E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs avoid trap

Piedmont gets past pesky Pleasant Valley, now can focus on showdown with No. 1 Randolph County; No. 2 Saks also wins big

By Shannon Fagan
Special to East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT — Steve Smith had Friday’s game against Pleasant Valley circled for a long time. The savvy Piedmont coach knew the Raiders were a team on the rise and would give his third-ranked Bulldogs all they could handle before their showdown with top-ranked Randolph County next week.

Smith’s intuition was correct. The Raiders marched down and scored the game’s first touchdown on quarterback Jake Malsy’s 12-yard run, but for the second straight week, Piedmont picked itself up from an early deficit and earned a 46-21 victory in its Class 3A, Region 6 opener.

“I was very nervous about this game,” Smith said. “I’ve been saying it ever since the schedule came out. I watched how they played in the spring jamboree against a really good Wellborn team. They scored 68 points last week. They played a jamboree against Hokes Bluff and played very physical with them. This game has been one I’ve had circled as a trap game.

“Our guys are looking at it saying ‘Randolph County’s No. 1 and we’ve got to go to Randolph County next week.’ Pleasant Valley has a really good bunch, but I was pleased with how we played tonight.”

Randolph County (2-0) racked up 333 yards of total offense and held Glencoe to only 84 in a 41-0 victory in its region opener. The second-ranked team in 3A, Saks, also won big, crushing B.B. Comer 49-0 (see below).

Kaedon Jenkins got Piedmont’s offense going on touchdown runs of 2 and 50 yards to put the Bulldogs (2-0) in front He finished with 75 yards on seven carries.

Senior quarterback Mason Mohon opened the second-quarter scoring with a 42-yard strike to Delo Foster to make it 20-7, but PV countered with Brody Phillips’ 1-yard touchdown run with 1:22 remaining in the first half to trim the Bulldog advantage to 20-14.

The Raiders rushed for 289 yards as a team and had 366 yards of total offense, just 25 fewer yards than Piedmont.

Any momentum Pleasant Valley had was squashed on the ensuing kickoff. Carl Myers returned the kick 70 yards for a score, stretching Piedmont’s lead to 26-14 at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to the Bulldogs. T.J. Fairs scored on a 56-yard run on Piedmont’s first play of the second half. Elijah Johnson added the next two scores on runs of 32 and 20 yards, making the score 46-14.

Fairs finished with 74 yards on just four carries. Johnson had 71 yards on five carries, and eighth-grade quarterback Jackson Hayes added 74 yards on eight carries.

“What happened for us tonight that helped us was we actually got a couple of stops and was able to stretch it out to a three-score game,” Smith said. “That kind of forced them to do a little more passing probably more than what they were comfortable with.

“It’s always important in my opinion when you have a team like them that can grind it out, you need to make them play catch up. We were able to turn some of those possessions into short fields for ourselves, and our offense was able to hit some big plays.”

Saks 49, B.B. Comer 0

The Wildcats (3-0) had their way in their new region opener. They rushed for 283 yards as a team, averaged more than 10 yards a carry and six players scored seven touchdowns, with Johnathon Cobb scoring twice.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 42-0 halftime lead, which allowed them to play a multitude of players. They used nine ballcarriers, with seven rushing for at least 20 yards. Roilan Torres and Cobb were their leading rushers with 66 and 62 yards, respectively.

The Wildcats have won their last 13 straight regular-season games and 16 of their last 17 overall. This is the fourth time in seven years under coach Jonathan Miller the Wildcats have started 3-0; each of the previous three years they’ve won at least 10 games.

Saks 49, B.B. Comer 0
Team stats BBC Saks

First downs 8 14
Rushes-yds 38-130 27-283
Passes 1-2-0 1-2-1
Passing yds 6 -1
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Punts-avg 5-18.8 1-32.0
Penalties-yds 1-10 3-25

Scoring summary
B.B. Comer 0 0 0 0 – 0
Saks 21 21 7 0 – 49

S – T.J. Gibbs 7 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Johnathon Cobb 3 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Roilan Torres 22 fumble recovery (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Tyler Smith blocked punt recovery (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Jalen McCants 24 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Johnathon Cobb 23 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)
S – Sean Parnell 1 run (Anthony Cornejo kick)

Shannon Fagan is sports editor of the Cherokee County Herald.

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