Montgomery, AL – Piedmont High School senior quarterback Jack Hayes is leaving quite a legacy.
Last week, he completed 29-of-38 pass attempts for 401 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 42-14 victory over Calhoun County rival Ohatchee.
His five touchdowns accounted for pushed him to No. 1 in AHSAA history while his five TD passes moved him into second place all-time in that touchdown category. Career passing and total offense records are still within his grasp as well.
From Piedmont Coach Steve Smith’s perspective, his senior quarterback’s true worth isn’t in his passing numbers – but in the number of games he has started for the Bulldogs (49) and in the number of games won (42).
“He just somehow finds a way to win the game,” said Smith, who was an outstanding quarterback himself in his high school days. One does not have to look far. Last year’s Class 3A state finals would be a good place to start. Piedmont found itself trailing 29-6 to Montgomery Academy at the half, but Hayes and his teammates battled back to win the 3A state title 35-33 – outscoring their opponents 29-4 in the final two quarters with the points allowed being two intentional safeties.
Piedmont has won two state titles (2019 and 2021) with Hayes under center.
“He is just a natural leader,” says Smith. “The players believe in him, and he believes in them. It is truly an amazing thing to witness week after week.”
Hayes surpassed Lanett quarterback Kristian Story to become the AHSAA’s all-time career leader in touchdowns accounted for last week. Story had 175 in his fabled career, and Hayes now has 179. He tied the record with a 32-yard pass to Max Hanson in the first quarter of last week’s game and broke the record with a 59-yard strike to Thomas Propst on the first play of the second quarter. Propst finished with 11 catches for 128 yards, and Ishmael Bethel had five catches for 170 yards and TDs covering 65 and 80 yards.
Hayes now has 133 career TD passes and 46 rushing touchdowns. He has 8,778 career passing yards, which ranks seventh all-time and is 1,996 yards behind the AHSAA career leader JaMarcus Russell of Williamson, who had 10,774 passing yards in his career before moving on to LSU and becoming the first player picked in the 2007 NFL Draft. Hayes’ career TD passing total is just one behind all-time AHSAA career leader Chris Smelley, who closed out his prep career at American Christian with 134. He went on to have an outstanding career the University of South Carolina quarterbacking for legendary coach Steve Spurrier before returning to Alabama to become a high school coach. He is currently on the staff at Hoover High School.
Story, who is currently a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide team playing safety, holds the AHSAA career total offense record (13,218), which combines passing, rushing and pass receiving yardage. Hayes currently ranks fifth all-time with 11,200 total yards.
Hayes and the 3-1 Bulldogs take on Anniston this Friday night at Piedmont’s Field of Champions.