Bulldogs do not care how they score -- they just want to do it a lot.
After only three games, undefeated Piedmont has scored 147 points. So far, they've managed 13 rushing touchdowns, seven passing touchdowns and a punt return for a score.
With those numbers, it is obvious that the Bulldogs like to run the ball the majority of the time. According to head coach Steve Smith, Piedmont runs about 70 percent of time and passes the other 30 percent.
One thing the Bulldogs do not do, Smith added, is “try to reinvent the wheel.”
“We run about three different run plays,” Smith said. “We run a lead, a sweep, and a counter. You can try to jazz up the offense any way you want but those are three staple plays in everybody’s offense. We just choose to let that be what we run.”
Piedmont has piled up 1,068 yards on the ground this season.
“I’m a subscriber in trying to be good at what you do instead of trying to be pretty in a bunch of different things,” Smith said.
While the offensive performance has been impressive, Smith said he knows his defense and special teams has made that trip to the end zone a short one.
“In our first game of the year, we had three scores where we had to drive less than 30 yards,” Smith said. “We had a punt return for a touchdown in the second week. It has been a total team effort.”
The Bulldogs’ defense has recovered five fumbles, intercepted one pass and forced a safety. That defense has two players who are used to making plays from the quarterback position: junior safety Tyler Lusk and freshman linebacker Taylor Hayes. However, both have developed into dependable defensive players.
“Only one person can play quarterback,” said Lusk. “You have to do what you can do to help the team.”
Taylor Hayes, who leads the Bulldogs with 32 tackles, agreed.
“Wherever the team needs you and needs the help, that’s where you’re going to play,” said.
The duo still take some snaps at quarterback, but taking the majority of the
playing time behind center has gone to senior Ty Sparks, who transferred to Piedmont from Randolph County. He already has lived up to the reputation quarterbacks have for being the leaders on the team. He said he is not a vocal leader, but a guy who leads by example.
“I think your teammates have to see you doing that,” Sparks said. “Putting in extra reps after practice, throwing routes and extra conditioning. I think
that’s a big part of being a leader.”
Sparks has accounted for seven of the team's touchdowns, including one rushing and six passing.