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Archive for: September 2013

Boomers halt Wildcats comeback in district opener

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont defensive players Braden Beeby (62) and Jacob Bakewell (28) close in for a tackle on Woodward quarterback Kale Hixon Friday night at Boomer Stadium in Woodward.

By Evan Grice


While the Piedmont Wildcats weren’t able to evade the rainfall Friday night at Boomer Stadium in Woodward, they almost escaped with a victory over the Boomers.

Down 32-7 in the fourth quarter, PHS sprung to life scoring 20 unanswered points to cut the deficit to 32-27.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats fell to 1-3 on the year and 0-1 in district play, falling by five points.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys for how they fought back,” Piedmont coach Craig Church said about his teams comeback. “Obviously though, we made some mistakes early that got us into a hole. We just couldn’t get out of it. We’ve got to remove those little mistakes if we’re going to win next week, we need a district win. Our defense, special teams and offense played well, but those mistakes are what got us.”

Just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, it was the Boomers turn to make a mistake on offense.

A fumbled snap by WHS quarterback Kale Hixon was immediately scooped up by TJ Abraham, who raced the other way 56-yards for the touchdown, giving the Wildcats some life at 32-14.

After a successful defensive stand by the PHS defense on the Boomers next possession, the offense went to work and put together an eight-play, 44-yard drive which culminated with Josh Hampton plunging in from one yard out for the touchdown.

However, the Wildcats chose to go for the two-point conversion on the point after attempt, which was stuffed by the Boomers defense, making it a 32-20 game with just less than eight minutes to play.

More than five minutes of game time would pass before the Wildcats struck again, but it was in a big way.

Quarterback Lucas Richert found Steffen Funkhouser deep down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown pass, putting Piedmont well within striking distance at 32-27 with 2:11 remaining in regulation.

But, Woodward kept its cool and recovered the ensuing onside kick, which was promptly met with a first down on the next possession, icing the victory for the Boomers.

For all the Wildcats did right in the second and fourth quarters, they did the exact opposite in the first and third.

Three touchdowns for the Boomers, combined with three interceptions for Richert, along with a Wildcat fumble, compounded to put Piedmont in a 21-0 hole after just one quarter of play.

Hixon just needed 50 seconds of the first to find Kade Marlatt for a 51-yard touchdown pass, before these two found each other again at the 2:41 mark, this time from 27-yards out to make it 14-0.

“That kid (Hixon) is a stud,” Church said about the Boomers senior quarterback. “It took us a while to settle in, which against a guy like that it’s expected. But, once we got comfortable he got flustered a little and I was proud of the way we got to the ball.”

Following the Wildcats fourth turnover of the game, Woodward struck gold again, with Kyler Ferguson finding a hole through the middle and running 55-yards for the touchdown thanks in part to the double-wing formation, which caused mass confusion on the defense.

Piedmont though responded in the second quarter, when Richert found Funkhouser for a nine-yard touchdown pass to put the score at 20-7 with 9:43 left in the half.

Micah Kee though, made sure the Bombers stayed at a comfortable lead, as he punched it in from one-yard out with less than six minutes to go before halftime.

Woodward totaled 424 yards of offense on the night, with Hixon throwing for 174 yards with two touchdowns.

Richert finished 14-of-35 passing for 237 yards to go with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Funkhouser was the leading receiver on the night with 11 catches for a total of 204 yards.

Piedmont totaled 340 yards of total offense with 103 coming on the ground. Darrius Burris was the leading rusher for the Wildcats with 27 carries for 95 yards.

The Wildcats will return to Stout Field Friday night for a matchup against the Cache Bulldogs, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

Heartbreak at the Creek: PHS falls on walk-off

Evan Grice/ Gazette
Piedmont catcher Bre Davis steps in Thursday night against Deer Creek.

By Evan Grice



Sometimes, softball can be a very cruel game.

Moments after surrendering the district title by virtue of run differential, Piedmont also surrendered its 7-6 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Kelsi Williams slapped a walk-off RBI single to center field, giving the Lady Antlers an 8-7 victory.

