E.A. Sports Today

Ohatchee wins first

Class 3A Region 6: Ohatchee puts together complete game to earn its first win of the season; Hayes, Piedmont overwhelm Glencoe

Hokes Bluff4-33-2
Westbrook Christian4-32-3

By East Alabama Sports Today

 Chris Findley has been waiting all season to see his Ohatchee football team put together a complete game. It came along Friday and the Indians parlayed it into their first win of the season.

The Indians finished drives and then finished off Hokes Bluff 21-7 to snap a seven-game losing streak to start the season. There will be no oh-for on the Creekbank this year.

“It’s huge,” Findley said. “I felt like we’ve had stretches this year where we were close and we put together some good stretches – on both sides of the ball. There were times we could really move the ball on people, but we’ve had a tough time finishing some drives.

“More often than not tonight we were able to finish the drive and our defense really stepped up and played great. It was the first time we’ve played a full four-quarter game like we need to play.”

The Indians went out methodically and opened a 13-0 lead at halftime on a pair of Bryce Noah touchdown runs that capped long, time-consuming drives. It was the first time they led in a game since the season opener against Saks when they scored on their opening drive of the season.

They extended the lead to 21-0 on a 7-yard run by Nate Jones early in the fourth quarter. Now, every team in Calhoun County has at least one win.

“It was good for us to finally have a lead,” Findley said. “The last time we led was Saks when we had a really long opening drive to score and take the lead, but in that game we had guys drop left and right; we ended up with six or seven starters out of the game.

“We got behind as far as building our chemistry and improving to get better. This is the first game with everybody back, with everybody in sync, we took a lead. We want to see what happens when we get a lead early and see how we respond, and we did. We really needed that.”

Noah finished with 98 yards rushing on 25 carries. Jones rushed for 62 yards on 20 carries.

Piedmont 45, Glencoe 10

GLENCOE – Jack Hayes threw five first-half touchdown passes to four different receivers as Piedmont cruised to its eighth consecutive victory over the Jackets since 2015.   

Piedmont won the toss and choose to take the ball first and drove to the Glencoe 10. After three aerial attempts into the end zone the Bulldogs settled for a 28-yard field goal by Sloan Smith.  

The Bulldogs started their second drive on their own 12. At 5:26 of the opening period, Hayes rolled left and spotted a wide open Ish Bethel behind the Glencoe safety. Bethel caught the ball in stride at the 10 and eased into the end zone.  Sloan Smith converted his first of five extra points to give Piedmont a 10-0 advantage.    

Glencoe used a kickoff return by Aaron Mann and a 61-yard rushing pickup by Garrett Gaskin to move into the Piedmont red zone. The Bulldogs defense held and Yellow Jackets senior kicker Gavin Bray converted a 32-yard field goal making the score 10-3.  

Cody Holloway returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards setting Piedmont up at the 47.  Two plays and 23 seconds later a 12-yard Hayes to Max Hanson toss moved the margin back to fourteen points.  

In the second quarter, Hayes engineered drives of 55, 55 and 42 yards with each ending in the same fashion — a Piedmont touchdown.

Early in the period, Hayes found freshman Rollie Pinto in the right corner of the end zone to complete a 12-yard score. On his fourth touchdown toss, Hayes was flushed out of the pocket and rolled toward the Bulldog bench. Just before being hit by the advancing defenders, the senior signal caller launched a rainbow to the deepest part of the end zone where Hanson made a miraculous reception behind the Glencoe secondary.

Hayes fifth touchdown toss came on a 27-yard wheel route by Parker Thornton. Once the senior fullback gathered in the ball he cut back across the defensive grain and sprinted to the end zone.   

Cole Wilson took over in the second half.  Wilson, a sophomore, used 6 minutes and 30 seconds of the third quarter clock to drive Piedmont 74 yards for their final tally on Wilson-Darnell Field.   Freshman Dontavious Jordan carried the ball the final two yards and Chase Cardelli tacked on the extra point.

Garrett Gaskin added seven to the Jackets tally with an 11-yard scamper to start the fourth quarter.

Piedmont is at home next Friday evening against Geraldine to celebrate homecoming and senior recognition at the Field of Champions. Piedmont has never lost to Geraldine in five contests.  Glencoe looks to claim its first region win against Ohatchee in coach Scott Martin’s first game against his former team. — Kurt Duryea   

Piedmont (5-2,5-0)172170 –45
Glencoe (2-5.0-5)  3007 –10

P – Sloan Smith 28 FG, 10:43 1Q 
P – Ish Bethel 51 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 5:26 1Q
G – Gavin Bray 32 FG, 3:16 1Q
P – Max Hanson 12 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 2:53 1Q
P – Rollie Pinto 12 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick) 9:32 2Q
P – Max Hanson 36 pass from Jack Hayes (Sloan Smith kick), 5:55 2Q
P – Parker Thornton 27 pass (Sloan Smith kick), 2:14 2Q
P – Dontavious Jordan 2 run (Chase Cardelli kick), 3:10 3Q
G – Garrett Gaskin 11 run (Gavin Bray kick), 11:53 4Q

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