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Archive for: October 2015

Chism’s big play sparks Piedmont to 26-7 win

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Hunter Chism relies on his ability to make moves in open space. Friday night, he had to improvise.

Playing on a rain-soaked, muddy field in Piedmont, Chism returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to preserve a slim lead and give Piedmont the life it needed for a 26-7 win over a scrappy Guymon team.

Blake Colston/Gazette Hunter Chism tries to break a tackle as Guymon's Drew Winter reaches for the ball Friday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hunter Chism tries to break a tackle as Guymon’s Drew Winter reaches for the ball Friday night.

The long run back didn’t include many cuts, though, because Chism knew better. Once he collected the ball deflected into the air off a big hit from fellow safety Jacob Storts, Chism headed from the middle of the field to the far sideline and on to the end zone. He needed only one cut.

“It wasn’t my kind of game because I couldn’t cut like I like to,” he said. “That’s the one thing I told myself. Instead of trying to move around I just have to get upfield. Speed was a big factor on that play.”

Two Tiger defenders had a chance to bring Chism down in the open field, but neither could catch him.

“About the 30 I heard someone behind me. I gave it one high-step and headed for the far pylon,” he said.

Chism’s score gave Piedmont a 19-7 lead with 8:53 to play and snuffed out a potential game-winning drive for Guymon. Landon White, who rushed for 147 yards on 31 carries, added his third score of the game with 0:29 to go to bump Piedmont’s record to 3-6 overall and 3-3 in district.

White’s final score also secured 15 district points for PHS, which still has an outside chance to grab the fourth playoff spot in District 5A-II. It was White’s seventh touchdown in three weeks.

“We had to have this one tonight and we knew it. We wanted to get our full district points, too, which we did,” head coach Drew Gossen said. “We overcame a lot of things tonight.”

PHS committed four turnovers, had 15 penalties for 145 yards and twice snapped the ball over punter Butch Hampton’s head in the first half. The second bad snap resulted in a seven-yard punt that led to Guymon’s only score of the night on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Huckins to Jovan Ochoa as time expired in the first half.

“We got up 13-0 and it was almost like we thought it was going to be easy,” Gossen said. “We let off and let them get close and I told them at halftime we can’t do that.”

Piedmont never pulled away until Chism’s big play. The Wildcats mustered just 180 yards of total offense, but limited Guymon to seven total yards as both teams struggled through the sloppy field conditions. On offense, Chism was limited to one catch for one yard, but returned the opening kickoff of the second half 54 yards and made the biggest play of the night when it mattered most.

“It didn’t matter how many penalties we had or what was going against us, we were going to go play our hearts out,” Chism said. “It was definitely a big win.”

Community rallies around Scott

Coach Scott

A Facebook group in support of Rick Scott’s return has accumulated more than 2,220 members.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

The fate of Piedmont head softball coach Rick Scott’s tenure in Piedmont could rest on a Monday, Nov. 9 Piedmont School Board meeting.

It’s then that the board of five members may formally accept Scott’s resignation after 14 seasons at PHS, which the Piedmont administration has already accepted, or refuse it and essentially reinstate Scott as head coach. It would require a simple majority of the five members to decline the resignation recommended by the administration.

It may be much simpler than that, though.

Piedmont schools Superintendent Dr. James White said that via district policy an administrator can accept an extra duties assignment resignation (Softball is considered an extra duties assignment according to White) without the approval of the board.

Scott submitted his resignation in writing Sept. 1 to be effective Nov. 30, then changed his mind shortly after the season ended, but the administration considered his resignation final.

“At this time the resignation is considered final and we do not anticipate it being on the school board’s agenda Nov. 9,” White said.

A large group of Scott supporters still plan to attend the meeting, including Dave Owen, whose daughter Hannah Owen, a junior at PHS, played for the Lady Wildcats last year.

“There are a lot of upset girls over this,” Owen said. “I can’t count how many girls said they sat up at night and cried over this.”

Owen helped spearhead support for Scott via a Facebook group entitled ‘Bring Back Coach Scott’ that now has more than 2,200 members. Former players, parents and friends have shared memories and sentiments on the page that Owen says illustrate why Scott should be allowed to remain as head coach. Read more →

Surging Piedmont hosts Guymon for homecoming

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont’s first win of the season came over Southeast, 38-6, two weeks ago, but the Wildcats first hard-earned victory came Friday at Western Heights.

