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Piedmont's Silas Thompson takes a hit from Pleasant Valley's Damon Parr. The Piedmont Bulldogs played the Pleasant Valley Raiders Friday night at the Field of Champions in Piedmont. Piedmont won the game 46-21. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

PIEDMONT — With its physical style of play, Pleasant Valley‘s best football team in years was good enough to cause Piedmont head coach Steve Smith considerable worry but ultimately not good enough to beat Smith’s Bulldogs. Five Piedmont players scored as Piedmont trimmed the Raiders 46-21.

Pleasant Valley took the opening possession 64 yards and scored from 12 yards out when Jake Malsy ended up with the ball on a double-handoff. Piedmont responded with touchdown runs of 7 and 50 yards by Kaedon Jenkins and a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mason Mohon to wide receiver D’Angelo Foster for a 20-7 advantage.

“I felt like it was critical for us tonight to be able to get a two-three-score lead to try to force them into playing a little bit more of a hurry-up type game than they were comfortable with,” Smith said.

Quarterback Brody Phillips capped an 81-yard drive to the Raiders with a 1-yard sneak with 1:22 left in the first half. Whatever momentum the Raiders had gained disappeared when Piedmont’s Carl Myers returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a 26-14 halftime lead.

“Good teams do that,” Raiders coach Jonathan Nix said. “That’s what I told the kids at halftime. This region, there are going to be teams that answer. … Every time we got it close they answered with something.”

What to know

—Piedmont had three one-play scoring possessions. Wide receiver T.J. Fairs took a jet sweep 55 yards down the home sideline on the first play of the third quarter. Running back Elijah Johnson had a 20-yard scoring run after an interception and a 40-yard return by Jenkins set the stage. Mohon’s touchdown pass to Foster also came on the first play of a possession.

—Pleasant Valley fullback Colton East was the game’s leading rusher with 134 yards on 24 carries. East’s long run covered 32 yards and sparked the Raiders’ initial touchdown. He also played virtually every snap at inside linebacker on defense.

—Johnson led Piedmont on the ground with 86 yards on five carries. He had scored on a 32-yard run prior to his 20-yarder. Fairs carried four times for 73 yards. Jenkins gained 71 yards on five carries.

Who said

—Piedmont coach Steve Smith on his team’s depth: “We feel like our depth gives us an advantage over a lot of people we play just because we are able to play 23, 24 guys. That’s a luxury especially this hot, humid time of the year at the beginning.”

—Pleasant Valley coach Jonathan Nix on his team’s need for consistency on offense: “That’s not our best football. … The plays that I’m seeing where we’re marching down there the first drive, that’s what we’re capable of doing but you’ve got to do it consistently.”

Next up

—Piedmont, now 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Class 3A, Region 6, travels to play Region 6 foe Randolph County (2-0, 1-0 Region 6) next week. The two played twice last year with Piedmont winning the regular-season contest and Randolph County taking the Class 3A semifinal meeting.

—Pleasant Valley (1-1, 0-1 in 3A, Region 6) hosts Weaver (2-0, 1-0 Region 6) in its second region game next week.

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