Jul. 22—Jack Hayes and Jim Ogle lit up a Calhoun County Friday night in one of the county's best high school football games last season. Months later, they get to task the Field of Champions scoreboard on a July Saturday.
Host Piedmont and nearby county rival Jacksonville are among teams set to participate in the 15th Piedmont Passing Camp, Piedmont's annual 7-on-7.
Contests start at 9 a.m., with semifinals set for 3:30 p.m. The championship is at 4:15 p.m.
A 7-on-7 is a game of skill players without linemen involved and emphasizes the passing game. The field includes Handley, Piedmont, Cedar Bluff, Randolph County, Weaver and B.B. Comer in Pool A. Pool B includes Jacksonville, Spring Garden, Sand Rock, Ranburne, Douglas and Dora.
Piedmont coach Steve Smith said he's unfamiliar with personnel for most teams coming in from outside the immediate area. Defending champion Handley typically brings strong skill players and reaches at least the semifinal round.
Hayes, Piedmont's fourth-year starting quarterback, enters his senior season as a two-time Super 7 MVP and reigning Class 3A back of the year. He's within reach of several AHSAA records.
Ogle, Jacksonville's third-year starting quarterback, enters his junior year with offers from Troy and UAB. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder threw for 2,900 yards as a sophomore and was an honorable-mention all-state pick in Class 4A.
Hayes and Ogle filled the air with their handiwork in 2021's 100-point showdown at Piedmont.
Hayes completed 16 of 25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 156 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns.
Ogle completed 13 of 26 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.
Jacksonville was driving to answer Piedmont's go-ahead score, but Omarion Foster's 85-yard interception return with 30 seconds left clinched Piedmont's 55-45 victory.
It marked Hayes' third start against Jacksonville.
"Jack is a competitor," Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said. "He's hard-nosed. He's definitely shown that he can throw the football, but he also brings a running element that is very tough to defend.
"He knows how to win."
Because COVID forced Jacksonville to forfeit its 2020 game at Piedmont, Ogle made his first start at quarterback against Piedmont in the 2021 classic. As an eighth-grader and backup to Luke Jackson, Ogle punted in their 2019 game.
"I like Jim a lot," Piedmont's Steve Smith said. "He's an outstanding passer. He's got a strong arm. He can make all of the throws. He works hard at it.
"From an opposing coach's point of view, I've always been impressed with Jim."
Both quarterbacks saw top surrounding skill players graduate in May. Piedmont receivers Austin Estes and Coleman Reid graduated, as did Foster, an all-state defensive back whose playing time at receiver swelled in big games. Jacoby Zackery was Jacksonville's leading reever last season.
Piedmont returns Max Hanson, who missed two-thirds of the 2021 season with an injury. Gatlyn Gardner, who started at receiver after Hanson's injury, also returns.
The rest of Hayes' receiver corps is new but showed encouraging signs at Piedmont's first 7-on-7 of the summer, at the Hustle Up 7-on-7 at the Hoover Met, Steve Smith said.
Jacksonville returns starters Ky'dric Fisher and Drew Pridgen. Damonte Sinclair also returns, and Will Phillips, younger brother to former Jacksonville basketball star Cade Phillips, has emerged as a promising freshman receiver.
Jacksonville won a 7-on-7, at Gadsden City, and reached the final at Boaz, losing to Guntersville. Jacksonville beat Guntersville and Gadsden City and in pool play at Boaz.
15th annual Piedmont 7-on-7 passing tournament
Pool A includes Piedmont, Weaver, Cedar Bluff, B.B. Comer, Handley and Randolph County.
Pool B includes Jacksonville, Dora, Douglas, Ranburne, Sand Rock and Spring Garden.
(Top two teams from each pool advance to single-elimination championship bracket.)
Piedmont vs. Handley, Field 1
Cedar Bluff vs. Randolph County, Field 2
Weaver vs. B.B. Comer, Field 3
Jacksonville vs. Spring Garden, Field 1
Ranburne vs. Sand Rock, Field 2
Douglas vs. Dora, Field 3
Piedmont vs. B.B. Comer, Field 1
Weaver vs. Cedar Bluff, Field 2
Handley vs. Randolph County, Field 3
Spring Garden vs. Dora, Field 1
Sand Rock vs. Douglas, Field 2
Jacksonville vs. Ranburne, Field 3
Handley JV vs. Cedar Bluff JV, Field 4
Handley vs. B.B. Comer, Field 1
Weaver vs. Randolph County, Field 2
Piedmont vs. Cedar Bluff, Field 3
Jacksonville vs. Dora, Field 1
Ranburne vs. Douglas, Field 2
Piedmont JV vs. Cedar Bluff JV, Field 3
Spring Garden vs. Sand Rock, Field 4
Cedar Bluff vs. B.B. Comer, Field 1
Weaver vs. Handley, Field 2
Piedmont vs. Randolph County, Field 3
Jacksonville vs. Douglas, Field 1
Sand Rock vs. Dora, Field 2
Ranburne vs. Spring Garden, Field 3
Piedmont JV vs. Handley JV, Field 4
Piedmont vs. Weaver, Field 1
Randolph County vs. B.B. Comer, Field 2
Handley vs. Cedar Bluff, Field 3
Spring Garden vs. Dora, Field 1
Ranburne vs. Dora, Field 2
Jacksonville vs. Sand Rock, Field 3
Sixth game for teams finishing third or lower in pool play with Pool A No. 3 vs. Pool B No. 3, Pool A No. 4 vs. Pool B No. 4, Pool A No. 5 vs. Pool B No. 5 and Pool A No. 6 vs. Pool B No. 6.
Pool A No. 1 vs. Pool B No. 2, Field 1
Pool B No. 1 vs. Pool A No. 2, Field 2
4: 15 p.m.
Championship, Field 1
Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.