E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs back in it

Piedmont pulls into three-way tie for region lead; Donoho, Anniston clinch playoff spots, PV stuns Wellborn, Etowah stops Alexandria

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Piedmont football coach Steve Smith is good about staying in the moment, and he expects his players to as well.

For all the outside talk and scenarios that might have his Bulldogs in line for another Class 3A Region 6 championship, the only thing that has his focus in next week’s region finale against Wellborn. If the Bulldogs don’t win that one, all the other conversation is moot.

The Bulldogs kept their region title hopes alive Friday with a 42-0 blanking of B.B. Comer at the Field of Champions for their second consecutive shutout. With the help of Randolph County beating Saks, the Bulldogs moved back into a three-way tie for the region lead with one region game to play.

If all three teams win their region finales – and Piedmont has the hardest assignment of the three – the scenario exists for the Bulldogs to claim the region’s No. 1 seed. But there’s only one thing on Smith’s mind going forward.

“We’ve got our focus strictly on Wellborn,” Smith said. “They’ve got a great team this year. They’ve got two one-point losses in this region that a break here or there and those games go the other way and you’d be talking about a different outlook for their season. Much respect for Wellborn and knowing we have to get ready to play our best game next week.”

The Bulldogs (6-2, 5-1) dominated on their Homecoming/Senior Night, amassing 423 evenly divided yards while holding B.B. Comer to 68.

Quarterback Mason Mohon had a 1-yard touchdown run and threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Fairs. Kaedon Jenkins returned the opening kickoff of the second half 79 yards for a score. Matthew Thornton and Elijah Johnson also scored touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

“It was a good effort from our guys tonight,” Smith said. “We had our Homecoming/Senior Night and there are usually a lot of things that go on during that week that are obstacles to work around, but our guys did a good job of staying focused. We played pretty well in all three aspects of the game and glad to get a win against B.B. Comer and get to the tie at the top of the region.”

It was the first time the Bulldogs have posted back-to-back shutouts since 2015, when they did it twice.

Anniston 27, Oneonta 13: The Bulldogs (4-4) locked up their first playoff berth since 2015 and second since 2012. Anniston is 4-2 in region play with one to play and will be the No. 3 seed from Class 4A Region 6.

Etowah 27, Alexandria 7: Second-ranked Etowah held the Valley Cubs to minus-3 yards net rushing and 25 yards total. Romeo Dye scored the Valley Cubs’ only touchdown on a 4-yard run in the first quarter to give them a 7-0 lead, but the Blue Devils returned to the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to tie it. Dye had nine yards net rushing on 20 carries, but caught four of quarterback Jacob Wells’ five completions for 25 yards.

Weaver 42, Glencoe 13: Shamar Spinks rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns and Robert Gaines passed for 100 yards and a touchdown in his return as the Bearcats moved closer to their sixth straight playoff berth.

Spinks scored on runs of 8, 47 and 9 yards. Gaines, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Thompson. Drake Monroe (41-yard run) and Caleb Allison (2-yard run) had Weaver’s other touchdowns.

The Bearcats held Glencoe to 126 total yards.

Pleasant Valley 27, Wellborn 26: The Raiders rallied from a 20-0 deficit and stopped Wellborn’s Jett Smith at the 1 as time expired. The win kept the Raiders’ playoff hopes alive. They can get in with a win next week at home against Randolph County and a Weaver loss at B.B. Comer.

Donoho 48, Victory Christian 0: The Falcons are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 as the No. 2 seed from Class 1A Region 5. The Falcons (6-2) are 4-1 in region play. Even if they drop their region finale next week at Appalchian and fall into a tie with Winterboro, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

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