Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Grayson Carroll (right) gains yardage as Piedmont’s Chance Murphy (36) pursues during the Warriors’ 35-19 loss in high school football on Oct. 6. (Courtesy of Grant Campbell)
By Shannon Fagan/WEIS Radio Sports Director
Piedmont senior Trevor Pike made up for some lost time this football season on Friday, Oct. 6.
Injured earlier this season against Sylvania, Pike made his presence felt in every phase of the game against Class 3A, Region 6 opponent Westbrook Christian.
The first time he touched the ball at running back, Pike ran for 54 yards to set up a McClane Mohon 4-yard touchdown less than three minutes into the game. He later caught a 40-yard touchdown pass out of the backfield from quarterback Cole Wilson in the second quarter.
Perhaps Pike’s biggest play of the night came in the closing seconds of the first half.
After Westbrook’s Lamycal Mitchell made it a one-score game, Pike returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown, giving Piedmont a two-score lead again at halftime.
Pike added another touchdown grab in the third quarter as the Bulldogs went on to claim a 35-19 victory. The win evens Piedmont’s region record at 2-2 (2-4 overall) and puts the Bulldogs back in the playoff hunt. Westbrook dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in region play.
Making his return to Piedmont facing his former team for the first time, Westbrook Christian head coach Steve Smith said Pike was “a difference maker.”
“He was all over the field, both sides of the ball and the return game. I thought he played really well. He’s that guy where the ball finds him. It found him tonight and he did the right things with it and made a lot of big plays.
“No doubt that (kickoff return) was a big momentum swing for them. We had cut it to seven there with about five seconds left. We had some momentum on our side. Give [Pike] credit. He kept on battling and we just didn’t do a good job of getting him on the ground.”
Pike returned a Westbrook punt for big yardage down to the 15-yard line in the third quarter and accounted for another Piedmont score. This one was another touchdown grab from Wilson – an 18-yarder with 7:18 remaining in the third. Chase Cardelli’s extra point provided the Bulldogs a 28-7 advantage.
Pike caught four passes for 65 yards and two scores. He also ran for 62 yards on just three carries. Wilson was 7-of-15 passing for 91 yards and the two touchdowns to Pike.
The Warriors tried to keep it close on Mitchell’s 1-yard touchdown on their ensuing drive. Mitchell helped set up that score with his 44-yard catch from quarterback Greyson Carroll that gave Westbrook a first-and-goal from the Piedmont 3-yard line.
After forcing Piedmont to punt, Westbrook had a chance to cut the Bulldog lead even further, but Carroll was sacked and lost the football. Piedmont junior linebacker Kale Austin scooped up the fumble and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 35-13 lead after three quarters.
Carroll connected with Mitchell on an 80-yard score with 8:42 left in the game to bring the Warriors within a 35-19 margin. Piedmont’s defense sealed the game on Mohon’s interception with 4:12 remaining.
Carroll completed 8-of-21 pass attempts for 195 yards. He also rushed 21 times for 45 yards.
Mitchell caught five passes for 165 yards. Drew Whittemore carried six times for 35 yards.
Max Legg had 11 tackles, followed by Eggo Alabbasi and Jake Haney with six each and Noah Wright with five. Haney and Nolan Terrell each had a sack.
“I thought both teams made some mistakes, but [Piedmont] capitalized on the ones we made,” Smith said. “That’s what a good team will do. The mistakes we made tonight hurt us. [Give] credit to [Piedmont] for doing a good job [of] capitalizing.”
Westbrook continues region play on Thursday, Oct. 12 at home against Geraldine.