E.A. Sports Today

Twin milestones

Piedmont scores its 500th all-time victory and wins for 150th time at the Field of Champions in beating Pleasant Valley

Piedmont players (from left) Carl Myers, Layton New and Cardavion Myers line up to spell out the Bulldogs’ 500 all-time victories. Below, (from left) D’Angelo Foster and Cardavion Myers signify the Bulldogs’ 150 wins at the Field of Champions. (Photos by Kirk Keener)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – The 2017 Piedmont football team was on the field Friday night for two major milestones in its program’s history, but Bulldogs coach Steve Smith wasn’t going to let the occasion slip away without acknowledging those who laid the groundwork to make it all possible.

The Bulldogs joined an elite group of Alabama schools to score 500 football victories and won their 150th game at the Field of Champions in the process in running past Pleasant Valley 48-13.

Piedmont becomes the fourth team from Calhoun County among the 75 schools in Alabama that have recorded 500 or more victories all-time. The Bulldogs are now 500-400-2 in 94 years playing the sport.

They scored their first victory against Cave Spring, Ga., 27-0, on Oct. 10, 1924, the third game they ever played. Their first win at the Field of Champions was Sept. 19, 1980, 20-9 over St. Clair County.

“It’s a great accomplishment for this school and this community,” said Smith, who contributed 127 victories to that all-time total. “I told our coaches and our players we’re just fortunate to get to be a part of the game that was No. 500 in the victory column, but all the things that have been accomplished in the history of the school, those guys who were on that 1924 team that got that first win, that undefeated team in 1945, that team that won 10 games in 1988, those are things I’ve been mentioning when I talk about it.

“To get to 500 cumulative wins as a program you had to have that first win in ’24, you had to have that 8-0 team in ’45, you had to have that 10-win team in ’88. Tonight was just a culmination of a lot of hard work for a lot of great players, great coaches and great teams throughout the history of Piedmont football.”

This milestone win was a come-from-behind win. Pleasant Valley (1-4, 0-3), a team the Bulldogs have beaten 17 times in their run to 500, scored first when Caden Turner scooped up a fumble and scored less than three minutes into the game.

But the second-ranked Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0) haven’t won that impressive number of games by fading when something goes wrong. They shook off the Raiders’ punch and scored three touchdowns over the next six minutes and were off and running.

Lee Stanley scored two of his three touchdowns in the flurry and Kaedon Jackson added the third. Cardavion Myers threw the first of his two touchdowns passes to Darien Bossie in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 28-7 halftime lead.

“First of all, credit to Pleasant Valley,” Smith said. “I’ve made this comment to everybody I’ve come in contact with: Coach (Jonathan) Nix is one of the brightest young coaches around and hes done a wonderful job there. Their guys are so much improved over the years hes been there.

“They came out and we made a mistake and they capitalized on it and scooped that ball up and scored. They took that early lead, and our guys were pretty resilient. We came back and responded with a couple touchdowns and got a couple turnovers that aided us. It wasn’t a pretty game on either side, but at the end of the day we’re certainly glad to get a win.”

In the third quarter Stanley had a 58-yard touchdown run and Myers hooked up with Bossie again. Elijah Johnson’s 27-yard touchdown run put the Bulldogs ahead 48-7 in the fourth quarter. PV’s Colton East scored on a 24-yard run to close the scoring.

The Bulldogs rushed for 387 yards as a team with Stanley and Myers both going over 100. Stanley went for 111 and three touchdowns on seven carries, while Myers went for 118 yards on eight carries. Myers also completed 5-of-11 passes for 68 yards and the two touchdowns to Bossie.

Although the Bulldogs lost the state’s longest active winning streak in the season opener, Friday night’s win keeps a couple other streaks alive. They have won four in a row overall, 28 in a row against teams from Alabama, 22 in a row against region opponents (including playoffs) and 22 in a row at home.

“You always want to protect your home field,” Smith said. “We’re certainly proud of our stadium and our turf and our place and everything that we’ve got. You want to have an environment where it’s tough for people to come in and win and I think we’ve done a good job of creating that type environment here. Our guys get excited to play in front of the home folks; it’s a great atmosphere to watch a high school game, a great atmosphere to be a part of. We certainly like playing here at home.”

And as the records would attest, they’re quite good at it.

(current Calhoun County schools)
Alexandria (98) – 580
Anniston (98) – 558
Oxford (98) – 546
PIEDMONT (94) – 500
Ohatchee (93) – 390
Jacksonville (96) – 375
Wellborn (63) – 360
Saks (59) – 276
Weaver (49) – 239
Donoho (46) – 217
White Plains (46) – 175
x-JCA (26) – 121
Pleasant Valley (36) – 91
Source: AHSFHS.org

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