Moore County tops Bulldogs
The Cornersville Bulldogs (0-2) came up short against Moore County on the gridiron for the fourth straight year when they lost 37-20 to the Raiders on Friday night at home.
After CHS jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, Moore County (2-0) rattled off three straight touchdowns to take a 21-7 advantage into the break.
The Bulldogs then scored TDs on their first two possessions of the second half to whittle the deficit to 28-20 late in the third quarter, but the Raiders pulled away down the stretch and tallied the final nine points of the contest on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Spencer Reese and a safety to cement their 17-point victory.
With their defense and special teams repeatedly setting them up with short fields, Moore County finished with only 224 yards of total offense, but scored touchdowns on five of their eight possessions while not committing a turnover and being penalized only twice for 12 yards. The Raiders also made a couple of big plays in the kicking game and returned two kickoffs for a total of 94 yards to set up a couple of short touchdown drives.
Moore County did most of the damage on the ground and churned out 192 yards rushing on 38 carries. Tailback Austin Henshaw rushed for 77 yards on 11 carries to lead the Raiders' ground assault, while Mason Henshaw added 62 yards and a touchdown on just four attempts to go along with three catches for 29 yards. Reese also toted the ball 18 times for 53 yards and three touchdowns and completed 4-of-5 passes for 32 yards.
Cornersville tallied 269 yards of total offense, which included 161 yards rushing on 37 carries, but were penalized five times for 50 yards and committed one costly turnover deep in their own territory that led to a Moore County touchdown.
'Too many mistakes'
"It was a repeat of last week. We just made too many mistakes to win," said CHS coach John Denton. "Moore County is a well coached team and played a clean game. That was the difference in the game. There were times we were in the right spots but didn't make the plays. Little things add up."
Tailback Chance Dyer once again was the Bulldogs' main offensive weapon and broke the 200-yard mark for the second straight week by racking up 207 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
"Chance keeps working hard and doing his thing, but we also need to give some credit to the offensive line because they're opening up holes for him," said Denton.
CHS quarterback Jamie Crowell completed 10-of-17 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, but finished with -46 yards rushing after being sacked four times.
Justin Black paced Cornersville's receiving corps by hauling in four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Zack Welch notched three receptions for 31 yards as well, while Dyer had two catches for 38 yards.
Crowell led the Bulldog defense with 14 tackles from his safety position. Dyer also recorded nine tackles, while Black had eight tackles. Curt Taylor, Devante Spencer, and Dillard Hatchett registered six, five, and four tackles for Cornersville as well.
The Bulldogs' prospects looked promising at the start of the game, as they forced a three and out by Moore County before putting together an eight-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to grab a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
After Dyer ripped off a 41-yard run on the second play of the series to move the ball down to the Raider 32, the Bulldogs were penalized 10 yards for clipping to set up a 1st and 20 situation. Following a six-yard catch by Black, Dyer picked up 15 yards on two straight carries to move the chains before rumbling for 10 more yards on the next play. Dyer then bulled his way into the end zone from eight yards out while Ben Taylor tacked on the extra point.
Moore County's special teams quickly changed the momentum of the game, as Mason Henshaw returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the CHS 29. The Raiders cashed in on the favorable field position and tied the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter when Reese scored on a four-yard TD run while Cole Price converted the extra point.
Cornersville advanced to midfield on their second offensive series, but saw the drive stall out due to a pair of holding penalties and were forced to punt.
Raiders pull ahead
Moore County reached the end zone again on their next possession and engineered a nine-play, 61-yard drive that was capped by a Austin Henshaw one-yard touchdown plunge to seize a 14-7 advantage with 4:12 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs' problems were quickly compounded a few moments later, as the Raiders recovered a fumble by Dyer at the CHS 26. Moore County made Cornersville pay for the miscue and found pay dirt seven plays later when Reese burrowed his way into the end zone in the closing seconds of the half to push the Raiders' lead to 21-7.
The Bulldogs got their offense cranked back up at the start of the second half and marched 65 yards to the end zone in nine plays to cut the deficit to 21-14.
After ripping off consecutive runs of 17, seven, and six yards, Dyer caught a short swing pass from Crowell and scampered 30 yards to move the ball down to the Moore County five-yard line. Following a two-yard run by Dyer, CHS lost 12 yards due to a bad snap, but Crowell found Black in the end zone for a 15-yard TD pass on 3rd and goal.
The Raiders quickly got those points back, as Austin Henshaw broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown run on Moore County's ensuing possession to make it 28-14 with 7:06 left in the third quarter.
Cornersville continued to battle back and narrowed the gap to 28-20 with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter when Dyer scored on a three-yard touchdown run to punctuate a 12-play, 71-yard drive. Ben Taylor then missed the extra point to keep the deficit at eight.
The Bulldogs' kick coverage team, however, let them down once again, as the Raiders returned the kickoff 59 yards to the CHS 22 before opening up a 35-20 lead early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown dive by Reese four plays later.
After Cornersville lost the ball on downs at their own 34, Moore County chewed 6:22 off the clock on their next drive before the Bulldogs bowed their necks and stopped the Raiders on downs at the three-yard line.
CHS was unable to escape the shadow of their own goal line, as Crowell was sacked in the end zone with :48 left for the 37-20.