No. 3 Piedmont tops Cherokee County


Piedmont’s Cade Bradley scores a touchdown against Piedmont on a quarterback sneak Friday in Piedmont. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


PIEDMONT — Piedmont scored 38 unanswered points in the second and third quarter, Cade Bradley had a big game and coach Steve Smith got his 150th career win as a coach with the third-ranked Bulldogs’ 45-21 win over Cherokee County on Friday night.

The game was tied at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter and the Class 3A Bulldogs (1-0) led 14-7 late in the half before Bradley broke open the game with a 72-yard touchdown run. It came on third-and-inches with a little more than 3 minutes remaining until halftime.

“We were just trying to get the first down,” Smith said. “That changed the complexion of the game, and our momentum steamrolled from there.”

Bradley ended the night with 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground while going 8 for 13 through the air with 115 yards and a touchdown.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Cade Bradley,” Smith said. “He’s grown up a lot this year and stayed focused.”

Bradley’s touchdown pass came at the 5:40 mark of the first quarter. He found C.J. Savage for a 69-yard score, but Cherokee County responded with a quick drive in the second quarter.

Three passes from Tanner Young got the Warriors (0-1) in the end zone. His second to Wade Griffin covered 16 yards and tied the game with 10:56 remaining in the half.

From there, it was all Piedmont.

Exavyer Jackson began the onslaught with a 2-yard run before Bradley long sprint to the end zone. Dillon Terry added a 32-yard field goal just before halftime to give the Bulldogs a 24-7 advantage.

Darnell Jackson then took command, rushing for a pair of scores (1 and 63 yards) in the third quarter.

Dreek Thompson scored Piedmont’s final touchdown on a 44-yard run later in the third quarter.

Cherokee County’s Ty Green scored twice in the fourth quarter to make what would be the final score.

Green led Cherokee County with 16 carries for 110 yards and the two scores. Young went 11 for 24 for 157 yards.

For Piedmont, Savage had four catches for 102 yards, while Jackson finished with six carries for 107 yards.

Following the game, Smith took time to talk about reaching the 150-win milestone.

“It means three things,” Smith said. “I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve had really good coaches around me, and I’ve had great players to coach at Piedmont and Cedar Bluff.”