MONTICELLO, Ga. — Piedmont Academy took control early of its opening-round state playoff contest with visiting Fullington Academy on Friday and never looked back.
The Cougars (8-3) scored early and often in the first half to quickly seal the 49-15 win against the visiting Trojans (1-9).
Piedmont advances to the GISA Class A semifinals next Friday against Georgia Christian in Valdosta. The Generals received a bye in the first round.
Cougar quarterback Justin Reynolds was sharp in the passing game with three first half touchdown tosses. Reynolds spread the wealth with scoring tosses to Ryan Holder, Landon Conner and Ryan Kennemore.
The Cougars wasted little time getting on the scoreboard taking the game’s opening series and marching 60 yards in six plays. Michael Joseph reached the endzone on a 20-yard run with 9:29 left in the first. Conner added the point-after kick. The senior was 6-of-6 for the night.
The Trojans had to start their initial possession at their own 1-yard line after slipping on the kickoff. Piedmont’s defense forced a three-and-out to start and then took over at the Fullington 27-yard line.
It took only play for the Cougars to reach the endzone again on a 27-yard pass from Justin Reynolds to Ryan Holder with 7:20 remaining in the first.
Piedmont’s defense allowed one first down on the Trojans second possession of the first half before forcing another punt. The Cougar offense struck again on a 61-yard pass from Reynolds to Conner with 4:01 still left in the opening quarter.
Reynolds struck again on a 9-yard pass to Ryan Kennemore with 10 seconds to play in the opening quarter.
Fullington reached paydirt on a 70-yard reception by Shiloh Kehayes with 9:45 remaining in the first half to pull within 28-7. The play capped a 75-yard drive of five plays.
Conner quickly answered by returning the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a 35-7 lead with 9:33 remaining in the second quarter.
Holder’s punt return put Piedmont in scoring position again at the 4-yard line. Gavin Mask carried the football in this time to widen the advantage to 42-7.
The Trojans threatened again before halftime before Conner intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for another Cougar score with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. Mark Myles stepped in and handled the point-after kick.
Defensively, Piedmont also had a strong quarterfinal game. Several players had standout games on the defensive side of the football including Ridge Stroud, Mason Tanner, Cole Wade, Dalton Wallace, Mason Owens, Conner and Mask.
Fullington added its second score with one minute remaining in the third quarter. With a running clock, the Trojans used the entire quarter for a 2-yard score and 2-point conversion.