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.
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.
“There’s still a lot that can shake out,” Gossen said. “There are still several things in play.”
First, Piedmont has to take care of business against an improved, but still beatable Guymon squad that’s 3-5 overall and 1-4 in district.
“They’re a good team,” he said. “You compare them to last year and it’s a whole lot better in almost every facet. They have one of the better running backs we’ll see this year and defensively they’re sound, not flashy, but sound. They’re not real complex, but they’re good at what they do.”
Luckily for Piedmont, it’s the Tigers who have to make the four-hour trek from the panhandle this season.
“The words Guymon at home are a good thing to say,” Gossen said.
Piedmont closes the season by hosting district leader Bishop McGuinness.