The latter of which could be more significant. L White

Both count the same in the win column, but Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said the win over Western Heights probably means more moving forward because of how the Wildcats won.

With the game tied at halftime 7-7, Piedmont scored the final 21 points of the game behind a bruising rushing attack led by running back Landon White and a dominant defensive performance to earn the win.

“It’s like anything in life. If it’s hard-fought, hard-won, it means more to you,” Gossen said. “That’s how we feel and we’re definitely happy about it.”

Because of that, Gossen thought his team would probably carry some extra momentum into Friday night’s homecoming game against Guymon set to kick at 7 p.m.

“Southeast was a big for us, just to get that first win under our belt. But I think anyone on our team would agree that beating (Western Heights), who is capable of doing some pretty good stuff and being pretty good, means a lot to you.”

In the immediate, it meant that Piedmont kept its postseason hopes alive for another week, too. Currently a game behind Deer Creek and Carl Albert for the fourth playoff spot in District 5A-II, the Wildcats need to win out and find a way to make up 45 district points in two weeks.

“We know we want to get those 15 points because we can see in the future it coming down to that,” Gossen said. “The win is primary, we won’t risk a win for them, but we’re going to try to get those extra points when we can.”

With Deer Creek and Carl Albert each with a game remaining against Southeast who is currently winless in district play, the odds are long Piedmont can do enough to reach fourth in the standings. But the math still adds up for now. Read more →

Piedmont beats Western Heights behind three scores from White

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Landon White is making up for lost time.

In only his third game of the season, White carried the ball 27 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns to lead Piedmont past Western Heights, 28-7, Friday night.

The win was Piedmont’s second in a row, which improved the Wildcats to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in district play.

Blake Colston/Gazette Landon White breaks into the open field Friday night against Western Heights.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Landon White breaks into the open field Friday night against Western Heights.

White missed the first four games of the season while the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association reviewed his eligibility after an offseason transfer to and from Wynnewood. Eligible now, White has been a force for Piedmont in the three games since he became eligible.

“He did a lot things well tonight,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said of White, who’s totaled five touchdowns in two weeks. “He had some vision, found the right spots and did all those things. It was exciting to see him run hard and run well.”

With the game even at 7 at half, White and Piedmont’s ground game took over. The Wildcats drove 68 yards for a score capped by White’s three-yard plunge that set the tone for the second half.

“I think that boosted our confidence and really made them lay down a little bit,” White said. “We wanted it bad and we came out and showed it.”

The onslaught continued later, when White broke free down Piedmont’s sideline for a 25-yard touchdown run with 10:50 to play.

“I’m running behind the best blockers you could have,” White, who also scored Piedmont’s first touchdown of the game, said. “This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for them.” Read more →

Scott done in Piedmont

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

A turbulent season for Piedmont head softball coach Rick Scott is over and, apparently, so is his tenure in Piedmont.

Scott submitted his resignation to the Piedmont administration last week, he confirmed to The Gazette, but days later had a change of heart. The administration considered the matter closed, however.

“Coach Scott has resigned his softball duties and we have accepted his resignation,” Piedmont schools Superintendent James White told The Gazette Friday afternoon. “The process will start fairly soon on advertising the position and interviewing candidates to fill the position.”

It was clear, though, that Scott fully intended to return to coach next season. As recently as Thursday, he planned on doing so.

“I wasn’t allowed to pull my resignation,” Scott said. “I hate that it’s happened this way.”

Scott led Piedmont to 10 state tournaments in 14 seasons, but did so with controversy along the way, this season in particular. Scott was suspended for two games after an incident with fans at a game in El Reno this season.

White declined to elaborate on the reason’s for declining to acknowledge Scott’s apparent change of heart, choosing only to cite the decision as a personnel matter.

“We appreciate coach Scott’s effort and wish him nothing but the best moving forward,” he said.

Scott isn’t sure what’s next for him, he said, but hopes to coach somewhere next season.

“It’s been an honor and a privelage to work at Piedmont,” he said. “I’m not bitter at all. I’ll let what’s going to happen, happen. I’d like to thank all those who have supported me and the program throughout the years.”

Piedmont’s defense faces big challenge Friday night

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont takes on the Oklahoma City metro’s version of Johnny Football this week.

