Top-ranked Piedmont makes the most of its possessions to down Warriors

CENTRE – For the second straight week, the top-ranked football team in Class 3A found itself in a dogfight against a larger team.

And, for the second straight week, the Piedmont Bulldogs made the most out of their possessions.

Bulldog senior quarterback Taylor Hayes accounted for 162 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also threw for 73 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Darien Bossie in the first quarter, in the Bulldogs’ 35-21 victory at Cherokee County on Friday.

The win improved Piedmont’s record to 2-0, while the Warriors dropped to 0-2.

“When we got the ball, we basically scored every time but once before halftime,” Hayes said. “Our O-line did a tremendous job. They were making holes. We weren’t getting touched until we were five or six yards down the field on almost every play. It was easy to run. When you’ve got guys blocking for you, all you’ve got to do is run straight.”

Smith said nothing surprises him when it comes to Hayes.

“The kid’s a winner,” Smith said. “If you’re starting a high school football team in Alabama and you said I get one player to pick and start it with, Taylor Hayes would be the guy I’d start it with. Everybody from Piedmont can see how he lays it on the line every play, but he’s also the best encourager and motivator for the rest of our guys to give their best effort.”

Some of Piedmont’s best efforts came from several younger players.

Junior running back Lee Stanley tallied 130 yards on 13 carries, including a 44-yard touchdown on Piedmont’s first possession of the second half to go up 21-14. Then, junior defensive back Cardavion Myers picked off a Tyren Dupree pass to end a Warrior drive. Eight plays after the pick, Hayes scored on an 11-yard run to put Piedmont in front 27-14 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

On the Warriors’ ensuing possession, Dupree was picked off again – this time by sophomore defensive back Kaedon Jenkins. Five plays later, Hayes scored again on an 18-yard run. He then threw a 2-point conversion pass to Myers, giving the Bulldogs a commanding 35-14 advantage just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter.

“We felt confident we could move the football,” Smith said. “The first half, we only had three possessions. We scored on the first two, then we ran out of time at the end (of the first half). We needed to come out with a good drive to start the third quarter and we did that.

“We got after the quarterback a little bit. Tyren Dupree played a heck of a game for them tonight extending plays. We couldn’t get him on the ground. (On Myers’ interception), we made him scramble to his left and he had to throw against his body a little bit. He kind of under threw it, and Cardavion made a great play on it for us. That got us the ball back with a touchdown lead. We put together a nice, long drive right there and just kind of grinded it out.”

But the Warriors didn’t quit. Dupree connected with senior all-purpose player Jacob Graves for a 50-yard score to help close the gap to 35-21 with 10:09 remaining in the game. The Warrior defense then forced a Bulldog punt – their first of the night – but the offense sputtered and was forced to kick it away themselves with 5:45 to go.

Piedmont was able to run out the clock for the final.

Hayes got Piedmont going on its first possession. He capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive with his 48-yard touchdown connection to Bossie with just under 10 seconds to go in the first quarter. The drive was aided by a Warrior offside penalty on fourth-and-inches at the Piedmont 11-yard line.

“We jumped offside on fourth down there, then they went on to score on that,” Warrior coach Tripp Curry said. “I thought it could have been 14-7 (at halftime), then them getting the ball in the second half wouldn’t have been that big a deal. We had some breakdowns, but we played better this week than we did last week (against Rockmart, Ga.). They won on running the football in between the tackles. We won on the big play, but we’ve got to make sure we can run between the tackles and we’re not doing that right now. We’re good enough to do that, but we’ve just got to do that.”

As Curry said, the Warriors had their share of big plays. They responded to Piedmont’s first score with a 42-yard Dupree-to-Quartez Henderson touchdown connection. James Sewell’s extra point tied the game at 7 with 9:51 left in the first half.

Dupree completed 11-of-17 pass attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 34 yards on 12 carries.

Piedmont answered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped off by senior running back Austin Brazier’s 5-yard touchdown run, putting the Bulldogs back out in front 14-7.

After a 47-yard kickoff return by junior Sidney Perry, the Warrior offense set up at the Bulldog 39. Five plays later, senior running back Brendan Bray scored on a 3-yard run with 46.6 seconds remaining in the first half to tie the game again at 14.

Piedmont managed to drive down to the Warrior 17, but Easton Kirk’s field goal attempt was botched.

Piedmont opens Class 3A, Region 5 action at Glencoe on Friday. The Warriors look to rebound next week in Class 4A, Region 5 play at home against Hokes Bluff.

“I feel like we made a huge stride (Friday night),” Curry said. “Last week (against Rockmart, Ga.) we made a ton of mistakes, but the main thing now is Hokes Bluff. Our guys can’t worry about Piedmont and the season’s over. It’s just really starting for us, getting into region play. We’ve got to worry about Hokes Bluff and keep working.”