With the win, the Lady Antlers sweep Piedmont for the first time since 2005.

“We don’t make routine plays, and that’s been the story of our season,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said about the seventh inning. “If we make routine plays, Deer Creek doesn’t have a runner on first in the seventh. If we don’t walk a batter, and throw a pitch that’s three or four feet off the outside of the plate, we win this game. It’s not just one person, it’s everyone and everything just snowballed into this.”

With two outs and a 0-2 count, it looked like Piedmont was going to escape and live to play in extra innings, giving them one more chance at the district title.

Unfortunately, Williams connected with a pitch from Courtney Anderson, which found its way just out of the reach of Jamie Lowrie in center field, setting off a wild celebration from the Deer Creek players and the fans as well.

It was yet another twist in a game which saw momentum swing back and forth throughout, as Piedmont found itself in position to be district champions up 7-3 after the top of the fifth inning.

Ashlyn Ratliff gave the Lady Wildcats the lead in the fifth, when she was nailed in the head while running to first base after laying down a bunt. Cassadie Ray would score the run in the process.

Jamie Lowrie then made it a 5-3 game with an RBI single up the middle, before she too would also be nailed by an errant throw, this time at second base, which allowed her to score after a hit from Madi Morris to make it 6-3.

Piedmont’s seventh run of the game could be classified as a stroke of genius and hustle.

With two outs in the inning, Kassidy Scott stepped to the plate, and laid down a squeeze bunt, which Morris scored on just under the tag to make it a 7-3 game.

Deer Creek however, would cash in on mistakes by the Lady Wildcats, scoring two runs on wild pitches, along with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 7-6 going into the seventh inning.

Kassidy Scott and Lowrie had the RBI hits in the third inning, which helped give PHS a 2-1 lead, before Robbie Collins scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.

Bailey Thompson gave DCHS a 1-0 lead when she scored on a wild pitch in the first inning.

Deer Creek tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Emily Watson got the win on the mound for the Lady Antlers, throwing a complete game. She struck out 14 batters on nine hits with two walks and seven runs allowed.

Courtney Anderson took the loss on the mound for Piedmont, throwing 3 2/3 innings of work. She allowed five runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Starting pitcher Jamie Lowrie went 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks.

“We got to get up and be ready to play at the Chickasha tournament on Friday,” Coach Scott said. “We’ll play Mustang and Southmoore and those are good teams. I let Coach (Bobby) Burke do most of the talking after the game and I just told him ‘We’ve got to get better on the fundamentals.’”

Piedmont will meet Mustang Friday at Noon and Southmoore at 4 p.m. at the Chickasha Tournament.

Group of Kingfisher County landowners sues city of Piedmont

Wind turbines, like those pictured above, are at the heart of a lawsuit facing the city of Piedmont leadership

By Robert Flippo


A group of Kingfisher County landowners have filed a lawsuit in Kingfisher County against the city of Piedmont in response to the recent changes in the city ordinance declaring wind turbines within a three mile radius of the city to be a public nuisance.

The lawsuit names five individuals who claim the ordinance harms them and their property rights. The individuals named in the lawsuit all have lease agreements with Apex Clean Energy to build wind turbines on their land. According to the lawsuit documents, Apex is not included in the lawsuit. It is only on behalf of the landowners.

The lawsuit reads that Piedmont’s ordinance amounted to an illegal taking of private land and the landowners were not afforded proper compensation under the rights of imminent domain. The suit further reads that the city of Piedmont has failed to prove that wind turbines are a public nuisance.

City Councilman Charles Coffman said the city has not attempted to enforce the ordinance yet and that Piedmont has acted within the parameters of Oklahoma state law.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking an injunction which would prohibit the city of Piedmont from enforcing the ordinance until the city “proves operation of an industrial wind turbine is, in fact, a nuisance, and said nuisance affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood.”

