E.A. Sports Today

Eagles’ top dog

Area roundup: Jacksonville’s Smith becomes school’s all-time winningest coach, Piedmont sets scoring record and more

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

MUNFORD – Clint Smith was enjoying a super soaking after Jacksonville beat Munford Friday night and just like the milestone victory that prompted the shower the Golden Eagles’ coach wished everyone who made it possible could share in it.

Smith became Jacksonville’s all-time winningest coach with its 35-12 victory. With 77 victories at the school, he’s passed Ernest Newman, who went 76-52-11 from 1948 to 1962.

He is now 77-33 in his 10 years since coming to the Golden Eagles from Saks. He is 134-80 in a 20-year head coaching career that also includes his 8-Man days at Trinity.

“It was a big region win for us and that was first and foremost; it’s just kind of the icing on the cake,” Smith said. “I’m just thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity 10 years ago to come to Jacksonville. I feel like God had led me here and placed me here. It’s just been a great experience.

“It was a special night no doubt from a personal standpoint, but I’ve been blessed to have a great coaching staff that’s been with me, some of them, 19 years. These wins are a tribute to their hard work and their dedication to our football program and our kids.”

Quarterback Jim Ogle completed 11 of 15 passes for 249 yards and touchdowns to Jacoby Zackery (14, 68 yards) and Kydric Fisher (86). None was bigger than the second hook up with Zackery.

The Golden Eagles were leading 14-3 late in second quarter, but Munford was driving. The Lions fumbled inside the 10 and Fisher recovered. Moments later, Ogle hooked up on his 68-yard scoring strike to Zackery, turning what looked to be a 14-10 lead into a 21-3 halftime cushion.

Fisher caught seven balls for 132 yards. Zackery caught three balls for 90. Taj Morris rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s a program win; it just means a lot that so many people have been a part of it and been there with me the whole way,” Smith said. “I guess my name’s attached to (the milestone), but it’s a whole lot more than just me.

“It’s special for me, but it’s special for so many people who have been part of it for the 10 years. My 77 wins are their 77 wins. It’s Jacksonville wins. As long as Jacksonville is winning that’s what’s important and that’s what we got tonight.”

Jacksonville’s winningest coaches

Clint Smith2012-77-33
Ernest Newman1948-6276-52-11
Rusty Burroughs1994-0244-45
Robert Peppers1982-8621-30
Dexter Wood1978-8119-21

Jacksonville 35, Munford 12

Jacksonville (3-2, 2-1)147140 —35
Munford (2-3, 0-3)0309 —12

J – Taj Morris 1 run (Mason Terrell kick), 5:59 1Q
J – Jacoby Zackery 14 pass from Jim Ogle (Mason Terrell  kick), 1:38 1Q
M – Dakota Frank 25 FG, 9:18 2Q
J – Jacoby Zackery 68 pass from Jim Ogle (Mason Terrell  kick), 1:14 2Q
J – Kydric Fisher 86 pass from Jim Ogle (Mason Terrell kick), 9:12 3Q
J – Taj Morris 68 run (Mason Terrell kick), 4:15 3Q
M – Lathan Stephens 20 pass from Connor Morgan (Dakota Frank kick), 6:45 4Q
M – Safety, 1:12 4Q

Piedmont sets scoring mark

PIEDMONT – Brayden Morgan scored on the first play from scrimmage, Jack Hayes threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter and Piedmont set a school record for points in a 70-13 rout of Weaver.

The second-ranked Bulldogs (4-0, 3-0) amassed more than 400 yards of offense in only 29 plays and broke their old scoring record, set in 1944 and tied in 2013. The Bulldogs scored 43 points in the first quarter, 63 in the first half.

Morgan scored on the first play of the game, a 62-yard run. The Bearcats answered it to get within 7-6, then Parker Thornton broke off a 26-yard touchdown run to push Piedmont’s lead to 13-6.

Hayes then threw four touchdown passes in the final eight minutes of the quarter – to four different receivers: Morgan, Austin Estes, Thornton and Coleman Reid. The Bulldogs also added a safety. Hayes completed 7 of 10 passes for 143 yards.

Hayes opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 25-yard run on his final play of the night. Luke Rhinehart had two touchdown runs to make it 63-6 at halftime.

The second half was played with a running close. Weaver’s Kaden Gooden threw his second touchdown pass of the game with 15 seconds left in the third quarter and Piedmont’s Cole Wilson closed the scoring with a 3-yard run in the fourth.

Ishmael Bethel (82 yards) and Estes (54 yards) were the Bulldogs’ leading receivers with three catches each. Brody Epps led the defense with six tackles, including two sacks and another tackle for loss.

“I was very pleased with how we played tonight,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “I felt like we improved. That’s what we talk about each week as a team, trying to be better this week than we were last week, trying to improve on the things we needed to improve on and continue to do the things that we did well.

“I thought our kids were really focused tonight when we went out to play this game. We played a clean game, we didn’t have any turnovers. We were pretty solid on offense, defense and special teams. Got to play a lot of our younger guys a good portion of the game and I thought they battled extremely hard and contributed to the win.”

