Hayes breaks state record for TDs accounted for in Piedmont win at Ohatchee

Staff Reports

OHATCHEE – Piedmont senior quarterback Jack Hayes’ assault on the AHSAA record book continued Friday night at Ohatchee. He surpassed former Lanett quarterback Kristian Story to become the AHSAA’s all-time career leader in touchdowns accounted for, after completing 29-of-38 pass attempts for 401 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-14 Class 3A, Region 6 victory.

Story previously held the AHSAA record with 175 career touchdowns accounted for. Hayes, who made his 49th start at quarterback for the Bulldogs on Friday night, tied Story on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Max Hanson at the 5:52 mark of the first quarter that helped put the top-ranked Bulldogs up 7-0. He broke the record with 11:54 in the second quarter on a 59-yard connection with Thomas Propst to increase the Bulldog lead to 14-0.

“I thought he played really well tonight,” Piedmont coach Steve Smith said. “I think he’d be the first to tell you it’s a tribute to having a lot of great players around him. He’s obviously very talented himself, but he’s got a lot of great players around him. To have as many touchdowns as he’s been responsible for, there have been people on the receiving end of those passes, and he’s had some really good offensive lines that have protected him. That really is a team award, but it sure is nice to have him on our side.”

Hayes now has 133 career passing touchdowns and 46 rushing.

Propst led the Bulldog receivers with 11 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Hanson had seven receptions for 68 yards and a score. Ishmael Bethel finished with five catches for 170 yards and two scores.

“Our game plan was a little more pass heavy tonight, kind of by design and out of necessity,” Smith said. “I thought he did a good job of getting the ball out quickly and finding the open receivers against some heavy pressure.

“They all did a good job. Max does a lot of the shorter and intermediate stuff, the dirty work. Thomas does a lot of the crossing stuff across the middle, making some tough catches. Ishmael is the guy we’ve been able to go over the top with. He had a couple of big plays tonight where he caught the long ball.”

Ohatchee (0-5, 0-3) cut Piedmont’s lead in half with 6:13 remaining in the first half on Bryce Noah’s 8-yard touchdown toss to Chris Ferguson, but two Hayes connections with Bethel from 65 and 80 yards provided Piedmont (3-1, 3-0) with a 28-7 advantage at halftime.

Hayes opened the third-quarter scoring on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Rollie Pinto to push Piedmont’s lead to 35-7 at the 3:58 mark of the quarter. Brody Epps scored the Bulldogs’ final touchdown on a 2-yard run with 6:54 to go in the fourth.

Noah added a 9-yard run with 3:54 remaining for the Indians’ final score.

“They’ve had our number the last couple of years. They play hard,” Smith said. “Tonight we just happened to catch them on a night where we were kind of clicking and they were struggling a little bit. It kind of went our way. Coach (Chris) Findley does a really good job there. They played a lot of younger guys tonight, so I’m sure they’ll be back in the near future.”

Piedmont hosts Anniston on Thursday night. It’s the first meeting between those two schools since 1948. Ohatchee is at Jacksonville on Friday.

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