Highlanders win sixth straight game
Junior quarterback George has a field day in 47-7 rout of Moreau Catholic
By Pete Elman
Article Launched: 11/02/2007 03:06:32 AM PDT
PIEDMONT -- It took Piedmont High School a half to get untracked. But when its explosive offense did kick in, the results was five unanswered touchdowns in a 47-7 rout of Moreau Catholic in front of an enthusiastic crowd Oct. 26. After opening the 2007 campaign with consecutive non-league losses to Campolindo and Truckee, Piedmont (6-2, 4-0 BSAL) reeled off its sixth straight win.
Poised junior quarterback Jeremy George led Piedmont. He completed 10 of 16 passes -- to seven receivers -- for 148 yards and two touchdowns and ran the ball nine times for 95 yards and another score. The Highlanders' defense, after giving up an early score to Moreau (2-6, 1-4), shut down the Mariners, holding the visitors to only 102 yards total offense.
"Our defense is fast and smart," said Piedmont coach Kurt Bryan.
Although Moreau suited up only 19 players, the game started out inauspiciously for the Highlanders, who made several key mistakes in the first half. Kicker Jordan Remer broke the ice with a 25-yard field goal to give Piedmont an early 3-0 lead, and after holding the Mariners to the second of nine three-and-outs, a 34-yard jaunt by halfback Keith Reid set up a three-yard touchdown run by Elliot Wainess to make it 10-0.
But the Mariners, led by quarterback Devin Saxon, came right back and scored on a 6-yard run by Leonne Punzalan. This would prove to be their only points of the night. On the next possession George converted a 50-yard pass play to Devin
Brown, only to have it called back on a holding penalty. The Highlanders forced another Moreau punt, and when the snap sailed over punter Brandon Chamberlain's head, Matt Fineman tackled him in the end zone for a safety to give Piedmont a 12-7 lead halfway through the second period.
A fumble by Reid after a nice 21-yard run thwarted another drive, and another holding infraction negated what would have been an 80-yard touchdown pass from George to Kyle Bonacum. Instead of going into the locker room with a large lead, the home team led by only five points. "The first half we played well, but we shot ourselves in the foot repeatedly," said Bryan, "so we changed it up a bit in the second half."
What Bryan did was actually minor tinkering, but it had a major impact on the game. With his swarming, stingy defense (five sacks) making sure the Mariners couldn't get anything going, his multi-faceted offense stopped making mistakes and started clicking. Alternating their unique two-quarterback A-11 set with a more traditional "Highlander" formation, Piedmont reeled off five touchdowns.
"We have to be flexible to be successful," Bryan said. The 140-lb. George broke two tackles on a 23-yard keeper to start the onslaught, and then found Joey Andrada behind the secondary for a 23-yard touchdown pass, breaking the game open at 26-7. Reid, who also played a fine game on defense, scored on a 5-yard run to open the final quarter. On the next possession, George spotted tight end Bryce Chu in the end zone for a 14-yard scoring strike. The final score came when quarterback Ryan Lipkin hit Devin Brown on a 9-yard touchdown pass.
George was quick to give credit to his teammates. "I have faith in all of our receivers," he said. "We have a lot of athletes out there." Highlander kicker Jordan Remer had an excellent game. In addition to his field goal, he was 6-for-6 on extra points and kept the Mariners from getting good field position with his booming kickoffs.
Tonight the Scots travel to Crockett to play John Swett. Then a showdown with undefeated St. Patrick-St. Vincent on Nov. 9 will probably determine the league champion.
Notes: Alamo author Jack Reed, who has written several books on youth football, was at the game researching a new book on "contrarian offenses". Piedmont's A-11 was what interested him. "I saw the Campo game, and now these guys really have it working well," Reed said.