PIEDMONT, Ala. -- The Battle of the Border double-header ended with Piedmont closing out Cedartown who attempted a final seconds shot at one last score and a win across the state line.
The defending Alabama Class 3-A state champion Piedmont Bulldogs won 29-22 after scoring with less than a minute left on the clock and giving Cedartown the ball back and a set of downs to try for the end zone and a last second win. Trevon Wofford, who in the first half drove the Bulldogs down the field to two touchdowns and a tied ballgame through the third quarter, couldn't find the perfect pass before the clock ran out and sent Cedartown home with their first loss of the season.
Tony Mathis also showed his speed at running back once again, driving the Bulldogs down the field into scoring position several times but mostly to no avail, with the exception of two touchdowns in the second quarter and a final score in the fourth with a two point conversion to take the lead.
"We got off to another slow start, and I went for a fourth down early that gave them short field and hurt us," said Cedartown head coach Scott Hendrix after Friday's game. "But the kids fought back and played with a lot of emotion, too much emotion at times which got us in trouble. But I'm proud of the effort they played with."
Piedmont's first win of the season didn't come easy, said head coach Steve Smith, who had high praise for Cedartown's effort following the game. He said his team has plenty of work to do before their next game on Friday against area rival Cherokee County as they seek to defend their Class 3-A title.
Smith said he was especially proud of the effort his own offense put up on the gridiron in Piedmont's final drive of the game as Taylor Hayes put up a 6-yard pass to Darien Bossie.
"We had to have it there with the game on the line, and I thought it showed a lot of guts for our guys to be able to answer that and take the lead at the end," he said. "It was a wonderful way to start the season. I'm tickled to death that our guys got the win, but I know that Cedartown is going to win a lot of football games this year."
Smith said his team had plenty of work to do in preparation for their coming rival game on Aug. 26 against the Cherokee County Warriors, who will come into the game 0-1 after losing to the Rockmart Yellow Jackets earlier Friday night 54-20 in the first round of the Battle of the Border.
"We've got to improve a lot over the next week, because they'll do some things that can exploit some weaknesses we have and we'll have to go back to the drawing board," Smith said.
A 1-0 Rockmart plays host to rival Cedartown on Aug. 26 for bragging rights only in this year's game, with both teams now in different classifications. Hendrix said his team will also have to prepare for what he expects to be a tough game.
"We want to make sure that we play well and get better as the season goes along," Hendrix said.