CMS Bulldogs vanquish Knights
On Thursday, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating the Riverside Christian Academy Knights 24-14 on Homecoming.
The two teams were locked in a 6-6 tie late in the second quarter before Cornersville (2-5) scored two quick touchdowns to take a 18-6 lead into the break. RCA narrowed the gap to 18-14 early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs responded with a touchdown on their ensuing possession to seal their 10-point victory.
Aided by a strong performance from tailback Matthew Karban, CMS finished with 196 yards of total offense, which included 109 yards rushing on 22 attempts.
Karban rushed for 139 yards on 13 attempts and scored three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs' offensive attack, while Cornersville's other four ball carriers combined for -30 yards.
"Matthew is a huge asset for us because we finally have speed to get to the corner. He's also a tough runner and runs with good pad level," said CMS coach Eric Crabtree. "It feels good to get that monkey off our back and pick up a win."
Bulldog quarterback J.D. Crabtree had an efficient night throwing the ball and completed 4-of-5 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. Nate Huitt and Justin Singleton each hauled in one pass for 41 and 32 yards respectively, while Cody Caneer had two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown.
The Knights, conversely, mustered only 75 yards rushing on 33 carries en route to finishing with 76 yards of total offense. Tailback Nathan Moose paced RCA with 40 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Linebacker Aaron Fox spearheaded the Bulldogs' defensive charge by recording 15 tackles, while Karban and Devontae Brown registered 11 and eight tackles respectively. Mason Hobby, Justin Singleton, and Crabtree each had four tackles as well with Hobby notching an interception and Singleton recovering a fumble.
Cornersville got off to a good start and opened the game with seven-play, 50-yard touchdown drive to grab a 6-0 lead. After Crabtree hit Singleton for a 32-yard gain on 3rd and 15 to pick up the initial first down of the drive, Karban ripped off a 14-yard run to move the ball down to the RCA nine. Carbon then scored on a 9-yard touchdown scamper three plays later.
The Knights quickly counter punched and marched 58 yards to pay dirt in 13 plays, capped by a Josh Hill one-yard touchdown plunge, to tie the game at 6-6 early in the second quarter.
CMS fumbled on their next offensive series and RCA recovered at the Bulldog 34 , but Cornersville bowed it's neck and eventually stopped the Knights on downs to take over at their own 20.
Karban then raced 80 yards down the right sideline on the next play to give the Bulldogs a 12-6 lead with 2:16 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs got the ball back in excellent field position a few moments later when Singleton recovered a fumble by Caleb Durham at the RCA 25.
Karban then scored on a three-yard touchdown run three plays later to give Cornersville an 18-6 lead at halftime.
After Hobby picked off a Jacob Anderson pass on the Knights first possession of the second half, the Bulldogs were forced to punt and suffered a special teams snafu when the snap sailed over the kicker's head, which gave RCA the ball at the Cornersville 15.
Durham then scored on a 12-yard touchdown scamper three plays later before Moose ran in two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 18-14.
The Bulldogs, though, kept their composure and engineered a five-play, 55-yard scoring drive that was punctuated by a 4-yard touchdown catch by Caneer to push their lead to 24-14 with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter.
Cornersville stopped RCA on downs on the Knights' ensuing possession before running out the clock by picking up two first downs to secure their second victory of the year.