Bulldogs drub Zion Christian in Pigskin Preview

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Cornersville's Cody Blackburn and Jamie Crowell combine to bring down Zion Christian tailback Jonquil Murray on a running play in the first quarter. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs showed some promising signs for the 2012 football season when they defeated the Zion Christian Academy Eagles 22-10 in the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Pigskin Preview on Friday night at Preston Hopkins Field.

With the contest lasting just one half, Zion Christian jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Bulldogs controlled the action after that point and scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions to forge a 22-3 advantage midway through the second quarter before cruising to the 12-point victory.

Cornersville had little trouble moving the ball against the Eagle defense and tallied 186 yards of total offense with 136 yards coming through the air.

Cornersville's Justin Black lunges across the goal line while scoring on a 12-yard touchdown catch against Zion Christian in the first quarter.

Quarterback Hayden McMahon looked comfortable guiding the Bulldog offense, as he completed 7-of-9 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 15 yards and a score on two carries. Backup quarterbacks Jamie Crowell and J.D. Crabtree both completed their lone pass attempt for 52 and 21 yards respectively with Crowell tossing a touchdown.

"I thought Hayden did some things really well. He made some nice runs and some good reads throwing the ball," said CHS coach Ray Stocstill. "He really made some strides this week and improved his footwork. Jamie Crowell came in and played well for us too."

Wide out Stone Riner led Cornersville's receiving corps with three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Cody Blackburn also hauled in three passes for 26 yards, while Devante Spencer, Justin Black, and Nick Groves each had one reception for 21, 12, and three yards respectively with Black scoring a touchdown.

Cornersville's Devante Spencer evades Zion Chrisitan's Daniel Hudson during a 21-yard gain after catching a short pass from quarterback J.D. Crabtree.

Hindered by two sacks, the Bulldogs finished with a modest 50 yards rushing on 13 carries. Tailback Chance Dyer paced CHS' ground game with 36 yards on four carries, while Zach Small toted the ball four times as well for nine yards.

Zion Christian ended the contest with 126 yards of total offense, but mustered only 56 yards on their first four drives.

After seeing the Eagles have some early success on the ground, the Bulldog defense stiffened and limited ZCA to 50 yards rushing on 17 carries.

Tailback Terrell Blakesleay led the Eagles in rushing with 16 yards on six carries.

Zion Christian quarterback Jesse Buckner struggled throwing the ball and completed only 2-of-8 passes for 18 yards to go along with an interception. Eagle backup signal caller Jarrett DeLozier connected on 4-of-6 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.

Caleb Coble was DeLozier's primary target and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Dyer, Groves, Crowell, and Blackburn each recorded three tackles to lead the Bulldogs' defensive effort with Dyer notching an interception.

Zion Christian grabbed the momentum early on and started the game by driving from their own 30 to the CHS 13 in 10 plays, highlighted by a 20-yard catch by Paul Neelley.

The Bulldog defense then bowed it's neck and limited the Eagles to one yard on their next three plays before Daniel Hudson booted a 29-yard field goal to give Zion Christian a 3-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first quarter.

Cornersville mounted an immediate response and put together a nine-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to pull ahead 8-3 late in the first quarter. Following a seven-yard reception by Blackburn, Small and Dyer sandwiched 10-yard runs around a eight-yard catch by Riner to move the ball to the Eagle 35. After scrambling for 12 yards to convert a 3rd and 7 situation, McMahon hit Black for a 12-yard touchdown pass two plays later before Black ran in the two-point conversion.

Dyer set up the Bulldog offense with good field position a few moments later when he picked off a Buckner pass at the ZCA 35.

Cornersville lost four yards on their next two plays, but the Eagles were called for defensive encroachment to put CHS in a 3rd and 9 situation before McMahon found Blackburn for a 20-yard pickup to move the chains. Riner then hauled in a 14-yard pass to convert a 3rd and 12 predicament before McMahon scored on a three-yard touchdown run two plays later to make it 14-3 with 8:14 remaining in the second period.

Although the Bulldogs missed the two-point conversion, they forced Zion Christian to punt on their next two possessions before Riner caught a short pass from Crowell and raced 52 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Crowell then ran in the two-point conversion to give Cornersville a 22-3 advantage with 4:31 left.

The Eagles finally found the end zone on their last offensive series, as they engineered a 10-play, 70-yard touchdown drive against the CHS reserves, capped by an eight-yard TD catch by Coble, for the 22-10 final.