County gridiron squads back in full action

Friday, August 24, 2012
Marshall County's all-purpose standout Kevin Peterson (1) is looking to have a big year this for the Tigers as they open the 2012 campaign Friday night at home versus Coffee County. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

All three county gridiron squads will be back under the Friday night lights this week with the Marshall County Tigers and Cornersville Bulldogs hosting opening season opponents in Coffee County and Moore County respectively, while the Forrest Rockets take to road for the second week in a row down at Collinwood.

Forrest is coming off a huge opening season 14-6 win at Perry County and came out of the game unscathed and full of confidence, but has to cut down on turnovers inside the red zone if they want to remain undefeated.

Collinwood is coming off a dismal 1-9 season in 2011 and were pounded 30-6 by the Rockets in Chapel Hill in Week 1 last year.

Forrest's Cage Hargrove (25) breaks up a pass in the end zone at Perry County for the Rockets, who travel to Collinwood this week for a matchup versus the Trojans in the "The Bowl." Photo by

That was not the brand of football the folks down in Wayne County expect from their beloved Trojans and they will look for redemption and a fast start this year versus Forrest.

Before last year's loss to the Rockets, Collinwood had held a 4-0 record versus the Chapel Hill squad with successive wins in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 by an average margin of 25.5 points.

The opening night atmosphere will be electric, but the Rockets survived an early shock from Perry County before turning it on and look for Forrest to leave with a 2-0 record as they turn out the lights in "The Bowl" with a 30-17 win.

Sophomore wide out Justin Black (35) is one of several offensive weapons that quarterback Hayden McMahon will look to get the football to this season in "Frog Bottom." Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers went deep into the playoffs in 2011 and were motoring along until the entire Lewisburg football community was shocked when former head coach Tom Turchetta's contract was not renewed by the Director of Schools.

What followed was a period of uncertainty until Aaron Pitts came back to town as the new head coach.

Pitts sports a quiet persona, but make no mistake, the MTSU graduate has got the Tigers fired up, prepared and ready to go in a short amount of time.

MCHS is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and having a home game at Preston Hopkins Field to start the new campaign is just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers.

Pitts and the Tigers take on a Coffee County squad that has not won more than three games since 2007 and the Red Raiders were trounced 41-7 by Shelbyville last week in Manchester.

The Tigers will not even bother stalking the Red Raiders as the pounce on them early and often in a huge 33-0 win Friday night in Lewisburg.

The hardest test of the week will be taken on by the Cornersville Bulldogs, who entertain a Moore County squad that shutout the defending Class A state champion Wayne County Wildcats 30-0 in Lynchburg.

Was it the graduation of all the Wayne County players or is Moore County that good?

Cornersville head coach Ray Stocstill has been around a long time and he won't let his troops take the field in "Frog Bottom" unprepared or intimidated.

Cornersville has been hit hard by injuries the past few seasons, but they come into the season opener healthy, recharged and restocked.

The Bulldogs face a tough challenge versus the Raiders and will have to keep their hands on the football when they have it and keep Moore County from driving from one end of the field to the other in their always tough, physical brand of football.

Look for the Bulldogs to come up big at home, pulling off a fourth quarter 24-22 upset win over the Raiders.