E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs closing in

Quarterbacks shine as Piedmont, Weaver go toe-to-toe in another Region 5 showdown

Piedmont quarterback Cardavion Myers (10) accounted for 271 yards and was responsible for four touchdowns against Weaver. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Grant Benefield
Special to East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – The second-ranked Piedmont Bulldogs cleared the next to last major hurdle to a possible Class 3A Region 5 championship Friday when they got past Weaver 33-27.

The Bulldogs (6-1) improved to 4-0 in the region and holds a one-game lead over Ohatchee, which they host on Oct. 20. Randolph County is the only other team in the region with a winning league record and Piedmont took care of the Tigers three weeks ago.

Both teams’ offenses were firing on all cylinders, with both teams amassing over 400 yards of total offense. Weaver outgained the Bulldogs by two net yards – 419 to 417 – but Piedmont was out front where it counted most.

“Weaver played extremely hard, and we played just well enough to get out of here with a win,” Bulldogs head coach Steve Smith said. “Weaver has some talented guys, and they played hard tonight. They did a good job of making plays, and we didn’t tackle very well tonight. I’m tickled to get the win, but we’re going to have to play better than that.”

Quarterback Cardavion Myers accounted for more than half of Piedmont’s total offense, collecting 271 total yards. He ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 62 yards and another score, completing 3-of-6 pass attempts.

Weaver quarterback Dalton Hamby was equally impressive. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns (to three separate receivers). He also rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries.

The Bulldogs struck first on a 37-yard fourth-and-long pass from Myers to Darien Bossie in the first quarter.

Weaver (4-2, 1-2) answered on the first play of the second quarter when Hamby found receiver Robert Gaines with plenty of room to run, sprinting for a 72-yard touchdown.
Piedmont quickly reclaimed the lead on its next drive with a 55-yard touchdown dash from Myers. The Bulldogs failed to convert the PAT, keeping the score 13-7.

The Bulldogs extended their lead on a 3-yard run from Lee Stanley with three minutes left in the half. Bossie ran in the conversion and it was 21-7.

Weaver took its last drive before halftime inside the Bulldog 10, but Myers intercepted Hamby in the end zone.

Hamby threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Shamar Spinks, but the Bulldogs pushed their lead back to two touchdowns on a 6-yard Myers run.

The teams traded scores again in the fourth quarter, with the Bearcats scoring on an 8-yard rush from Spinks and Piedmont countering with a 7-yard run from Myers.

Weaver scored once more in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard pass from Hamby to JonDarius Young-Hampton, bringing the score to 33-27 with 2:15 left. The Bearcats then attempted an onside kick, but the Bulldogs recovered and with Weaver out of timeouts, they were able to secure the win.

It was Piedmont's 30th straight win against teams from Alabama, 17th straight against teams from Calhoun County and 23rd straight against region opponents (21 in the regular season).

Grant Benefield is a correspondent for the Cherokee County Herald.

Weaver quarterback Dalton Hamby (12) kept up with his Piedmont counterpart, accounting for 284 yards of offense and throwing for three touchdowns. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Piedmont's Malachi Jackson (3) trips up Weaver's Caleb Allison (30) after one of Allison's two big gains in the second half. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

On the cover: Piedmont's defense surround a Weaver ballcarrier Friday night. To see more photos from the game, visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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