Calling all small businesses, non-profits and social organizations

Roman Record is always on the lookout for local small businesses, non-profit organizations and now, social clubs, to feature each Monday in print and online. To be placed on our schedule, just click on the appropriate form at left to download, print and complete, then send it to us either by email at or by mail to: Roman Record, 305 E. Sixth Ave., Rome, GA 30161. A Word document version is also available by request. For a small business, choose Small Business Snapshot, for a non-profit organization or a social club, the Highlighting Helping Hands and Romans Reach Out form does double duty.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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For more information call 706-290-5252.

Editor’s Column: Smoker finally fulfills dream; UGA, Tech predictions

Smoker’s journey leads to MLB mound

Josh Smoker was about as dominant a high school pitcher as I’ve ever seen. He came along before my time working in Calhoun, but I saw on multiple occasions the lefty mow down my alma mater Pepperell on the mound when I would go to watch the games as a fan.

When he was picked in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals, I, along with a lot of others in the area, thought he would make his way to the Majors in no time and be a fixture in the team’s rotation.

But things didn’t exactly work out like expected. Smoker struggled at times and suffered through multiple injuries, including shoulder troubles that eventually forced the Nationals to release him in 2013. But when many players would’ve given up completely on their MLB dream following six tough seasons in the Minors, Smoker decided his story wasn’t over yet.

After taking time to let his shoulder heal, he signed on with the Independent League Rockford Aviators and had enough success in 2014 with them to earn a tryout with the New York Mets the following Spring. He impressed and was signed to a Minor-League contract.

After making his way through three levels and all the way to Double-A in 2015, Smoker was added to the Mets’ 40-man roster and competed for a spot in the bullpen this past Spring. After not making the cut coming out of Spring, Smoker once again took the setback in stride and went to Triple-A Las Vegas where he had his ups and downs over the first few months of the season.

But after some impressive and even dominant outings in July, Smoker finally got the call that every baseball player dreams of growing up. He was called up to the big club to be the extra man for a doubleheader on July 26. He didn’t get to make an appearance in the game and was quickly optioned back to Triple-A the following day.

A few weeks later, he got that call again. He was called back up to the Mets last Friday, and this time it wasn’t for one day. Smoker made his MLB debut that night with a relief appearance in San Francisco. His long and trying journey had led to pitching in the Majors.

And the even better part is that his journey isn’t going to end there. Smoker should just be getting started. A lefty relief pitcher that can hit mid-to-high 90s on the gun will always get a look from MLB teams.

I’ve only met Josh and talked to him on the phone on a few occasions, but from those few interactions, I have learned that he is a very humble, hard-working person. I applaud him for not giving up on his dream and making it into reality. I can honestly say that myself and the Calhoun community are proud of this accomplishment and look forward to seeing what he does in the future.

UGA, Tech season predictions

Last week I made my College Football Playoff Picks so today I’m going to take a little closer look at Georgia and Georgia Tech and what I see in my crystal ball for them.

The Bulldogs’ faithful is as amped up as they’ve been in years as Kirby Smart has arrived in Athens for what they hope will be a lot of great years that include multiple national titles. But he’s got to start somewhere. And I think his first years will show promise, but the Bulldogs aren’t ready to win big just yet.

With the quarterback situation up in the air, I think the Bulldogs are looking at an 8-4 or 9-3-type season. This year is about starting the transformation from Mark Richt’s team into Smart’s team. He will make them tougher, and they will be a legit contender in 2017. Have patience, Bulldog fans. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I think you guys have the right man in place to lead you where Richt couldn’t.

The Jackets, on the other hand, are coming off their worst season in almost two decades. (I know. I saw it live and in person as I finally decided last year was the year to become a season-ticket holder. Good timing, right?)

I feel like a rebound season is in order for Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech. I think 6-6 or 7-5 is about right. Offensive line play can’t be any worse than it was last year, and a lot of players that took their lumps in 2015 will come back with good experience that will translate in more consistent play.

There you go. That’s what I think. Don’t take it to the bank. I’m the guy that said Tech would win 10 games last season. No matter what we all think, we can all agree on one thing… we’re ready for college football.

Fantasy Football Draft Day

This Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year. I’ll gather around the grill with my brothers and some of my closest friends for some good food and shortly after Fantasy Football Draft Day will commence.

I think that the draft might be even more fun than actually playing fantasy football. Picking your own team like an NFL GM and getting to brag on your picks and give the other draftees a hard time about theirs is incredibly entertaining.

Those who make fun of people who play fantasy sports obviously have something wrong with themselves. It’s not our fault that you don’t like having fun. Stay over their in your world, and we’ll continue to spend more time than we probably should worrying about who to start every week, how to overcome our players’ bye weeks, what trades we can make that will improve our teams and destroy our opponents’ teams and if our waiver wire claims will be successful.

