November 18th, 2007
At Las Lomas high school in Walnut Creek, CA on Friday night, the visiting Piedmont Highlanders football team went into their first-round NCS playoff game with nothing to lose against the big and powerful host Knights.
Las Lomas, the #1 seed and (10 – 0) entering the game, were heavily favored against the # 8 seed Highlanders (7 – 3) entering the contest. However, it was a very tough battle (28 – 14 Las Lomas after three-quarters) until the fourth quarter began. Eventually Las Lomas broke the game open with 28 points in the final quarter to earn a 56 – 21 hard fought victory over Piedmont.
Piedmont entered the playoffs on the strength of its stingy defense and innovative A-11 Offense (all eleven players potentially eligible & two QB’s in shotgun formation).
“We had several nice chances in the first half to put even more points on the board against the number one ranked team,” said Piedmont head football coach, Kurt Bryan “but we missed some scoring opportunities deep inside their territory, and against a great team like Las Lomas you don’t get those back. Even though we were only down 21 – 14 at the half, respectfully to them we should have had at least four touchdowns on the board by then. They beat us fair and square, and I am very proud of the way we played.”
Las Lomas came out firing and built up an early 14 – 0 lead, but the Highlanders rallied and primary quarterback, Jeremy George found wide receiver Joey Holland on a 57-yard touchdown pass, to make it 14 – 7. Las Lomas scored again to make it 21 – 7, but Piedmont marched into Las Lomas territory again, and George hit playmaker Devin Brown on a 19-yard pass on 4th down to make it 21 – 14 at the end of the first half.
Explained Bryan, “When we were down 35 – 21 with seven minutes to go in the game we had to take some chances against Las Lomas, but unfortunately we did not convert those opportunities to pull within seven points. And so, they put the game away after getting the ball back.”
Piedmont ends the season at an overall record of 7 – 4.
“It has been a magical year,” said Bryan, “nobody expected much of anything from us, and the kids have played great. Installing the A-11 was the best thing we could have done for the program and the players transitioned very well. They made football history one week at a time utilizing the new system, and for them to earn a spot in the playoffs was a reward much deserved for the whole team.”