Saturday, September 29, 2007


Defense sparks Piedmont win
By David Schoen, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 09/29/2007 02:35:40 AM PDT

PIEDMONT — The A-11 offense gets most of the publicity for the Piedmont High football team, but for one night at least, it was the Highlanders' defense that deserved a little bit of love.

The Highlanders held visiting St. Mary's offense in check and Alexander Menke picked off a pass with 2:03 left to preserve Piedmont's 21-14 win Friday night in a Bay Shore Athletic League opener. "Our defense has been solid every week," said Piedmont quarterback Jeremy George, who threw for 155 yards and added 60 on the ground while having a hand in all three of his team's touchdowns. "Every week, we can count on them."

St. Mary's (2-2 overall, 0-1 BSAL) gained only 176 total yards but managed to hang close. Menke dropped the snap on a punt attempt to give St.Mary's possession at the Highlanders' 47, and St. Mary's needed just three plays to pull within 21-14 on Oshoke Maiki's 6-yard run with 6:21 left in the game. However, Piedmont (2-2, 1-0) chewed up most of the remaining time with a 12-play drive, eventually turning the ball over on downs.

On the Panthers' first play afterward, Menke intercepted a Jelani Rivera pass, and Piedmont was able to close it out.
"It's been a real challenge for us to be a consistent offense, and that was the story again tonight," Panthers coach Bert Bertero said. "We're hitting and missing. It's not clicking in the manner we would like, and it's frustrating."

Piedmont's A-11 offense, in which every player can become an eligible receiver, put together an impressive first half. The Highlanders opened with a nine-play drive that culminated in George's 1-yard pass to Joey Holland for a 7-0 lead 4:06 into the game.

St. Mary's took advantage of an interception by Jason Shaw to tie the game on a 13-yard strike from Rivera to Justin Shields with 2:49 left in the first quarter. But the Highlanders took control in the second quarter. George scooted 13 yards for a touchdown with 7:04 to go in the quarter, then guided an impressive 16-play drive that included three key third-down conversions. It culminated when he found Ryan Lipkin alone in with a 4-yard touchdown past just 21.4 seconds before halftime.

"That was our best drive of the year," Highlanders coach Kurt Bryan said. "We're still figuring things out on the offensive side of the ball. Fortunately, we got two big plays and (three) key first downs and it went our way."

Friday, September 28, 2007


New offense clicks in win
Neither rain, nor sloppy field, nor Trinity can keep Piedmont from completing come-from-behind victory
By Jimmy Durkin
Article Launched: 09/28/2007 03:03:50 AM PDT

With this rate of growth, Piedmont High School coach Kurt Bryan's A-11 offense experiment might turn out to be legendary.
For now, the Highlanders are just happy to get their first win after they beat Trinity 20-14 Saturday on a wet, sloppy night in Weaverville.

"There's been exponential growth in installing the new system," Bryan said. "This is kind of a fluid learning curve for the players and the staff. It really came together, even on a wet field and in wet conditions."
Piedmont (1-2) drove the ball inside the Wolves 4-yard line on its first two drives and got six points on short field goals by Jordan Remer.

But in between, Trinity scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion. Another Wolves TD in the second quarter and two missed field goals had the Highlanders facing a 14-8 halftime deficit. In the second half, things started to click for Piedmont.

Senior Rory Bonnin returned a punt 67-yards for a touchdown, and junior quarterback Jeremy George connected with Alexander Menke for the game-tying two-point conversion. In the fourth, George -- who finished an efficient 14-for-26 for 180 yards -- hooked up with sophomore Ryan Andrada for a 60-yard TD pass that gave the Scots the lead for good.

"They (the players) earned it, because Trinity was tough," Bryan said of the win. "They were physically tough. They knew they beat a good team. To get a come from behind win on the road is great way to get the first 'W.' "The win also comes just
in time as it give Piedmont confidence entering Bay Shore Athletic League play at 7 tonight at home against St. Mary's.
"It's not only great timing, but somebody asked me if it got the monkey off my back," Bryan said. "I told them, 'I had the whole zoo on my back.' "

Looking toward tonight's game against the Panthers, Bryan knows his team needs to keep improving at the rate it has through the first three weeks. "They're fast and big," he said of St. Mary's. "and it will be a great test for our team. It would be great to get our first at home if we can continue to improve at a good clip."

