E.A. Sports Today

Jack be nimble

Piedmont quarterback ties school record with career-high 5 TD passes, gives Bulldogs chance to play for region title next week

By East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Quarterback Jack Hayes enjoyed one of the most efficient and proficient passing performances of his career Friday night and it put his team in a position to play for a piece of the region championship next week.

Hayes completed 20 of 24 passes for 298 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as fifth-ranked Piedmont rolled over Hokes Bluff 40-7. The sophomore completed his last 10 passes in a row. His passer efficiency rating for the game was 256.38.

The five touchdown passes ties the school record shared by his brother Taylor (2016 vs. Ohatchee) and Steve Sewell (1970 vs. Lincoln).

The win sets up a huge game for the Bulldogs at No. 2 Wellborn (8-0, 6-0). A Piedmont victory would throw the Class 3A Region 5 race into a three-way tie for first place (with Ohatchee) and the tiebreaker procedures take over, which favor the Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1).

It also sets up a big game for the region’s fourth playoff spot. Hokes Bluff (4-4, 3-3) will travel to Saks (6-3, 3-3) for that spot Friday. 

Hayes threw two touchdown passes to Jadon Calhoun and one each to Sean Smith, Coleman Reid and Austin Estes. Calhoun caught six passes for 104 yards, Estes caught seven for 80 and Reid caught four for 87. 

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter on Hayes’ touchdown passes to Calhoun (68 and 4 yards) and Smith (6 yards) and Elijah Johnson’s 5-yard run. Johnson rushed for 107 yards in the game.

They extended the lead to 33-0 at halftime on Hayes’ 20-yard scoring strike to Reid. His 15-yard touchdown pass to Estes early in the fourth quarter completed the scoring.

Piedmont’s defense held the Eagles to 166 net yards, but almost half of them came came on Tucker Griffin’s 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The Bulldogs’ defense has allowed seven points in the two games since their loss to Ohatchee and only 20 points in their five wins on the field.

Piedmont 40, Hokes Bluff 7
Hokes Bluff           0    0   7  0   –   7
Piedmont              26  7   0   7   –   40
P – Jadon Calhoun 68 pass from Jack Hayes (kick failed), 11:29 1Q
P – Jadon Calhoun 4 pass from Jack Hayes (kick failed), 6:45 1Q
P – Sean Smith 6 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 3:33 1Q
P – Elijah Johnson 5 run (Sloan Smith kick), 0:13 1Q
P – Coleman Reid 20 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 6:41 2Q
HB – Tucker Griffin 81 run (Jaden Burns kick), 2:45 3Q
P – Austin Estes 15 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 11:53 4Q

HB (4-4, 3-3)Pied (7-1, 5-1)
41st Downs25
128Rushing yds232
38Passing yds306

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