Bulldogs end season with big victory
Cornersville ended the season with 44-24 victory over rival Richland Friday night at Frog Bottom, extinguishing the bad taste of losing and setting up a promising future for Coach Gerard Randolph's Bulldogs.
"It was a tremendous team victory for our football program and a lot of emotions came into play with it being senior night and also our last football game of the year," Randolph said. "If it was going to end a certain way, this group of young men couldn't have picked a better way to come out and play some really good football."
QB leads charge
The Bulldogs were inspired from the outset, jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind a pair of touchdown runs from freshman quarterback Eli Woodard.
"I was one proud coach with the way we prepared each day coming into the game and the way they carried out the game plan," Randolph said.
After Ben Taylor's 33-yard field goal made it 17-0 early in the second quarter, another freshman, running back Trenton Warren scored on a 48-yard scamper for a 24-0 lead after Will Vanhooser's conversion kick with 7:17 remaining in the first half.
Richland's Caleb Briggs got the Raiders back in the game with a 73-yard kickoff return and the two-point conversion, but it was a short-lived ray of hope for the Raiders.
The freshman onslaught continued as Cornersville's Cameron Whittaker finished off another Bulldogs scoring drive with a 3-yard TD run with 1:29 left in the first half for a 38-8 lead.
"It was awesome to come out firing on all cylinders and scoring 38 points in the first half," Randolph said. "The offensive line did a tremendous job of blocking and the backs did their job of running the ball with a lot of heart and determination."
Richland got on the board first in the second half, making it 38-16 after a successful two-point run.
Woodard came through for the Dawgs, tossing a 22-yard TD strike to Peyton Finch, essentially putting the game away for Randolph's crew.
"We had four different guys who scored touchdowns on Friday night, and they were all freshman," the coach said. "It was so good to see them out there having fun, because they've really had to step up against some stiff competition this year."
The Bulldogs defense held firm for the rest of the game, allowing just one more Richland touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"We start six freshmen on the defensive side of the ball also, and they got after it," Randolph exclaimed. " I truly believe good things are ahead for this program if everyone can come together and stay healthy. They deserve it."
Cornersville finished the season with a 3-7 record and did not qualify for the playoffs, but Randolph said he's proud of the way his team played throughout his first season which has him very excited about the future.
"I was extremely proud of the way this football team came out and took care of business from start to finish," Randolph said. "We've faced a lot of adversity this year and I'm so proud of the guys that have stuck with it and answered the challenge day in and day out."
Richland 0 8 8 8 -- 24
Cornersville 14 24 6 0 -- 44
C-- Eli Woodard 6 run (Will Vanhooser kick), 11:00.
C-- Woodard 8 run (Vanhooser kick), 2:11.
C-- Ben Taylor 33 field goal, 10:09.
C-- Trenton Warren 48 run (Vanhooser kick), 7:17.
R-- Caleb Briggs 73 kickoff return (Briggs run), 6:50.
C-- Warren 9 run (Vanhooser kick), 6:11.
C-- Cameron Whittaker 3 run (Vanhooser kick), 1:29.
R-- Anthony Rowe 9 run (Briggs run), 8:31.
C-- Peyton Finch 22 pass from Woodard (kick failed), 5:33.
R-- Briggs 48 run (Quinton Jordan run), 2:03.
Total Yards: Cornersville 403, Richland 226.
Rushing: Cornersville 351, Richland 226.
Passing: Cornersville 52, Richland 0.
Rushing: Trenton Warren 19-62-2TD, Cameron Whittaker 13-98-TD, Eli Woodard 13-76-TD, Willie Lyles 2-7, Will Vanhooser 1-5, Blake Pickett 1-4, Dakota Polk 1-4, Andrew Brady 1-0.
Passing: Eli Woodard 3-8-52 (TD).
Receiving: Trenton Warren 1-27, Peyton Finch 1-25-TD.
Turnovers: Richland 1.
Fumbles recoveries: Cornersville, Trenton Warren 1.
Tackles: CJ Coble 6.5, Eli Woodard 6.5, Trenton Warren 6, Ben Taylor 3.5, Brice Dunkleman 2, Cameron Whittaker 2, Austin Barron 2, Peyton Finch 1.5, Willie Lyles .5, Dillard Hatchett .5.