No. 2 Piedmont rolls over Glencoe 41-7


Piedmont’s Darnell Jackson runs against Glencoe during the Class 3A, Region 5 game Friday night. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)


 

GLENCOE — Lee Ozmint just had to shake his head, smile and tell the truth.

“They had more athletes in the stable,” the Glencoe football coach said of Piedmont. “They’re great athletically.”

The Class 3A, No. 2 Bulldogs rolled to a 41-7 win over Glencoe on Friday night for a Region 5 victory. 

Piedmont (3-0, 2-0) rolled up 601 yards of offense, watched 10 players get carries in the backfield and generally dominated every aspect of the game.

While Ozmint said his Glencoe (1-2, 0-2) team is in “great shape,” it was no match for the deep Bulldogs — especially when several of the Yellow Jackets play both ways.

“Even in great shape, we’re going to wear down,” Ozmint said. “If he’s rotating eight running backs and two quarterbacks and six wide receivers, who’s going to win that battle? And he did, and it’s to his credit.”

The “he” Ozmint is talking about is Piedmont coach Steve Smith, who once again has a team loaded with talent and seems destined for a deep run in 2013.

Smith was pleased with how is offensive and defensive fronts were able to take control of the game.

“We had to be quick because we knew they were a lot bigger than us up front,” Smith said. “We were able to knife through a few times and disrupt the backfield.”

Glencoe rushed for just 103 yards on the night, and 64 of that came on Dylan Stone’s quarterback keeper in the second quarter that scored the Yellow Jackets’ lone touchdown of the night.

Piedmont quarterback Ty Sparks had a big night, throwing for 250 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score on the ground. Darnell Jackson had a game-high 129 rushing yards with a score, and Dreek Thompson added 65 yards and a touchdown.

Piedmont had relied on the run game for wins over Cherokee County and Ashville to start the season, but it was the passing of Sparks that gave the team, well, a spark.

“They were bringing so much pressure we had to throw the ball a lot early because they were clogging up every running lane,” Smith said. “They had some good calls; stymied us a lot. I’m real proud of the passing game being able to loosen things up a little bit.”

Piedmont jumped out to a 13-0 lead by early in the second quarter on Sparks’ first two touchdown passes. Sparks found Devonta Savage in stride for a 63-yard strike midway through the first quarter. He then hit Darnell Jackson for a 27-yard touchdown with 9:57 to go in the first half.

But Glencoe responded just two plays into its ensuing drive. Stone kept around left end and outraced Piedmont defenders for a 64-yard score.

Sparks then showed off his wheels, weaving his way through the Glencoe defense for a 48-yard score on the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive.

“I thought we did a good job of controlling the big play in the first half, and then in the second half, I was hoping that they might keep us in it by making mistakes,” Ozmint said. “But, they didn’t half to press.”

The Bulldogs led 19-7 at halftime and cruised from there, putting three more touchdowns on the board in the second half.

Savage, who had 165 receiving yards, caught his second touchdown pass — 53-yarder — on the first play of the second half. Jackson then rumbled 77 yards for a score at the 1:21 mark of the third quarter, and on the first play of the fourth, Thompson went 40 yards for another score.

Glencoe threatened midway through the final quarter, but the Yellow Jackets were denied on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line

Stone rushed for 90 yards and the touchdown and completed 5 of 20 passes for 125 yard.

Defensively for Piedmont, Exavyer Jackson had 12 tackles — three for a loss — and a sack. For Glencoe, Mason Brown had a game-high 16 stops.

Ozmint said after seeing Piedmont on Friday night, the Bulldogs should be the favorite in the rest of their games this season.

“I hope they win every game from here on out,” he said. “And they should. I don’t think anybody can stay with them but maybe (top-ranked) Madison Academy.”