Read more →

Survive and Clinch: Lady Wildcats earn home regional with victory

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Madi Morris looks over to the Lady Wildcat dugout after scoring the second run of the game for PHS in the fourth inning Tuesday afternoon at El Reno. The Lady Wildcats won the game over the Lady Indians by a score of 9-5 to clinch home field in the playoffs.

By Evan Grice

With their backs against the wall, and momentum shifting away from them, the Piedmont Lady Wildcats did what they do best.

Respond with a home run.Sophomore Kassidy Scott stepped to the plate with her team leading 7-5, and smashed a two-run home run to give her team a 9-5 lead in the top of the seventh inning, a score that would hold up against El Reno Tuesday afternoon.

“At first I was scared at the plate,” Kassidy said about her home run at bat. “In my mind I was thinking of getting a base hit and scoring the run. When I hit it then I didn’t think it was over, until I went to second and saw it leave the park. It felt really good and got our momentum going again.”

With the victory, the Lady Wildcats assured themselves of no worse than second place in the district, which gives them home field advantage in regionals starting on October 8th.

“I’m extremely proud of the girls,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said. “My hats off to El Reno for battling back, but our girls answered when they needed to. I think this is going to set up a good game against Deer Creek on Thursday night. We’re pretty good when we play at home for regionals so this is huge for us to clinch.”

Before Kassidy Scott could unleash her clutch home run, the Lady Indians made things interesting with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, cutting the Lady Wildcats lead to 6-5.

However, an RBI by Michelle Brandon gave Piedmont back a two-run cushion before Scott struck. Read more →

Piedmont vs. Woodward Sports Preview

By Evan Grice

After three weeks of preparation, the road to the playoffs has officially begun for the Piedmont Wildcats.

This week will mark the opening round of district play, as the 1-2 Wildcats will make the 2 ½ hour trek to Woodward for a matchup against the Boomers Friday night at 7:30 p.m. from Boomer Stadium.

Woodward will bring a potent offense to the table, something the Wildcats are all too familiar with this season so far. WHS is averaging close to 44 points a game, while PHS has scored more than 40 points in one game this season, which came last week on homecoming.

The Boomers defense has been solid with the exception of one game this season, allowing just 13 points total to El Reno and Northwest Classen.

“Woodward is a very good football team,” Piedmont coach Craig Church said. “They have a very good quarterback and are very balanced offensively. We’ll have to watch their formations, and handle their running game as well. Defensively they are very sound and play very hard. “

The very good quarterback is Kale Hixon, who had an impressive performance against Northwest Classen last week. He totaled 220 yards rushing on just 11 carries with three touchdowns, including two passing touchdowns as well, in a 50-6 victory over the Knights. Read more →

Lady Wildcats stunned at home by CHS Lady Longhorns

By Evan Grice


   During the course of the season, the Piedmont Lady Wildcats volleyball team has recorded its fair share of upsets.

    Monday night though, the tables were turned on the Lady Wildcats by the Chisholm Lady Longhorns, who defeated PHS in four sets (25-18, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-23), just a month removed from when Piedmont swept CHS on their home floor.

“We tried to put out where things went wrong,” Piedmont coach Brad Brucker said. “I take a lot of the blame as far as getting the girls prepared mentally. We were just surprised when they (Chisholm) would make a good play. You can’t be surprised by a team that wants to win that badly. A team that is willing to fight for something is going to beat you every time, and that’s what happened. We tip our hats to them.” Read more →

Lady Wildcats go 2-2 at Putnam City Original Tourney

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Logan Simunek slides in safely to score a run for the Lady Wildcats around the attempted block from the Putnam City North catcher during a game at the Putnam City Original Tournament last Friday afternoon at the Putnam City Optimist Field. PHS went on to beat the Lady Panthers by a score of 5-2.

By Evan Grice

While things started off great for the Piedmont Lady Wildcats at the Putnam City Original tournament this past weekend, they ended in a not-so-wonderful fashion.

Piedmont 5 PCN 2
Earlier this season, PHS and Putnam City North met in a scrimmage at PCN, in which the Lady Wildcats won a narrow victory.
Lightning struck twice on Friday morning against the Lady Panthers again, as Piedmont scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to claim a 5-2 victory, after finding themselves down 2-1 for most of the contest.

