PIEDMONT — It may not have been quite the dominating win that Piedmont fans hoped for, but the top-ranked Bulldogs will be moving on to the second round after a 26-6 win over Geraldine in the Class 3A state high school playoff opener Friday.
Though Geraldine had the ball for much of the first half, Piedmont didn't need extended drives to put points on the board.
Quarterback Cardavion Myers connected with Darien Bossie for a 62-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter, and Lee Stanley Jr. broke an 88-yard run on the second play of the second quarter.
Piedmont's defense held Geraldine on third down after a drive into the red zone, but a roughing the passer penalty gave Geraldine a fresh set of downs at the 10-yard line.
David White capitalized with a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:19 to go in the second quarter, and Geraldine was within a touchdown at 14-6 at halftime.
Piedmont continued its big plays in the second half with a 54-yard touchdown run from Myers and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Myers to Elijah Johnson.
Star of the Night
Myers had 60 yards rushing, including a 54-yard touchdown run, and was 5 of 12 for 109 yards passing with two touchdowns.
Play of the Game
Though the game wasn't really in doubt, Myer's scoring toss to Johnson on 4th-and-2 on the opening play of the fourth quarter to extend Piedmont's lead.
"I thought Geraldine had an excellent game plan, and they were able to control the clock in the first half and we couldn't get off the field. We were sloppy on the offensive side of the ball, but a lot of that had to do with how they were playing. We are certainly proud to be advancing, proud of our guys for doing what it took, but we've got a long way to go to be a championship team, that's for sure. Every touchdown we had today was 20 yards-plus. We weren't able to consistently move the ball on the ground. We've got to work on those things." — Piedmont coach Steve Smith on needed improvements before next week
By the Numbers
340 — Total yards for Piedmont, 231 of which came on the ground... 132 — Total yards for Geraldine... 110 — Number of penalty yards for Piedmont on 13 penalties, one of which cost the Bulldogs a touchdown of more than 60 yards... 18 — Number of plays Piedmont ran in the first half... 62, 88, 54, 21 — Yards of Piedmont's touchdown plays
Piedmont (10-1) plays host to J.B. Pennington (9-2) in the second round of the playoffs. Pennington beat Lauderdale County 33-7 in the opening round.