South Giles doubles up Bulldogs
The Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (3-3) had their two-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night when they suffered a 36-18 loss to the South Giles Eagles at Sam Davis Park in Pulaski.
Having defeated CMS 40-6 earlier in the season, South Giles used a barrage of big plays to build a 30-6 lead in the first half of Thursday's contest before eventually claiming the 18-point victory.
The Eagles recorded five plays of 45 or more yards en route to amassing 374 yards of total offense. Cornersville had trouble corralling South Giles' fleet footed running backs once they got into the open field, as the Eagles churned out 317 yards rushing while averaging a gaudy 13.8 yards per carry.
"They just had too much speed and too much size for our defense," said CMS coach Eric Crabtree. "They had a lot of kids that could run so you couldn't focus on one player."
Keegan Potter spearheaded South Giles' ground attack with 184 yards rushing and two touchdowns on four carries. Eagle quarterback Nicholas Foust added 60 yards rushing and a touchdown on two carries as well, while R'Kell Reed toted the ball three times for 57 yards and a TD.
Foust also completed his lone pass attempt for a 57-yard touchdown to Reed in the first quarter.
Although the Bulldogs showed improvement on the offensive side of the ball since their last meeting with the Eagles, Cornersville finished with a modest 227 yards from scrimmage overall.
CMS had success on the ground and tallied 217 yards rushing on 33 carries. Quarterback Kolbe McMahon paced the Bulldogs' running game with 132 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while Phillip Stampfly added 84 yards on nine carries.
Cornersville, though, was unable to get their passing attack in gear, as McMahon tossed one interception while connecting on only 1-of-8 passes for 10 yards with his lone completion going to Austin Hanntz.
"We have gotten better offensively, but we still haven't reached our potential," said Crabtree. "We could be a better team than we are, but we take a play off here and a play off there. We can't string four or five good plays together."
McMahon led the Bulldog defense with nine tackles, while Adam Qualls and Brock Powers notched five and four tackles respectively. Dakota Polk and Justin Victory also registered two tackles apiece for CMS and Zach Walker recovered a fumble.
South Giles received the opening kickoff and wasted little time getting on the board, as Reed caught a short 4th and 2 pass from Foust in the flat and raced 57 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. Foust then ran in the two point conversion to give the Eagles an 8-0 advantage with 5:50 left in the first quarter.
McMahon broke loose for a 40-yard touchdown jaunt on the Bulldogs first possession to narrow the gap to 8-6, but South Giles stopped Cornersville on the two-point conversion attempt to stay in the lead.
On the Eagles' second offensive series, Potter ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run before fullback Brody Phillips ran in the two-point conversion to make it 16-6 midway through the first quarter.
Following a CMS punt, the Bulldogs caught a break when Potter mishandled a lateral from Foust and Walker pounced on the ball to give Cornersville possession at the South Giles 38.
CMS, however, was unable to cash in on the turnover, as Potter picked off McMahon three plays later to snuff out the Bulldog scoring threat.
Potter quickly followed that up with another big play when he galloped 83 yards for a touchdown on the Eagles' ensuing possession while Foust ran in the two-point conversion to push South Giles' lead to 24-6 early in the second quarter.
After Cornersville was forced to punt on their next drive, Foust scampered 54 yards for a touchdown to stake South Giles to a 30-6 advantage with 3:05 left in the half before Qualls and McMahon stopped Phillips short of the goal on the two-point conversion run.
The Bulldogs lost the ball on downs at the Eagle 24 on their final possession of the first half, but started the third quarter by putting together a five-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to trim the deficit to 30-12. Stampfly rumbled 47 yards on the second play of the series to move the ball down to the South Giles 20 before McMahon scored on a 18-yard jaunt three snaps later.
The Eagles quickly counterpunched and pushed their lead to 36-12 when Reed broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown run with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
Both teams came up empty on their next offensive series before McMahon scored on a seven-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter for the 36-18 final.