Madi Morris tied the game for Piedmont with an RBI single, which set off wild celebrations in the Lady Wildcats dugout, which were amplified when Cassadie Ray smacked an RBI single into right field to give PHS a 3-2 lead.

Michelle Brandon then took advantage of a miscue by the PCN infield, as she collected an RBI bloop single to make it a 4-2 game. Jamie Lowrie then capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly which scored Sagely McAdoo.

Logan Simunek cut the Lady Panthers lead to 2-1 in the top of the third inning, scoring on a wild pitch after PCN took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Lowrie got the win on the mound for Piedmont, striking out four batters on six hits with just two runs and one walk in a complete game effort. Read more →

Wildcats smother Western Heights for first victory

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Blakely Liebmann runs for yardage last Friday night against Western Heights during Homecoming at Stout Field.

By Evan Grice


All good things come to those who wait, and for the Piedmont Wildcats football team, their wait for win number one is finally over.

PHS used a balanced offensive attack to smother Western Heights as the Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead, which eventually became a 42-12 victory on homecoming night at Stout Field.

“You really couldn’t have timed this better for our kids,” Piedmont coach Craig Church said about the win. “This was something we needed to get out of our system, especially before district starts.”

“We had a lot of guys out of position on defense, but they stepped up tonight. You could see the excitement and hear it in our coaches’ voices. I’m very proud of the kids.”

By the time Landon White found the end zone on a four yard run for his first touchdown of the season with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Piedmont was well in command at 42-6.

But, not everything went smoothly on the evening as Wildcat fans had to endure a first quarter which saw more penalties than points from both teams, sending the game to the second quarter tied at 0-0.

Just eight seconds into the second frame though, PHS struck pay dirt through the air. Read more →

Piedmont volleyball upsets No. 14 El Reno on the road

By Evan Grice

Don’t look now, but the Piedmont Lady Wildcats volleyball team has pulled off another upset.

This time it was No. 14 ranked El Reno falling victim to the upset, as PHS claimed its second road upset this season over a ranked opponent with a five set (18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-15, 15-7) victory over the Lady Indians Tuesday night.

“I’m very proud of the girls, and the coaching staff as well for the job we’ve been able to accomplish this season,” Piedmont coach Brad Brucker said. “They deserve a lot of credit for this win and the progress we’ve made. We had some good and bad moments tonight, but we were able to pull through and steal the second set away from them. Once we got our act together in the fourth set, we just started to take over in the fifth as well.”

After a slow start to the match in the first set, Piedmont got back in the groove with a three-point victory in set number two.

However, the Lady Indians responded right back and took the third set, but it was the Lady Wildcats with the last word, taking the final two sets on the evening, giving them their 11th victory on the season. Read more →

Blame it on the rain: PHS’ rematch with Deer Creek washed out

By Evan Grice


While Tuesday night’s contest between Deer Creek and Piedmont was the Lady Antlers “Win-Win” game honoring those who have battled and continue to fight cancer, there was only one true victor on the evening.

Mother Nature.

Just moments into the start of the highly anticipated rematch between these two teams, a thunderous storm ravaged through the Deer Creek softball complex, bringing with it pea sized hail, and enough rain to soak the field, thus making it unplayable for the game.    Michelle Brandon, who was the only batter to see the box for either team on the night, had to abruptly leave the box and take shelter in the dugout along with the rest of her Lady Wildcat teammates.

“This kind of situation can really mess with a team,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said following the cancellation. “Last year it rained in the state finals, and it turned out to be negative for us. It’s really all about how we handle this and come back from it.”

Late Tuesday night, the official word came in that this game will be played next Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Piedmont’s originally scheduled contest against Blackwell will not be played at Lady Wildcat Field on that night.   The Lady Wildcats will be back in action this weekend at the Putnam City Original tournament, which will begin on Friday and run through Saturday with all games taking place at the Putnam City Optimist softball facility just off of 50th and council road just across the street from the Bethany High School Field.

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