Football playoffs: Piedmont shuts out Winfield
by Rip Donovan
Nov 09, 2013 | 2154 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Piedmont's Exavyer Jackson sacks Winfield's Dawson Dean. Jackson finished second in 3A lineman of the year voting. (Photo by Stephen Gross)
Piedmont's Exavyer Jackson sacks Winfield's Dawson Dean. Jackson finished second in 3A lineman of the year voting. (Photo by Stephen Gross)
PIEDMONT — Four touchdowns in the third quarter sent Piedmont past Winfield 38-0 and into the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

The Bulldogs (10-1) will travel to Tuscumbia Friday to meet Deshler (8-3), the team that eliminated them in the second round last year.

Piedmont led just 10-0 at halftime but the Bulldogs went to work quickly in the third quarter.

Piedmont coach Steve Smith said his team went back to “doing what we do best” after the break.

“The kids responded really well there in the third quarter,” Smith said. “We came out and hit a couple of big plays, a couple of touchdown passes to C.J. (Savage). Cody (Daughtry) had a great catch for a touchdown.

“Denard (Spears) broke a long run. That was more what we were used to doing.”

After faking a speed sweep, quarterback Tyler Lusk delivered a perfectly thrown ball to Savage at wide receiver, hitting him in stride for a 72-yard score on the second play from scrimmage after intermission.

Lusk said when he looked downfield to see if Savage had beaten the cornerback, “He was gone, past him. I had to get it up to him because he’s fast.”

“He was playing man the whole game and I knew if I could beat him inside and get back to the outside it was going to be a touchdown,” Savage said.

Easton Kirk, who was 5-for-5 on extra points in addition to a 32-yard field goal that started the scoring, made it 17-0 with 11:07 to go in the third.

Four minutes later, Lusk and Savage combined for a 14-yard touchdown pass. A 27-yard run by Darnell Jackson and a 14-yard completion from Ty Sparks to Neonta Alexander aided the 75-yard drive.

After Winfield punted again, the Bulldogs went 44 yards in five plays. From 15 yards away, Daughtry made a leaping grab of Sparks‘ pass at the pylon with 2:35 still to play in the third.

“We were having to stunt and take chances to have an opportunity (to win). When you’re stunting and you’re not getting where you’re supposed to get, that’s what happens,” said Winfield coach David McKinney. “You’ve got to give those guys credit. They found the seams and got in them.”

Added Smith: “The one thing that we had to do to kind of slow them down a little bit was the cross-field motion.”

With 17 seconds left in the third, the Pirates turned the ball over on downs at the Piedmont 37-yard line. On Piedmont’s first snap, Spears got the call on a speed sweep from left to right.

At the right corner, Jackson sealed off on the inside and Savage on the outside and Spears ran away from the remaining pursuit for a 67-yard scoring run.

Winfield opened the game with the ball. An interception by Jackson at the Piedmont 8 ended the Pirates‘ initial threat.

The Bulldogs punted twice then had to settle for Kirk’s field goal on the first play of the second quarter after a 30-yard punt return by Savage put the ball at the Winfield 20.

On the ensuing possession, a 39-yard field goal attempt by the Pirates was just short.

Piedmont drove 80 yards on the ground to go up 10-0 when Exavyer Jackson scored on fourth down from two yards out. Sparks‘ 32-yard run was the big blow.

Piedmont had three negative plays in the first quarter.

he second half was another tale as four of Winfield’s first six plays lost yards, setting the tone for the half.
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