Glencoe hosts Class 3A, No. 2 Piedmont
Thu. September 12, 2013 at 8:33 p.m. | By Nick Johnston Sports Writer
Thomas Ozmint and the Glencoe Yellow Jackets host Piedmont on Friday night. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times | File)
The Glencoe Yellow Jackets host the Class 3A, No. 2 Piedmont Bulldogs on Friday night in a Region 5 game.
Glencoe enters the contest 1-1 and winless in the region after losing 38-13 to Weaver last week. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a 29-12 win over Westbrook Christian.
Piedmont (2-0, 1-0) has rolled past its first two opponents, beating Cherokee County 57-13 in its opener and knocking off Ashville 55-0 last week.
Piedmont is gunning for its fourth straight region crown, and coach Steve Smith likes the way his team has started the 2013 season.
“Our effort has been wonderful,” Smith said. “I can’t say enough about our guys and how hard they’ve played the first couple of weeks. We’ve got a really young team this year as far as experience goes. Maybe not necessarily the grade in school, but when you look at guys who have varsity experience, we have a lot of fresh faces.”
Piedmont uses a running-back-by-committee approach to wear down its opponents. Darnell Jackson leads the team in rushing with 207 yards and three touchdowns. He averages 18.8 yards per touch. Dreek Thompson is the other main runner for the Bulldogs, as he’s averaging 12 yards per carry and has scored twice.
Piedmont has had six different players score touchdowns on the ground through two games this year and, as a team, has averaged 379 yards of rushing offense.
While the Bulldogs haven’t thrown much through the first two games, Ty Sparks has been efficient under center. He’s 5 of 6 for 102 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Exavyer Jackson, a Gadsden Times’ 2013 preseason Dirty Dozen member and an All-State defensive lineman a season ago, is the playmaker up front for the Bulldogs. Last week against Ashville, Jackson had 15 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Glencoe struggled last week against Weaver, never being able to get in a rhythm in its new up-tempo offense. The Yellow Jackets also couldn’t find a way to stop the Bearcats on defense, giving up several big plays.
Quarterback Dylan Stone and Co. look to get back on the right track Friday night. Stone showed flashes of his ability in the season-opening win over Westbrook, as he accounted for more than 300 yards rushing and passing. Thomas Ozmint leads the team in rushing with 194 yards and three touchdowns.
The defense will look to atone for giving up 455 yards last week, including more than 300 on the ground.