CMS Bulldogs achieve regular-season perfection
The Cornersville Middle School Bulldogs (7-0) completed the first perfect season in the program's history on Thursday night when they travelled to Lynnville and hammered the Richland Raiders 36-12 in their regular season finale.
Cornersville delivered an early knockout blow to the Raiders (1-6) and built a 30-6 lead through the first two quarters of play Despite playing their reserves the entire second half, the Bulldogs tacked on another touchdown in the fourth quarter to open up a 36-6 advantage before cruising to their third straight victory over Richland.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment. Anytime you can go undefeated in the regular season it's special. This team works hard and when the lights come on they come on," said Cornersville coach Ray Stocstill.
With Thursday's triumph, the Bulldogs extended their current winning streak to 11 games and have outscored their seven opponents this season by a count of 212-20.
"Before this game we had only given up only one touchdown this year and held the teams we played to negative yards for the season," said Stocstill. "This was a dominant team that played their hearts out."
CMS turned in another stellar defensive performance on Thursday, as they held the Raiders without an offensive touchdown while limiting Richland to a mere 28 yards of total offense.
Linebackers C.J. Coble and Trenton Warren both recorded eight tackles to lead the Bulldog defense, while Noah Polk and Bryan Giles notched six and five tackles respectively. Devin Baus, Trace Griest, and Hunter Sharp tallied three tackles apiece for Cornersville as well.
Kolby Hargrove was the Raiders' lone bright spot, as he rushed for a team high 26 yards on eight carries and scored two touchdowns on a pick-six and a fumble return.
Racking up yards
Bolstered by their first half offensive flurry, the Bulldogs rolled up 308 yards from scrimmage, all on the ground, while averaging a gaudy 11 yards per carry.
Quarterback Eli Woodard led Cornersville's ground attack by rushing for 101 yards on just three carries. Cameron Whitaker also added 94 yards and two touchdowns on two carries, while Luna toted the ball nine times for a career high 65 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Henlee Mitchell tallied 29 yards on five carries as well and Warren rushed for 24 yards and two TDs on two carries.
Mitchell attempted the only two passes of the game for CMS and completed neither while tossing one interception.
Richland went three and out on their opening possession of the game before the Bulldogs marched 67 yards to pay dirt in two plays to take a 6-0 lead. Woodard scampered 50 yards on the first play of the drive before Warren rumbled into the end zone from 17 yards out.
Richland was unable to generate any offense on their ensuing drive and was forced to punt again.
On the next play, Whitaker scored on a scintillating touchdown run that saw him completely reverse field and race 55 yards down the left sideline for the score. Warren then ran in the two-point conversion to stake CMS to a 14-0 advantage with 2:57 left in the first quarter.
After stopping Richland on downs at midfield, the Bulldogs went three and out on their next offensive series, but the Raider return man mishandled the punt and Luna pounced on the pigskin at the Lynnville 26.
Cornersville, however, handed the ball right back, as Hargrove picked off a Mitchell pass and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown to narrow the gap to 14-6 early in the second quarter. Whitaker then tackled Richland quarterback Trey Stacey in the backfield on the two-point conversion attempt to keep the deficit at eight.
The Bulldogs quickly stemmed Richland's momentum and put together a three-play, 58-yard TD drive on their ensuing possession to stretch their lead to 22-6.
Woodard picked up four yards on the first play of the drive, before breaking loose for a 47-yard gain to give CMS a first and goal situation at the Raider 7. After Warren scored on seven-yard touchdown jaunt ,Woodard ran in the two-point conversion.
Cornersville stopped Richland on downs again at the Raider 44 before Whitaker galloped 39 yard for a TD a few moments later. Woodard then found Warren in the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt to push the Bulldogs lead to 30-6 lead midway through the second quarter.
Both teams came up empty on their next possession before Richland lost the ball on downs on their first two drives of the second half.
The Bulldogs then opened up a 36-6 advantage early in the fourth quarter when Luna scored on a 16-yard TD run to cap a four-play, 29-yard drive.
After stopping the Raiders on downs, Cornersville was trying to run out the clock, but the Bulldogs fumbled on the last play of the game before Hargrove scooped up the ball and raced 63 yards to the end zone for the 36-12 final.