Bulldogs blow out Richland
After losing their first two games of the season, the Cornersville Bulldogs came through in a must win situation on Friday night when they crushed District rival Richland 54-24 in Lynnville.
Having won four of the previous five meetings against the Raiders, the Bulldogs took the wind out of Richland's sails early and raced out to a 40-18 lead in the first half. Cornersville then tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to forge a 54-18 advantage before cruising to the 30-point victory.
Goals in view
"It was extremely important to win this game. Our goal is to still have a non losing record and make the playoffs. This win sets us up to achieve those goals," said CHS coach John Denton.
The Bulldogs moved the ball at will against the Raiders and racked up 521 yards of total offense while averaging a gaudy 9.3 yards per play. Cornersville plowed through Richland's defensive front and churned out 371 yards rushing on 46 carries.
After suffering a season ending elbow injury against the Raiders a year ago, CHS senior quarterback Jamie Crowell enjoyed a banner night against Richland on Friday, as he rushed for a career high 186 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while also completing 7-of-10 passes for 150 yards and a TD to go along with one interception.
Dyer speeds away
Coming off a pair of 200-yard rushing performances against Huntland and Moore County in the first two weeks of the season, Bulldog tailback Chance Dyer once again posted impressive numbers and toted the ball 21 times for 177 yards and a career high five touchdowns. Kolbe McMahon also added 20 yards rushing on six carries for Cornersville.
"We weren't expecting Jamie to run that much, but they were trying to key on Chance and that opened up the quarterback runs for us," said Denton. "Chance just keeps getting better and the line is becoming more consistent and is starting to jell. That's creating some big play opportunities for Chance and he's hitting the holes."
Zach Welch paced the Bulldogs' receiving corps by hauling in two passes for 93 yards, while Justin Black added a 35-yard TD catch. Devante Spencer also tallied three receptions for 16 yards and William Liles had one catch for six yards.
Cornersville, meanwhile, limited Richland to just 214 yards of total offense, which included 161 yards rushing on 32 carries. Dyer and Blake Tomlin both recorded five tackles to lead the Bulldogs defensively, while Lane Hagood and Dillard Hatchett notched four tackles apiece.
Caleb Briggs rushed for a 72-yard touchdown on his lone carry to pace the Raiders ground game to go along with two catches for 41 yards. Tyler Hunter also toted the ball 14 times for 47 yards and a TD, while John Hinkle added 40 yards rushing on six carries for Richland.
Raider quarterback Hollis Helton had a tough night throwing the ball and completed just 5-of-11 passes for 57 yards.
The Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the board and grabbed a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when Dyer burst up the middle for a 29-yard touchdown run on CHS's first possession while Ben Taylor converted the extra point.
Hinkle returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a TD to whittle the deficit to 7-6, but the Raiders missed the extra point before Crowell broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown jaunt to give Cornersville a 13-6 advantage.
After CHS defensive end Curt Taylor recovered a Richland fumble at midfield, the Bulldogs cashed in on the turnover when Dyer scored on a one-yard TD run to make it 19-6 with 4:25 left in the first quarter.
The Raiders narrowed the gap to 19-12 early in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown plunge by Hunter, but Crowell burrowed his way into the end zone from two yards out on Cornersville's ensuing possession prior to finding Black in the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt to stretch the Bulldogs' lead to 27-12.
Following a Richland punt, CHS opened up a 33-12 advantage on a Dyer five-yard TD run, before Dyer scored again on a one-yard touchdown dive that was set up by a 61-yard reception by Welch to extend Cornersville's lead to 40-12 with 4:44 left in the second quarter.
Briggs raced 72 yards for a touchdown in the waning moments of the first half to close the gap to 40-18 at the break, but Crowell hit Black for a 35-yard TD strike on CHS' opening possession of the third quarter to stretch the Bulldogs' lead to 47-18.
After Cornersville stopped the Raiders on downs at the Bulldog 42, Dyer broke free for a 38-yard TD run a few moments later to stake CHS to a 54-18 advantage with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
Helton then scored on a six-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter for the 54-24 final.