Bulldogs knock off Wayne County
The Cornersville Bulldogs (3-4, 2-2 Region) picked up an important win on Friday night when they defeated defending Class A state champ Wayne County 21-18 on Homecoming to snap a three-game losing streak.
Cornersville landed the first punch of the game when senior quarterback Hayden McMahon connected with wide out Stone Riner for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the opening quarter while Victory Palma tacked on the extra point to give CHS a 7-0 lead.
After Wayne County (2-5, 1-3 Region) narrowed the gap to 7-6 in the second quarter on an 18-yard TD catch by Chase Camfield, the Bulldogs blocked the extra point attempt before McMahon hit Riner for a 74-yard touchdown strike to stake Cornersville to a 14-6 advantage at halftime.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to 14-12 in the third quarter when quarterback Carson Kelly hooked up with Ian Powell for a 35-yard TD pass, but the Bulldogs stopped Jacob Bevis short of the goal line on the two-point conversion run to stay in the lead.
Cornersville's special teams made a another pivotal play late in the fourth quarter by blocking a Wayne County punt deep in Wildcat territory.
The Bulldogs were able to cash in on the good field position, as tailback Chance Dyer scored on a three-yard touchdown run a few moments later to push CHS' lead to 21-12.
"Our special teams was great tonight," said Cornersville coach Ray Stocstill. "Victor hit all three of his extra points and that proved to be the difference in the game. Our punt team also did a good job of pinning Wayne County close to their end zone for much of the night."
On Wayne County's final possession, Bevis broke loose for a 94-yard touchdown run as time expired for the 21-18 final.
With Friday's triumph, the Bulldogs moved into fourth place in the Region 6-A standings while defeating the Wildcats on the gridiron for the first time since 2000.
"This win was really big. First it was a Region game and second we haven't beaten Wayne County in a long time. We had a big crowd here tonight and this win kept us in contention for a playoff spot," said Stocstill. "I think the guys were disappointed in the way we played against Loretto last week and were ready to redeem themselves. They came out ready to play and I couldn't be any prouder of them because it was a total team effort."
Although the Wildcats limited Cornersville to a modest 97 yards rushing on 26 carries, the Bulldogs still finished with 355 yards of total offense thanks to a strong performance by McMahon, who completed 19-of-33 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Riner had a big night and led CHS' receiving corps by hauling in seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyler Lowery added six catches for 76 yards. Justin Black also notched four receptions for 39 yards and Cody Blackburn snared two passes for 16 yards.
Dyer paced the Bulldogs' ground game with 77 yards on 20 carries, while McMahon toted the ball three times for 23 yards. Josh Singleton also chipped in eight yards on two carries.
Aided by Bevis' long touchdown run at the end of the game, Wayne County rushed for 287 yards on 40 carries en route to tallying 344 yards of total offense.
Bevis led the Wildcats rushing attack with 203 yards on 18 carries, while Carson Kelly added 38 yards on 10 carries.
Keeton Kelly tossed two touchdowns, but completed just 3-of-10 passes overall for 57 yards. Brandon Lowe had his lone pass attempt of the game picked off while rushing for just 21 yards on eight carries.
Cornersville returns to action this Friday night when they host Region 6-A foe Columbia Academy at 7:00.