PIEDMONT — The first quarter was scoreless but Piedmont got touchdowns from five players in the second quarter and went on to defeat Clements 41-0 in the opening round of the Class 3A state football playoffs. The Bulldogs led 34-0 at halftime.
“With their defensive front they were doing a lot of attacking, a lot of stunting, and they were hitting us at the line of scrimmage or behind the line of scrimmage. … We got in of a power set there to start the second quarter and ran between the tackles pretty effectively,” Piedmont head coach Steve Smith said. “That kind of changed the tone.”
What to know
—Piedmont had 8 yards rushing while trying to utilize its speed to the outside in the first quarter. In the second quarter the Bulldogs ran for 104 yards and passed for 105.
—A 20-yard punt return by T.J. Fairs to the Clements 34-yard line seemed to energize Piedmont. Quarterback Mason Mohon capped the six-play drive — all on the ground — with an 11-yard run at right tackle behind guard Steven Raney and tackle Preston Odam.
—Clements fumbled on the next play from scrimmage. Matthew Thornton recovered the loose ball at the Colts’ 30 and scored from there for a 14-0 advantage.
—Thornton recovered another fumble three plays later at the Piedmont 49. Mohon passed to D’Angelo Foster for 39 yards to the Clements 12 then Fairs scored on a sweep from 12 yards out. Fairs was also Piedmont’s leading receiver with five catches for 49 yards.
—Elijah Johnson, Piedmont’s power back, ran 12 times for 81 yards. Johnson’s 12-yard run made it 28-0 with 2:01 to go in the half. Kaedon Jenkins scored Piedmont’s fifth touchdown of the second quarter on a 22-yard run with 19.1 seconds on the second-quarter clock. Jenkins ended with 49 yards on six carries.
—Despite the cold, Mohon was 10-for-12 passing for 121 yards, all in the first half.
—Matthew Pfledderer scored on a 1-yard run after an eight-minute drive to start the third quarter.
—Brant Deerman was 5-for-6 on extra points, missing on his fifth try with 19.1 seconds left before halftime.
—Smith on the second quarter: “You could see the depth and experience kind of taking over there in the middle of the second quarter. That was the difference.”
—Thornton on his fumble recovery touchdown: “I didn’t see anybody in front of me but luckily I had Carl (Myers) behind me and he picked up No. 3 (Dorian McCullough).”
—Mohon on the change in tactics: “We were trying to bounce outside and that’s not what you do against these teams. We just switched it up and hit them in the mouth.”
—Piedmont (9-2) will travel to Blountsville next week to take on J.B. Pennington (6-5) in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Clements ended at 4-7.