Cougars fall in road opener

WARRENTON, Ga. — It was a case of missed opportunities for the Piedmont Academy football team in its 2021 season opener Friday, Aug. 20.

The Cougars traveled to Briarwood Academy in Warrenton and dropped a 26-0 contest to a strong Buccaneers team. The game was scoreless late in the first quarter when Piedmont rushed the Briarwood punter who then scrambled looking to pass. 

Piedmont was called for a roughing the passer penalty, which gave Briarwood possession inside Cougar territory. That helped the host Buccaneers take a 6-0 lead.

Despite having some impressive offensive numbers, missed scoring chances hurt Piedmont.

“The final score was not an indicative of how the game went,” said Cougars head coach Clint Satterfield. “We have to finish drives. We finished the first half at their 8-yard line. We came out and stopped them defensively and then drove down and threw an interception at the 5-yard line.”

Briarwood sealed with the win with two long touchdowns runs in the second half.

“Defensively we need to line up correctly,” Satterfield said. “If you take away four or five plays it would have been different game. We were not dominated by any means. We competed with them but they were a tough opponent to start the season with.”

Quite simply, the new coach said his team has to finish scoring opportunities.

“We have to reach pay dirt,” he said. “Sometimes in this type of offense you are going to have red zone difficulties occur. We are not in a panic mode. We just have to keep working and preparing.”

Justin Reynolds was 18-of-42 for 143 yards. Brody Anderson had nine catches for 81 yards while Landon Conner caught six passes for 51 yards. Luke Welch and Joe Clark also had receptions.

Clark was the team’s leading rusher with 12 carries for 45 yards. Michael Joseph added 22 yards on six rushes.

Defensively, Connor and Welch both had six tackles while Dalton Wallace recorded five and Spencer Carter made four tackles. Mason Tanner, Gavin Mask, Cole Wade, Mark Hicks and Clark all had three tackles. Anderson had an interception.

Piedmont was off this week and will travel to John Hancock Academy in Sparta on Sept. 3. While it is something unusual to have an open date after the first week of the season, Satterfield said it is a good thing for his team.

“I am actually glad we have it,” the coach said. “We spent all day watching film with kids on Monday. In a typical week you don’t have that time. With it being an off week, we put in plenty of film study.”

The Cougars are already preparing for the game next week with JHA.

“It looks like we will see the triple option and you never have enough time to work on that,” Satterfield said. “Offensively, we will work on completing drives and executing. We had a couple of costly drops and some receivers go inside on routes instead of outside and it led to a turnover. I would rather it happen now than in November.”