillcrest Tuscaloosa 0
Rockmart (Ga.) 36, Piedmont 22
Trinity 31, Jacksonville 24
Vincent 14, Pleasant Valley 13
Weaver 32, Hayden 24
j-Anniston 40, Holt 0
j-Saks 13, Cleburne County 7
j-White Plains 28, Woodland 3
j-jamboree games

Special to East Alabama Sports Today

CEDARTOWN, Ga. – One of Alabama high school football’s remarkable streaks over the past two seasons is now over.

Coming into Friday’s season opener, Piedmont had won 25 consecutive games, the longest winning streak in the state of Alabama.

It took a team from Georgia to end that streak. Rockmart sent the two-time reigning state champion Bulldogs back across the state line with a 36-22 defeat in the Bama Border Battle at Cedartown’s Memorial Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (1-1), who had a scrimmage and a game already under their belt, scored 23 straight points in the final seven minutes to win. Piedmont, which was facing its first live competition of the season, rallied from an early 7-0 deficit to take leads of 14-7 at halftime and 22-13 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.

The game marked the debut of Cardavion Myers as the next man up to direct Piedmont’s offense following the graduation of all-star quarterback Taylor Hayes. In the first three quarters Myers ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and, in a situational return to defense – where he was a three-year starter — came up with his 11th career interception near the end of the half.

The touchdown pass, to Darien Bossie, came on Myers’ first pass attempt of the season and fifth of his career. He was 5-for-5 lifetime as a passer to that point.

“I thought Dave [Cardavion] played very well,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “He made some big plays with both his arm and his feet. I think he’ll just get better and better from this point on.”

Rockmart tallied the game’s first points with 9:10 left in the second quarter. Markus Smith capped a 12-play, 96-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard dive over the middle of the pile. He kept the drive alive when he went 35 yards with a fake punt shortly before the end of the first quarter.

Piedmont answered on a 9-play, 68-yard drive. Myers sold the defense on a fourth-and-goal fake handoff, then scooted off left tackle for the score. Sophomore Brant Deerman’s extra point tied the game at 7 with 3:40 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs took the lead three minutes later when Myers lofted a beautifully thrown rainbow down the left side, connecting with Bossie for a 49-yard touchdown. Deerman’s PAT made it 14-7 with 67 seconds left in the half.

Smith pulled the Jackets to within a point with a 2-yard rush around right end, but TJ Fairs blocked the extra point attempt to keep it 14-13.

Piedmont answered with a five-play, 50-yard drive, set up by a nice kickoff return by junior Kaedon Jenkins. Myers found a hole on the left side and pushed forward for a 26-yard touchdown run. Lee Stanley’s 2-point conversion put the Bulldogs up 22-13 with 5:01 left in the third, but then it started slipping away.

Rockmart’s comeback began when Ant Lester ran four yards around the left side. England’s extra point made it 22-20 with 6:50 left.

“What we’d talked about was taking it down the field, burning up six minutes, scoring, kicking the extra point, and going up 29-20,” Smith said.

Indeed, the drive started out according to plan with a couple of plays resulting in a third-and-1. Then, two critical plays proved costly for Piedmont. The first was a delay of game penalty, making it third-and-6, and on the next play Stanley juked and dove through defenders for an apparent first down, but lost the ball.

“I thought it was a first down, and we’re getting ready to try to score,” Smith said. “I didn’t even know it was a fumble until I heard their stands react.”

Rockmart junior Tyler Abram recovered the Bulldog miscue, and the rest of the game was the ZJ Whatley show.

On the next drive, the junior back found a hole on the left side, filled it, and didn’t stop until he had cross the goal line. Reed Couch’s conversion reception gave the Jackets a 28-22 lead with 4:53 in the game.

Piedmont got the ball with a chance to drive for the winning score, but it was not to be as the Bulldogs were forced to punt on a fourth-and-long.

Whatley’s 21-yard run with 1:15 remaining ended a 5-play, 86-yard drive that put the game out of reach. Markus Smith added to the 2-point conversion to round out the scoring at 36-22.

“Rockmart’s got a good football team,” Smith said. “They did all the things they had to do in the second half to win the game.

“We’ve got to fix some things, get the right people in the right places. That’s what it’s all about. One game can’t define a season.”


JACKSONVILLE – The visiting Wildcats scored two touchdowns less than two minutes apart late in the fourth quarter to erase a 24-17 deficit and spoil a big debut by Jacksonville running back Macey Carr.

It was only the second loss for Jacksonville coach Clint Smith in a season opener since 2006.

Carr was expected to bring speed and power to the Jacksonville backfield when he transferred from White Plains and he rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries Friday. His touchdown runs covered 59, 2 and 70 yards and either gave the Golden Eagles the lead or extended it.

But it was his fumble fielding a kickoff that led to Trinity’s winning touchdown.

The Wildcats had just tied the game when Jackson Davis recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. Carr fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving them possession at the Jacksonville 33. A few plays later, Bob Bright scored on a 6-yard run to put the Wildcats ahead with 5:14 to play.

The Golden Eagles had two chances to get the tying touchdown, but an interception ended the first bid and the second was turned over on downs.

Rockmart 36, Piedmont 22

Piedmont 0 14 8 0 — 22
Rockmart 0 7 6 23 — 36

R – Markus Smith 1 run (Hunter England kick), 9:10 2Q
P – Cardavion Myers 6 run (Brad Deerman kick), 3:40 2Q
P – Darien Bossie 49 pass from Cardavion Myers (Brad Deerman kick), 1:07 2Q
R – Markus Smith 2 run (kick blocked), 8:33 3Q
P – Cardavion Myers 26 run (Lee Stanley run), 5:01 3Q
R – Ant Lester 4 run (Hunter England kick), 6:50 4Q
R – ZJ Whatley run (Reed Couch pass), 4:53 4Q
R – ZJ Whatley 21 run (Markus Smith run), 1:15 4Q

Trinity 31, Jacksonville 24

Trinity 7 7 3 14 — 31
Jacksonville 10 7 7 0 — 24

J – Preston Harvey 27 FG, 9:05 1Q
T – Bob Bright 1 run (McKay Taylor kick), 7:56 1Q
J – Macey Carr 59 run (Preston Harvey kick), 6:06 1Q
J – Macey Carr 2 run (Preston Harvey kick), 8:27 2Q
T – John Collett 20 pass from Bob Bright (McKay Taylor kick), 7:52 2Q
T – McKay Taylor 36 FG, 8:45 3Q
J – Macey Carr 70 run (Preston Harvey kick), 3:15 3Q
T – Jackson Davis blocked punt recovery in end zone (McKay Taylor kick), 6:54 4Q
T – Bob Bright 6 run (McKay Taylor kick), 5:14 4Q

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