Friday, September 21, 2007


New offense taking hold
By Jimmy Durkin
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/21/2007 03:05:42 AM PDT

PIEDMONT -- The second act of Piedmont High School's A-11 offense showed worlds of improvement from Week 1, but it wasn't enough to get past Truckee in a 15-7 nonleague football loss Sept. 14.

Piedmont (0-2) was effective with a short, accurate passing game that is a necessity in the dual-quarterback, six-receiver offense. Quarterbacks Jeremy George and Ryan Lipkin combined to complete 20 of 27 passes for 168 yards. But the running game was muted, managing just 11 yards on 17 carries.

"I don't believe in moral victories, but we were way better than last week," Piedmont coach Kurt Bryan said, comparing this performance to the Highlanders' 31-2 loss to Campolindo in Week 1. The biggest sign of growth was displayed in a 12-play, 78-yard drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth.

Eight of nine pass attempts were complete on the drive, and George (14-for-19, 108 yards) capped it with an 8-yard TD pass to Joey Andrada for the Highlanders' first offensive points of the season. "That was great for the kids ... that was great for the system," Bryan said. "We finally put all the pieces together against a very good team."

Truckee coach Bob Shaffer was impressed by what he saw from Piedmont and believes it has potential. "They definitely have some personnel that can run (the A-11)," Shaffer said. "They just need a little more experience. But that's a good football team."

The Highlanders' undoing was a strong Truckee (2-1) running game that gained 237 yards and punched in two touchdowns.
The Wolverines scored on a 6-yard TD run by Ryan Macken early in the second quarter, and they made it 12-0 on a 4-yard Ryan Roberts run in the third quarter. Piedmont's lone touchdown came with 8:39 left in the game to make it 12-7.

After Piedmont's defense held Truckee to a field goal, the Highlanders came up empty on their ensuing drive.
Piedmont got the ball back one final time, but an interception ended the comeback hopes. "The defense played fantastic," Bryan said. "I thought in the first quarter when we were inside the 20-yard line and didn't score, that was a killer. . . . But I was very impressed with what I saw in the second half on offense."

Friday, September 14, 2007


Campolindo stops Piedmont in opener
By Steve Dulas
Article Launched: 09/14/2007 03:04:30 AM PDT

MORAGA -- Campolindo's Adam Scharff threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third during a seven-minute stretch in the second quarter, breaking the game open in a 31-2 victory over Piedmont. Campolindo (1-0) dominated the first quarter but had nothing to show for it until Cookie Kazzaz ended a 49-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

Campolindo, which held Piedmont (0-1) to 34 yards in the first half, forced the Highlanders to punt on their next possession and took over at the Piedmont 39 after a 16-yard punt. Three plays later Scharff lofted a 17-yard scoring pass to Nathan Kinney in the corner of the end zone with 7:40 left in the first half.

A blocked punt by Tyler Rittenour gave the Cougars the ball at Piedmont's 11-yard line. Scharff ran for 6 yards on a delay on first down, then flipped a 4-yard scoring pass to Nick Mascheroni. Scharff pushed the lead to 28-0 when he burst up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left in the half. Scharff went 7-of-13 passing for 119 yards and also rushed for 29 yards.

Kazzaz ran for 79 yards on 13 carries in his varsity debut, and Anthony Rodriguez added 43 yards on 10 carries.
Piedmont presented a non-traditional offensive look: Quarterback Jeremy George was in the shotgun on every snap, tailback Ryan Lipkin lined up next to him in each play and took almost as many snaps from center, and the Highlanders alternated split ends as the fifth offensive lineman in an unbalanced formation.

Campolindo's defense, led by Jackson Rice and Mike Greco, gave it a traditional drubbing. The Highlanders did get to the Campolindo 1-yard line before Lipkin's fourth-down pass was incomplete. But they scored a safety on the next play when Campolindo was called for offensive holding in the end zone.