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CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Piedmont 22, Mobile Christian 12
    AUBURN – Piedmont High School senior quarterback Taylor Hayes did what he does best Thursday as the Bulldogs (15-0) beat Mobile Christian 22-12 to claim the Bulldogs’ second straight Class 3A state football championship as the 2016 Super 7 Championships moved into its second day at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
    Hayes had 38 carries for 239 yards and scored all three Piedmont touchdowns as the Bulldogs dominated the line of scrimmage with its punishing running game and physical offensive line.
    “Taylor gives 100 percent on everything that he does,” said Piedmont head coach Steve Smith. “He never gives anything less.”
     The Super 7 Championships continued Thursday with the Class 1A finals featuring Maplesville (13-0) and Pickens County (11-3) at 3 p.m., and the 5A finals at 7 p.m. pitting Beauregard (12-1) and Wenonah (11-2). The Class 4A, 2A and 6A finals close out the 2016 Super 7 Friday.
     Mobile Christian (13-2), coached by Ronnie Cottrell, took a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter when Eric Poellnitz scored on a 42-yard pass from Cam Horne. Piedmont marched quickly to its first touchdown with Hayes streaking 65 yards to set up his 1-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter. Easton Kirk’s extra point kick gave the Bulldogs the lead 7-6. They would never relinquish the lead again.
    Hayes scored again with 1:14 left in the half on a 2-yard run and again from the same distance early in the fourth quarter to round out the Piedmont scoring.
   Mobile Christian stopped another Bulldogs march  on fourth-and-goal at the goal line when Carter Buzbee intercepted Hayes’ pass and returned it 39 yards to near midfield.   The Leopards scored on a 37-yard pass from Horne to Jordan Graddy four plays later to cut the lead to 22-12. Hayes and the Piedmont offense never relinquished the ball again.
    The victory was the 25th in a row for Piedmont, the longest current football winning streak in the AHSAA. Smith’s Bulldogs ran 62 plays to Mobile Christian’s 47 and kept the ball for almost seven more minutes (27:03 to 20:57) and had an 18-9 edge in first downs.
    Stanley Lee added 76 yards rushing on 14 carries and Cardavion Myers gained 60 yards on his one carry. Hayes was 1-of-7 passing for with his 39-yard completion going to Austin Brazir.
     Horne was 16-of-20 passing for 176 yards for Mobile Christian. The Leopards were limited to just 27 yards rushing on 19 carries.   Poellnitz was the leading receiver with five catches for 96 yards. 
    Ethan Hearn totaled 12 stops with seven unassisted tackles. Troy Young also had nine.  Myers led Piedmont’s defensive effort with seven tackles, and Brazir had six.
    The Bulldogs became just the third Class 3A school in AHSAA history to win three Super 7 state titles (2009, 2015, 2016). Madison Academy and Pike County are the other two.
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