Piedmont 70, Weaver 13

Weaver (1-3, 1-2)6070 —13
Piedmont (4-0, 3-0)432007 —70

P – Brayden Morgan 62 run (Sloan Smith kick), 11:42 1Q
W – Keshawn Allen 8 pass from Kaden Gooden (PAT failed), 10:15 1Q
P – Parker Thornton 26 run (kick failed), 8:52 1Q
P – Brayden Morgan 15 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 7:46 1Q
P – Safety, punt snap out of end zone, 5:55 1Q
P – Austin Estes 35 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 5:43 1Q
P – Parker Thornton 49 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 3:23 1Q
P – Coleman Reid 6 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 2:03 1Q
P – Jack Hayes 25 run (Sloan Smith kick), 10:46 2Q
P – Luke Rhinehart 8 run (Sloan Smith kick), 5:51 2Q
P – Luke Rhinehart 15 run (kick failed), 1:42 2Q
W – Keshawn Allen 6 pass from Kaden Gooden (PAT good), 0:15 3Q
P – Cole Wilson 3 run (Sloan Smith kick), 7:43 4Q

Alexandria 51, Corner 15

DORA – Antonio Ross’ 55-yard interception return for touchdown touched off a 30-point first quarter that sent Alexandria to its fourth straight win with 40 points or more.

The Valley Cubs (4-0, 3-0) remain tied with Leeds (5-0, 3-0) for the Class 5A Region 6 lead. They’ve already beaten the two teams directly behind them in the standings.

Ross scored three touchdowns in the game – one rushing, one receiving and one defensively. He finished the game with 39 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving.

Javais McGhee also accounted for three touchdowns – one rushing, one receiving and one passing. He finished with 43 yards rushing, 132 yards receiving and 88 yards passing. Austin West threw two touchdowns passes and was 4-for-5 for 147 yards in the game.

Alexandria 51, Corner 15

Alexandria (4-0, 3-0)301470 —51
Corner (2-2, 2-1)00015 —15

A – Antonio Ross 55 interception return (kick failed), 10:19 1Q
A – Javais McGhee 51 pass from Austin West (Jake Upton pass from Javais McGhee), 6:44 1Q
A – Antono Ross 7 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 3:43 1Q
A – Safety, 2:07 1Q
A – Matthew Bunn 15 pass from Austin West (Cleat Forrest kick), 0:16 1Q
A – Jake Upton 12 run (Cleat Forrest kick), 9:32 2Q
A – Antonio Ross 67 pass from Javais McGhee (Cleat Forrest kick), 4:10 2Q
A – Javais McGhee 39 run (Luis Torres kick), 9:40 3Q
C – Gavin Brown 1 run (Brendan Conner kick), 11:50 4Q
C – Trey Ward 26 run (Brock Musgrove run), 7:29 4Q

Alex (51)Corn (15)

Wellborn 57, Pleasant Valley 14

Jesse Lewis rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Beau Neely returned a punt 58 yards for one score and caught a 13-yard pass for another as Wellborn won its first game of the season in convincing fashion. The Panthers scored every time they had the ball and led 50-0 at halftime.

Kevin Clark, Xavier Parker and Kenyale Turner also scored touchdowns for the Panthers. They also scored a safety.

Zeke Curvin scored both Pleasant Valley touchdowns, on runs of 45 and 3 yards.

Handley 26, Cleburne County 7

ROANOKE – Tae Meadows rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown, Ty Fetner passed for 178 yards and two more scores and newly installed No. 1 Handley held Cleburne County quarterback Kyler McGrinn to 126 net yards to knock off one of the top teams in Class 4A Region 4 showdown and remain in a first-place tie.

McGrinn, a sophomore who was closing in on 1,000 total yards through the first four weeks of the season, completed only 4 of 10 passes for 82 yards and was intercepted twice in the end zone, but he threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Beau Clay. He also rushed for 44 yards on 17 carries. Tae Cantrell was Cleburne County’s leading rusher with 68 yards.

Handley (3-0, 2-0) remained tied with Cherokee County, a 40-0 winner over White Plains, atop the region standings. The Tigers and Warriors are the last two undefeated teams in region play and play each other Oct. 8.

Hokes Bluff 48, Glencoe 0

GLENCOE – Tucker Griffin rushed for 139 yards and scored on two long touchdown runs in the second quarter and the Hokes Bluff defense held Glencoe to 107 net yards to post. Both of the Eagles victories have been shutout wins.

Griffin scored on runs of 39 and 46 yards to stake the Eagles to a 34-0 halftime lead. Quarterback Jordan Bradley accounted for three Hokes Bluff touchdowns, running for two and throwing for one. 

Glencoe has lost nine in a row and been shutout in three of its four games this season. The Yellow Jackets have lost the last six in the series with Hokes Bluff after winning seven of the previous eight.

Hokes Bluff 48, Glencoe 0

HB (48)Glen (0)
201st Downs11
Hokes Bluff (2-2, 2-1)201477 —48
Glencoe (0-4, 0-3)0000 —0

H — Will Wellingham 25 pass from Jordan Bradley (kick failed), 6:11 1Q
H — Jordan Bradley 1 run (Jaden Burns kick), 3:47 1Q
H — Noah Sprayberry 27 run (Jaden Burns kick), 1:23 1Q
H — Tucker Griffin 39 run (Jaden Burns kick), 10:52 2Q
H — Tucker Griffin 46 run (Jaden Burns kick), 6:54 2Q
H — Jordan Bradley 9 run (Jaden Burns kick), 7:03 3Q
H — Blain Barron 25 run (Jaden Burns kick), 5:17 4Q

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