Trojans bury Bulldogs early
Coming off a disappointing 56-46 setback to Columbia Academy seven days earlier, the Cornersville Bulldogs saw their playoff hopes take another hit on Friday night when they suffered a 47-21 road loss to Region 6-A co-leader Collinwood.
Having defeated the Trojans 38-26 last year, the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-4 Region) self destructed at the start of Friday's contest and committed four first quarter turnovers while Collinwood (7-2, 5-1 Region) raced out to a 31-0 lead in the opening period.
Cornersville finally settled down in the second quarter and put together an 11-play, 83-yard drive that was capped by a 26-yard touchdown catch by Stone Riner to trim the deficit to 31-7 with 9:12 left in the half.
Both teams came up empty on their next two possessions before Collinwood marched from their own 46 to the Bulldog 10 late in the second quarter and stretched their lead to 34-7 thanks to a 27-yard field goal by Brier Daniel on the final play of the first half.
Following a failed onside kick attempt by Cornersville at the start of the second half, the Trojans opened up a 40-7 advantage early in the third quarter when quarterback Logan Montgomery broke loose for a 35-yard touchdown run.
The Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 40-14 on a 15-yard TD run by sophomore tailback Chance Dyer, but Collinwood stretched their lead to 47-14 midway through the third quarter behind an 11-yard touchdown jaunt by Austin Wear on their ensuing drive.
Cornersville then capped the scoring late in the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Jamie Crowell hit Nick Groves for a 13-yard touchdown pass for the 47-21 final.
Due to Friday's loss, the Bulldogs must defeat Richland in their regular season finale and get some help from other teams in order to reach the Class A playoffs.
"I just hope we can come back and have a good week of practice because we have to beat Richland next week," said Cornersville coach Ray Stocstill. "If we can't get excited during practice about possibly making the playoffs then we don't have much of a chance."
Although the Bulldogs finished with 353 yards of total offense, Cornersville repeatedly shot themselves in the foot and committed five turnovers overall during the pivotal first half.
"I don't know if you can lay it on any one thing on why we got off to such a slow start," said Stocstill. "We had a couple of players that were out because of injuries and were on Fall break this week, but we came out flat and weren't ready to play. As a result, we fell into a big hole early and didn't give ourselves a chance to win. I don't want to take anything away from Collinwood though because they're a good football team."
After turning in strong performances in each of his two previous outings, Bulldog quarterback Hayden McMahon came back down to earth against the Trojans, as he completed just 15-of-35 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown while tossing four interceptions.
Crowell acquitted himself well after replacing McMahon at quarterback late in the fourth quarter and completed 4-of-5 passes for 49 yards and a TD.
Justin Black led Cornersville's receiving corps with five catches for 59 yards, and Tyler Lowery hauled in four passes for 54 yards. Riner also tallied three receptions for 47 yards, while Dyer and Cody Blackburn both had two catches for 14 and six yards respectively. Josh Singleton and Devante Spencer each snared one pass as well for 30 and five yards respectively.
Collinwood held the Bulldogs' ground attack in check, as the Bulldogs rushed for a modest 125 yards on 32 carries. Dyer paced Cornersville's running game with 78 yards on 20 carries, while McMahon toted the ball four times for 22 yards. Josh Singleton also added 12 yards on three carries.
The Trojans got off to a red hot start offensively and scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game en route to piling up 449 yards from scrimmage overall while committing no turnovers.
Aided by three long touchdown runs by Montgomery, Collinwood rolled up 343 yards rushing on 34 carries.
Montgomery accounted for nearly two-thirds of the Trojans' offensive output, as he completed 8-of-15 passes for 106 yards while rushing for 182 yards on eight carries, which included touchdown runs of 86, 41, and 35 yards.
Wear and Ben Regan both scored a TD and toted the pigskin five times for 43 and 37 yards respectively. David Bigelow also notched 35 yards on four carries and Peyton Risner chipped in a one-yard touchdown plunge to go along with three catches for 38 yards.
Jeremiah Hensley tallied three catches for 26 yards as well and returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, while Dominic Norato notched two receptions for 42 yards.
Crowell paced the Bulldog defense with 11 tackles, and Groves, Blake Tomlin, and Kyle Dickson registered six tackles apiece. Black also added five tackles, while Dyer and Lincoln Highfill each had four tackles with Highfill recording a sack.
Cornersville will take on the Richland Raiders in Lynnville this Friday night at 7:00 p.m.