Mustangs stampede Bulldogs
The Cornersville Bulldogs (2-4, 1-2 Region) suffered their third straight loss on the gridiron this past Friday night when they were thumped 49-7 on the road by the Loretto Mustangs.
Loretto (5-2, 4-0 Region) grabbed the momentum early and jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to a Cory Allen two-yard touchdown run and a 63-yard TD catch by Spencer Darnell.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 14-7 on a 93-yard kickoff return by Stone Riner, but Zak Kleinke broke loose for an 84-yard TD run to give the Mustangs a 21-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Things continued to go downhill for CHS after that point, as Loretto outscored Cornersville 21-0 in the second quarter to forge a 42-7 lead at halftime before tacking on a touchdown early in the third period to coast to the 42-point victory.
With Friday's loss, the Bulldogs fell into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Region 6-A standings with Perry County and Wayne County, while the Mustangs retained a half game lead over Mt. Pleasant for first place in the conference.
Bolstered by their dominant first half performance, Loretto rolled up 529 yards of total offense, which included 397 yards rushing on 44 carries.
Kleinke spearheaded the Mustangs' ground attack by galloping for 185 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Quarterback Matt Rosson also tallied 99 yards rushing and two TDs on seven carries as well, while Dalton Neese toted the ball four times for 83 yards.
Loretto also burned the Bulldogs with a handful of big plays through the air, as Rosson completed 3-of-5 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Mustang backup quarterback Ryan Ward, meanwhile, completed his lone pass attempt for seven yards.
Darnell led Loretto's receiving corps with two catches for 83 yards and touchdown to go along with a 45-yard interception return for a score.
Cornersville had averaged 32 points per game coming into Friday's contest, but could get nothing going against the Mustangs and finished with a season low 148 yards of total offense.
Loretto held the Bulldogs' usually reliable ground game in check, as CHS mustered just 35 yards rushing on 18 carries. Senior tailback Zach Small paced Cornersville with 40 yards rushing on 13 carries, while Chance Dyer added five yards on two carries.
Bulldog quarterback Hayden McMahon had a tough night throwing the ball and completed just 9-of-24 passes for 113 yards to go along with three interceptions.
Riner was McMahon's primary target and hauled in four passes for 81 yards, while Tyler Lowery had three catches for 28 yards. Cody Blackburn also tallied one reception for four yards.
Cornerback Justin Black led Cornersville's defense with 10 tackles, while Small recorded seven tackles. Josh Singleton, Lincoln Highfill, Nick Groves, and Kyle Dickson notched six, five, four, and three tackles respectively with Highfill registering a sack.
The Bulldogs return to action this Friday night when they host defending Class A state champ Wayne County at 7:00 p.m. for Homecoming.