By Al Muskewitz, East Alabama Sports Today
PIEDMONT – Brayden Morgan scored on the first play from scrimmage, Jack Hayes threw four touchdown passes, 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 the old scoring record, set in 1944 and tied in 2013. The Bulldogs scored 43 points in the first quarter.
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 Reinhardt had two touchdown runs to make it 63-6 at halftime.
The second half was played with a running close. Weaver’s Kaden Goodwin 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 hosts Class 4A Jacksonville on Friday.
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