Cornersville Middle bludgeons Richland
After whipping Huntland 32-0 in the season opener a week earlier, the Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (2-0) pitched their second straight shutout on Thursday night when they hammered the Richland Raiders 38-0 at home.
The Bulldogs took Richland behind the woodshed early and raced out to a 32-0 lead in the first half before tacking on another touchdown in the third quarter to cruise to their second consecutive win over the Raiders.
Cornersville turned in a dominant performance, as they recorded nine tackles for loss while limiting Richland to -4 yards of total offense and forcing two Richland turnovers.
"We've got a bunch that is aggressive and really likes to hit. We've worked on our run fits a lot and we're a more disciplined team that we've been in the past. They're a fun bunch to coach," said CMS coach Ray Stocstill. "We didn't back off the entire game. That even permeates down to our younger kids. When you've got some talent and you do what you're coached to do you can make things happen."
Linebacker C.J. Coble was Richland's main tormenter and led the Bulldogs with six tackles and a fumble recovery. Devin Baus also recorded four tackles and a sack, while Caleb Crowell, Jacob Brooks, Trenton Warren, and Eli Woodward each had two tackles. Peyton Finch recovered a fumble for Cornersville as well.
Quarterback Trey Stacey was the lone Richland player to gain positive yardage and rushed for 16 yards on 13 carries.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, finished with 239 yards of total offense and averaged an impressive 9.2 yards per play. Cornersville repeatedly gashed the Raiders defense front and rolled up 231 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Tailback Cameron Whitaker spearheaded CMS' ground attack by rushing for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Warren, Woodard, Tyler Wolaver, and Henlee Mitchell also toted the ball three times apiece for 59, 43, 27, and 23 yards respectively with Woodard and Mitchell both scoring two TDs. Woodard attempted one pass as well, completing it for eight yards to Finch.
"We have a number of kids that are very talented and can do some good things when they get the ball in their hands," said Stocstill.
The Bulldogs went straight for Richland's throat and grabbed an quick 6-0 lead when Whitaker broke loose for a 61-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. CMS failed on the two-point conversion attempt to keep the deficit at six.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for the Raiders, as Coble recovered a fumble by Kolby Hargrove at the Raider 36 on the kickoff before Cornersville converted the turnover into points four plays later to open up a 12-0 advantage. After Whitaker picked up five and four yards on consecutive runs, Warren rumbled for 14 yards before Woodard raced into the end zone from 13 yards out.
Richland was forced to punt on their ensuing possession before the Bulldogs marched 39 yards to pay dirt in three plays to stretch their lead to 20-0 with 3:10 left in the first quarter. Following a 22-yard scamper by Woodard, Warren ripped off a nine-yard run. Woodard then scored on an eight-yard touchdown run prior to connecting with Finch on the two-point conversion pass.
The Raiders went three and out again on their next offensive series before Cornersville put together a four-play, 47-yard scoring drive to forge a 26-0 advantage early in the second period. After Whitaker picked up six yards on the first play of the drive, Warren had a 41-yard TD run negated by a motion penalty, but Finch caught an eight-yard pass from Woodard to bring up a 3rd and 1 situation. Warren then broke loose for a 36-yard run to move the chains before Whitaker scampered into the end zone from two yards out.
Bulldogs push on
Richland rolled the dice on their next possession, but was stopped on downs by the Bulldogs at their own 31. That gamble came back to haunt the Raiders, as Mitchell scored on a 10-yard TD run on the final play of the half to give CMS a 32-0 lead at the break.
Richland finally picked up a first down on their opening drive of the second half, but Baus jarred the ball loose from Stacey on a sack three plays before Finch pounced on the pigskin at the Raider 27.
The Bulldogs once again cashed in on the Richland miscue, as Mitchell sprinted into the end zone from 14 yards out a few moments later to push Cornersville's lead to 38-0.
CMS then stopped the Raiders on downs before running out the clock on their final possession to cap their blowout victory.