I honestly count the days down until my fantasy draft and as of when this column runs, I’ll be down to one. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to my mock draft. I’m sure you understand.

Cherokee County Board of Education to meet Tuesday, Aug. 30

The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Education is Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 and will be held at the Central Office.

The Board Meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and items on the agenda include:

1. Adopt Agenda

2. Approve Minutes

3. Recognize State 4-H Quiz Bowl Winners

4. Mr. Casey Young to Present 2015-16 SIR Report

5. Approve Superintendent’s 2016-17 Sick Leave Committee Representative

6. Approve 2016-17 Renewal of ATBE Automobile Fund Participation

7. Approve 2016-17 Renewal of ATBE General Liability/Errors and Omissions Liability Fund Participation

8. Approve Agreement for with CED Mental Health Center for Health Services

9. Accept Bid for Google Console License

10. Approve Energy Saving Budget for Cherokee County High School

11. Approve Energy Saving Budget for Gaylesville School

12. Personnel

13. Approve Professional Development

14. Review Job Postings

15. Other

The Board regularly meets on the first and third Tuesdays of a month at 6 p.m. at the Central Office.

Police seeking suspects in Thursday night armed robbery in Polk

Polk County Police detectives are seeking help from the public in finding three men who got away with an undisclosed amount of merchandise and money from a Rockmart area convenience store Thursday night.

According to Polk County Police Assistant Chief Kiki Evans, Detective B. Brady is working the case following the robbery at gunpoint which happened around 10 p.m. Thursday night at Grand’s store at 998 Cedartown Highway. 

She said the men, covered from head to toe, entered the store and demanded cash from the register. 

They only left the store after holding up the clerk once the owner, who was working in the office at the time, came out during the middle of the robbery holding a samurai sword and scared the trio away, according to Evans. 

Despite a police search Thursday night including the use of K-9 dogs, no suspects have yet been found. 

Evans said video evidence from the store is still in the process of being obtained. 

Any information the public might have about this robbery should be directed to Brady by calling the Polk County Police Department at 770-748-7331. 

GNTC Prep Central Scoreboard August 26

Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Rome  –
Harrison  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Ridgeland  –
Pepperell  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Model  –
Sonoraville  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Armuchee  –
LFO  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Coosa  –
Coahulla Creek  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Cedartown  –
Rockmart  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Calhoun  –
Dalton  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
SE Whitfield  –
Gordon Central  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Shiloh Hills  –
Unity Christian  –
Team First Second Third Fourth Final
Trion  –
LaFayette  –

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities.  Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC. 

Man accused of having Xanax, running from police

A Rome man remained in jail Friday without bond after being accused of having Xanax and running away from police.

According to Floyd County Jail reports:

Joseph Jeahrome Beach, 34, of 2827 Maple Road, was arrested at 10:42 p.m. Thursday on North Broad Street.

Beach tried to run away after officers found two Xanax pills in a plastic bag in a cup holder in Beach’s car.

Beach is charged with felony possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and misdemeanor charges of drugs not in the original container, driving without a license, improper headlights and obstruction.


GDOL to help Shaw Industries recruit in Calhoun

The Georgia Department of Labor will help Shaw Industries recruit 100 lift truck operators for its plant in Adairsville.

The recruitment will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College-Gordon County Campus located at 1151 Highway 53 Spur S.W. in Calhoun. GDOL staff will be on site to help screen applicants.

Due to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, all applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Salaries depend on experience.

Applicants are encouraged to dress appropriately to improve their opportunities for jobs.

For more information about the jobs, or to apply online, visit to create an account and upload, or prepare, a resume. Having an Employ Georgia account expedites the interview process.

For more information about the recruitment, contact the GDOL’s Rome Career Center at (706) 295-6051. The career center is located at 462 Riverside Parkway, N.E. in Rome, and it is open to serve the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Sand Rock opens volleyball season with tri-match sweep of Cherokee County, Spring Garden

CENTRE – The Sand Rock Lady Wildcats opened the 2016 volleyball season Thursday with a pair of victories over Cherokee County and Spring Garden.

The Lady Wildcats (2-0) defeated host Cherokee County 25-18, 23-25 and 15-13. They also earned a 25-21, 25-10 win over Spring Garden.

Haylie Pruitt led the charge with 19 kills. Erin Langley added 19 assists and five aces. Paige Norris contributed 19 digs. August Gilliland collected eight kills and eight digs. Savannah Blackwell tallied seven kills, 11 digs and four aces. Audrey Richardson finished with 13 assists.

Sand Rock plays in a tournament at Sardis on Saturday.