Class 3A Finals: Piedmont 44, Bayside Academy 7
TUSCALOOSA – Piedmont High School piled up 350 total yards Thursday at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the University of Alabama campus and beat Bayside Academy 44-7 to claim the second Class 3A state championship in school history.
The Bulldogs (14-1) of Coach Steve Smith led 23-7 at the half and then iced the title with three touchdowns in the third quarter. Bayside (11-4), coached by Phil Lazenby, finished with 130 yards rushing and 98 passing
for 228 yards.
Piedmont quarterback Taylor Hayes rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns and completed 6-of-10 passes for 126 yards and one TD to earn 3A MVP honors. He connected with Bayley Blanchard for a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter to jump-start the Bulldogs offense.
Bayside quarterback Connor Sirmon and receiver Wil Cox tied the game at 7-7 three minutes later with a 58-yard touchdown hookup.
Darnell Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to set up Hayes’ 1-yard sneak to put the Bulldogs ahead for good at 1:48 left in the period.
Easton Kirk kicked a 29-yard field goal and Hayes raced 48 yards for another score as Piedmont led 23-7 at the half. Jackson scored two touchdowns in a 58-second span early in the third quarter on runs of 25 and 20 yards, and Cardavion Myers dashed 46 yards for the final score later in the period to close out the scoring.
Myers finished with 61 yards on three carries, and Jackson had 61 on seven runs. He also had 107 yards on two kickoff returns. Blanchard had four catches for 97 yards. Cox led the Admirals with 75 yards rushing on 18 carries and had two catches for 67 yards. Sirmon was 4-of-10 passing for 92 yards.
Trey Snyder led Piedmont on defense with 10 tackles. Myers and Neonte Alexander added eight stops each. Jackson White had six tackles and Landon Johnson had four including one sack for a 10-yard loss for Bayside.
Piedmont won its first state championship in 2009.