At just 5-foot-8, Western Heights quarterback Kevin Rassatt has taken the state by storm this season after beginning the year third string on the depth chart.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont safety Jacob Storts flips a Weatherford ball carrier near the line of scrimmage last Friday,

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont safety Jacob Storts flips a Weatherford ball carrier near the line of scrimmage last Friday,

Converted from receiver to quarterback before the season due to injuries at the position, Rassatt has blossomed into one of 5A football’s best playmakers for a resurgent Western Heights team.

The Jets, in the midst of their most successful season in decades, host Piedmont and its surging defense in a crucial District 5A-II game Friday night at 7 p.m. To add intrigue to the Rassatt vs. Piedmont matchup, each team is in what amounts to must-win situations if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive past Friday.

“You never know what could happen, but realistically what we’re looking at is, we really need to win this one to have a shot at the playoffs,” head coach Drew Gossen said. “Western Heights is in the same boat. It’s a definitely a big game for both of us and that’s exciting.”

An unquestionable key in the game for Piedmont will be slowing Rassatt, who was 22 of 28 for 289 yards passing and a touchdown, along with 147 yards and three touchdowns rushing in an upset win at Deer Creek two weeks ago. Earlier in the season, Rassatt rushed for 321 yards and five touchdowns and also completed 6 of 9 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a rout of Capitol Hill. Needless to say, he has the Wildcats full attention.

“He’s good at what he does. The best play is almost a busted play,” Piedmont defensive coordinator Matt Bilyeu said. “He’s going to drop back, survey it and if you don’t have every gap covered he’s going to make you pay.” Read more →

Scott plans to coach next season

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Rick Scott isn’t ready to say goodbye to Piedmont softball.

Scott, who at times leaned toward resigning at the end of the season, and even turned in his resignation at one point, now intends to return for his 15th year as head coach at Piedmont next season.Coach Rick Scott

“I went in and told (the administration) to pull my resignation letter and that I’d like to coach again,” Scott said.

Scott said more anything that words of encouragement from players and parents swayed him to return after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Carl Albert in the state tournament last week

“An overwhelming number of parents and players wanted me to come back,” Scott said. “That was touching to me.”

Although he led Piedmont to its 10th regional title in 14 years this season, Scott season’s was anything but easy. Squabbles over playing and a two-game suspension from an incident with fans at a game at El Reno wore on Scott, but also inspired him to return.

“My integrity, character and coaching ability were questioned this year and I’m not going to run from that,” he said. “I make plenty of mistakes, but I try to do the right thing and certainly never do anything to put into question my integrity or character.” Read more →

Lady Wildcat runners capture Suburban Conference Title

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

MIDWEST CITY — Six weeks ago, Piedmont’s girls cross country team finished in last place at its home meet, now they’re Suburban Conference champions.

The Lady Wildcats took the top four individual spots overall en route to winning the team title by 15 points over second place Shawnee, narrowly missing a perfect score.

“It was unbelievable,” said head coach Kelly Beck. “I don’t know where it came from.”

Beck thought his team had a chance to compete for a title, but the dominant performance caught him by surprise. Individual conference champion Julia Grimes (First in 21:50) led the way for Piedmont, which will run at 5A regionals in Norman on Saturday.

“I say this every week, but Julia just keeps getting better,” Beck said of Grimes’ wire-to-wire win. “She took off from the get-go and never looked back.”

Sophomore Sydney Lang, sophomore Josilyn Schenk and freshman Sydnei Storts rounded out Piedmont’s top four. Hannah Thomas was 10th overall. It was Lang’s best finish of her career.

“Sydney has the talent and it’s all starting to come together for her,” Beck said.

Storts, meanwhile, started slow but raced into the top four with a strong close to her race.

“She was 12th a mile in and next time I saw her about a quarter of a mile from the finish line she was in 4th,” Beck said.

Piedmont runs for a shot to qualify for state Saturday. A top seven finish as a team qualifies the ‘Cats for state, something Beck thinks is a lock. With a team running its best at the right time, he’ll guard against overconfidence moving forward, though.

“Hopefully we’re not so confident to where they stop working,” Beck said. “I think they’ll be very confident moving forward. Which is a good thing as long as we handle it well.”

Boys take second at conference

Paced by individual conference champion John Anderson, Piedmont’s boys took second at conference behind champion Carl Albert.

Anderson was first by more than 21 seconds (17:17), besting second place Camden Shaw of Carl Albert, and didn’t even attempt to run his best race, Beck said.

