Perry County outguns Bulldogs

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Cornersville wide receiver Justin Black, shown here against East Robertson, had three catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' game against Perry County on Friday night. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs' fading playoff chances were officially extinguished on Friday night when they lost 38-33 to the Perry County Vikings on the road in their season finale.

Cornersville (3-7) had defeated Perry County handily each of the last two seasons and held 27-20 lead late in the third quarter of Friday's contest after overcoming an early 14-point deficit. The Vikings, however, came charging back in the fourth period and scored three straight touchdowns to seize a 38-27 advantage before hanging on for the five-point victory.

High yardage

Aided by their fourth quarter surge, Perry County (2-8) racked up 506 yards of total offense overall, which included 401 yards rushing on 50 carries. Dolton Forrester spearheaded the Vikings' ground assault by rushing for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Perry County quarterback Justus York also toted the ball 12 times for 73 yards and two TDs, while Bailey Freeman added 57 yards on 13 carries.

York complemented the Vikings' ground game by completing 6-of-10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Freeman was York's primary receiver and caught three passes for 69 yards and a TD.

The Bulldogs, conversely, finished with a modest 268 yards of total offense and committed three turnovers. After averaging 182 yards rushing in their previous nine games, Cornersville had trouble getting their running game on track and mustered only 103 yards on the ground while averaging 2.6 yards per carry.

Dyer does it again

Senior tailback Chance Dyer broke the 100-yard mark for the eighth time this season and led the Bulldogs' ground game with 107 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries to go along with two catches for 49 yards and a TD. Thanks to Friday's performance, Dyer ended the season with 1,338 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns while also hauling in 20 passes for 236 yards and a TD.

Freshman Kolbe McMahon was the only other Cornersville back to finish with positive yardage and rushed for 17 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Hindered by a sports hernia the last several weeks, CHS quarterback Jamie Crowell completed just 9-of-22 passes for 165 yards and two TDs while tossing one interception.

Senior wide out Justin Black paced Cornersville's receiving corps by recording three receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. Zack Welch and McMahon had two catches apiece as well for 49 and 11 yards respectively.

Defense

Dyer and Black both recorded 10 tackles from their outside linebacker positions to lead CHS defensively. Blake Tomlin also notched eight tackles, while Curt Taylor and Cayde Fitzgerald each had four tackles.

The Vikings got off to a fast start and grabbed a 6-0 lead on their opening drive when York hooked up with Freeman for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Cornersville then stopped York short of the goal line on the two-point conversion run to keep the deficit at six.

Following an exchange of punts, Perry County recovered a Bulldog fumble at their own 38 before opening up a 14-0 advantage midway through the first quarter on a 15-yard TD scamper by York and a Freeman two-point conversion run.

Cornersville got on the scoreboard on their ensuing possession and cut the deficit to 14-7 thanks to a four-yard touchdown run by Dyer while Ben Taylor tacked on the extra point.

The Vikings then stretched their lead to 20-7 early in the second quarter on a one-yard TD plunge by York , but the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 20-14 at the break when Kolbe McMahon scored on a seven-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the first half.

Momentum change

In the third quarter, Cornersville appeared to seize the momentum, as Crowell hit Black for a 24-yard TD strike on their opening drive of the stanza to tie the game at 20-20 before McMahon scored on a three-yard touchdown run two possessions later to give CHS a 27-20 advantage.

Perry County, though, battled back in the fourth period and narrowed the gap to 27-26 thanks to a 24-yard TD run by Forrester.

After stopping the Bulldogs on downs at the Viking 42, Perry County marched 58 yards to the end zone in just four plays to pull ahead 32-27 with 5:51 left.

Cornersville then came up empty on their next two possessions before Forrester broke loose for a 55-yard touchdown jaunt to stretch the Vikings lead to 38-27 with 1:04 remaining.

The Bulldogs tried to make a last gasp comeback and whittled the deficit to 38-33 on an 18-yard TD catch by Dyer with :27 left, but Perry County recovered CHS' onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to seal their victory.