Piedmont clinched its first playoff berth since 2005 with a 51-0 win over the Guymon Tigers at Stout Field Friday night.
The Wildcats scored all 51 points in the first half and played with a running clock in the second half to earn its first shutout of the season. Piedmont improved to 5-4 on the season and 4-2 in district play, keeping the Wildcats in third place.
The game plan early was to get the ball into Cassius Calhoun’s hands early and often. Calhoun first reached pay dirt a minute and a half into the game on an 11-yard run, and ended up reaching the endzone two more times on the night.
Guymon threatened on its first possession, putting together a pair of big plays to get deep into Piedmont territory. But Jared Slavens picked off a Guymon pass to stop the drive in its tracks. The following Piedmont drive saw quarterback Collin Bricker dive into the endzone for a two-yard touchdown.
The defense was, obviously, engaged on Friday night. Darrius Burris trapped the Guymon quarterback late in the first quarter, forcing a safety. Bricker and Christian Foster would hook up on the next drive for a 34-yard pitch and catch touchdown. On the ensuing Guymon drive, Daryl Burns picked off and ran in for a 34-yard pick six. The Wildcats scored 30 points in the first quarter.
Guymon was forced to punt early in the second quarter, and Calhoun responded with a 33-yard rushing touchdown. Foster picked off the Guymon quarterback for the Wildcats second forced turnover on the night. Bricker would run 47 yards on Piedmont’s following possession for a touchdown. Calhoun would end the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown dive.
Piedmont raced through the second half, thanks to a running clock, and a number of younger Wildcats got the chance to get some game time. Bubba Bailey recovered a fumble and Kyle Owen recorded an interception.
Bricker finished the night with 90 yards on 6-of-11 passing with one touchdown and gained 64 yards on four rushes with two scores. The Wildcats took advantage of a weak Guymon rushing defense and weren’t forced to lean on the pass attack.
Calhoun rushed 18 times for 218 yards and three scores. Steffan Funkhouser rushed four times for 27 yards, Zack Tucker rushed six times for 35 yards and Blaine Culp rushed six times for 22 yards.
Foster reeled in two catches for 48 yards and a score. Calhoun caught one pass for four yards, Funkhouser cause two for 30 yards and Tyler Hamption caught one pass for eight yards.
“We knew we had to come out here and play well,” Calhoun said. “Guymon is a good squad and we needed this win. We came out with a mission to take what was ours and win at home. Now we look to Cache and senior night.”
The win clinches the Wildcats a playoff berth and will likely put Piedmont in the third seed from District 4A-1.
“We need to take care of business next week against Cache,” Coach Craig Church said. “It’s shaping up that we’re going to be the third place team. There’s not much difference in the three teams we might play (in the playoffs). And our goal is to reach the second round.
“Today was exciting because of how our guys handled things. Their maturity was very impressive to our coaching staff. They dealt with things well. Now, we just have to continue to hope to improve and play our way into the second round of the playoffs.”
The Wildcats will host Cache next week in their final home game of the season. The game will also include Senior Night ceremonies for this year’s seniors.