“We wanted John to pace Blake (Cope),” Beck said.

The strategy didn’t go perfectly, as Cope fell off the pace a bit and took eighth.

“He can let the pressure get to him a little bit,” Beck said. “Maybe it was just too much for him. He’s so good you tend to forget he’s only a freshman sometimes.”

Connor McIntosh was third across for Piedmont in 18:03, good for seventh overall.

“Connor was fantastic. That was probably he and Ethan’s best race of the year,” Beck said of McIntosh and Ethan Taylor, who was 10th in 18:17.

Colton Lindsey was Piedmont’s fifth scorer. Lindsey finished 19th.

Piedmont in the win zone

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Noah Ellis earned the first win of his career as a starting quarterback Thursday night, and in the process managed to crack a smile.

Ellis threw three touchdowns passes while leading Piedmont to a 38-6 win — its first of the season — over Oklahoma City Southeast. All while Ellis worked out a half-season’s worth of frustration, thanks to the teammates around him, he said afterwards.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont quarterback Noah Ellis throws a pass over the outstretched arms of Southeast's Stefon Garcia Thursday night.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont quarterback Noah Ellis throws a pass over the outstretched arms of Southeast’s Stefon Garcia Thursday night.

“Our line did a great job of giving me protection, our receivers did a great job of getting open and really made my life easy,” Ellis, a junior, said. “It’s good for the team to get one in the win column. We just have to keep rolling now.”

Ellis led an offensive attack that scored more points — 38 — in one game Thursday than it had in the previous six games — 29 — combined.

“We did a good job of moving the ball, definitely the best job we’ve done this season,” he said. “We just need to keep the momentum going in practice this week and into next Friday night.”

Landon White scored on runs of 34 and three yards and Easton Hensley reeled in touchdown passes of 25 and 20 yards from Ellis. Heath Beebe added an 18-yard touchdown reception in the second half of a game Piedmont led wire-to-wire. Butch Hampton’s 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half sent the Wildcats to halftime with a 24-0 advantage.

“Having success is an awesome feeling for these kids and I’m so proud and excited for them,” head coach Drew Gossen said. “Really excited about seeing it finally come together.”

Ellis led a 12 and a 10-play drive for touchdowns, as well as a pair of two-play scoring drives.

“We did it in a lot of different ways,” Gossen said. “That was exciting to see.”

The Wildcats defense shutout Southeast’s offense. The Spartans only points came on a defensive touchdown from Josh Means in the third quarter. Means stripped White as he was being dragged down and returned the ball 48 yards for a score.

Piedmont (1-6, 1-3) travels to Western Heights next Friday with a chance to start a late-season surge up the district standings.

“We’ve got a really good opponent coming up next week,” Gossen said. “But now we’ve got some momentum. Hopefully we can take this positive experience and run with it.”

Piedmont loses to Carl Albert in extra innings at state tournament

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Abbi Johnson kept alive Carl Albert’s dream of capturing its second state title in three seasons Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Johnson’s bases-loaded bloop single over a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Titans a 3-2 extra-innings win over a gutty Piedmont team in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament.

Blake Colston/Gazette Ashton McAdoo swings at a pitch in Thursday's state quarterfinal game at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Ashton McAdoo swings at a pitch in Thursday’s state quarterfinal game at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

The loss ended Piedmont’s season at 26-15 overall. Carl Albert advanced to the semifinals.

“We’ve got to hold our heads high. Am I sad and disappointed? Yeah, you bet,” Piedmont head coach Rick Scott said. “But in some ways I’m not, because our girls overachieved and fought hard. I’m so proud of the guts they exhibited this year.”

Johnson’s bloop hit was setup by another softly hit ball that fell just out of Piedmont shortstop Abby Detar’s glove to open the frame. Audrie LaValley followed with a hard-hit ball that went under the glove of second baseman Ashlyn Ratliff and rolled all the way to the wall to put runners on second and third.

“We just didn’t get the breaks we needed today,” Scott said.

Carl Albert rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the sixth inning off Piedmont pitcher Kassidy Scott. Scott had coasted until the sixth when the top of Carl Albert’s order came to bat against her for the third time.

“(Scott) is really good, obviously. We knew we had to get something off her that inning,” Carl Albert head coach Colin White said. “We got it going and got two out of it. It was just a matter of getting some energy and emotion.” Read more →

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