Bulldogs fall in double overtime

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Kolbe McMahon (12), who missed most of last season with an ACL injury, came back in a huge way, rushing for 103 yards on 10 carries Friday night. Tribune file photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Cornersville Bulldogs hosted Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Friday night in a soggy Frog Bottom and the two squads battled for two overtimes before the Knights came out on top 20-17.

"This was a very tough and physical football game that we played on Friday night and I was pleased with the effort and fight that the guys showed throughout the game," Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. "The guys battled to the last whistle and I was proud of that. You never want to lose a game, and by no means am I happy with the loss, but this game showed what type of team we want to be, and that's a tough and physical football squad without all the turnovers."

Opening score

Cornersville scored on the opening kickoff when Eli Woodard took the rock to the house from 75 yards out, but the Bulldogs would not score again in regulation.

Mt. Juliet did not score in the first half, but tied the game in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Alex Pitman.

There was no scoring in the fourth quarter and the Knights got the ball first in overtime and capitalized on a Pitman 6-yard scamper and Austin Collier ran in the two-point play, making it 14-6.

The Bulldogs responded in kind on their possession as Woodard scored a touchdown via a 6-yard run and Trenton Warren converted the two-point conversion, tying the game.

OT play

Cornersville got the ball first in double overtime and had to settle for a Ben Taylor 30-yard field goal before Mt. Juliet won the hard fought contest with a Collier 5-yard TD run.

Turnovers plagued the Bulldogs the entire night at they lost the giveaway battle 5-1 to Mt. Juliet.

"Turnovers definitely played a huge factor in the game, if you want to win on Friday nights, you can't turn the ball over five times," Randolph emphasized. "We had every opportunity to take control of the game, but untimely penalties and turnovers cost us from doing so. We will fix this and move forward."

The Bulldogs put together a solid running attack, rushing 244 yards in the contest, including a 103 yard effort on 10 carries by Kolbe McMahon, who showed he is healthy once again after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.

Fumbles hurt

Warren (12-48), Woodard (14-48) and Cameron Whittaker (6-45) rounded out the potent ground game, but four fumbles put a damper on the huge offensive effort.

"Our running game did well for the most part, all of our running backs were running the ball very hard," Randolph said. "We just have to concentrate on taking care of the ball, especially in the sloppy conditions. It's a blessing to be able to hand the ball to four quality backs."

Cornersville sophomore quarterback Eli Woodard, who scored a kickoff return touchdown versus Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, will try to bounce back from a subpar passing performance when he leads the Bulldogs into Collinwood this week.

The passing attack was off as Woodard struggled with the wet football, completing zero passes on nine attempts and the sophomore threw two interceptions.

"It wasn't a really good night for our passing game, 0-for-9 will not help you win ballgames and we have to work on this and get better," Randolph said. "Give credit to their defense, they did a good job of defending our passes and they also did a really good job of bringing pressure on our quarterback. As an offense, we have to do a better job with our pass protection and blitz pick up."

Good defense

On defense the Bulldogs were solid as they had to take the field a lot after all the turnovers and allowing just six points in regulation will win on most nights.

"Our defense played really well, even with most of the turnovers the defense was able to get stops when we needed them," Randolph stated. "We had guys flying around getting to the ball and bringing big hits with them. The effort was there on defense, we just have to clean some things up and get better this week at practice."

The Bulldogs will try to bounce back this week, but it will be a tough task as they make the long trek to Collinwood, who beat Shoals Creek, Alabama 15-8.

Cornersville is 1-12 versus Collinwood snice 2001 with their lone win coming in 2011 when the Bulldogs won 38-26 in Frog Bottom.

"After the game I told the team that I was very proud of the effort and fight that they showed tonight (Mt. Juliet Christian) and reminded them of how far along we came from this time last year," Randolph said. "This team beat us by four touchdowns last year, we held them to six points in regulation. I explained that we can build on this game and not let one tough lost define our season. I let them know that we are a good football team and that are going to win games."

Box score

Mt. Juliet Christian 0 0 6 0 8 6-20

Cornersville 6 0 0 0 8 3-17

Scoring plays

First quarter

Cornersville: Eli Woodard 75 kick return (PAT NG)

Third quarter

Mt. Juliet Christian: Alex Pitman 1 run (PAT NG)

First overtime

Mt. Juliet Christian: Alex Pitman 7 run (Austin Collier run)

Cornersville: Woodard 6 run, (Trenton Warren run)

Second overtime: Ben Taylor 30 yard field goal

Mt. Juliet Christian: Collier 10 run

Cornersville defense

Tackles: Trenton Warren 10-5 (sack), Eli Woodard 7, Brock Powers 4.5, Cameron Whittaker 4.5, Devin Baus 3.5, CJ Coble 2, Brice Dunkleman 2, Peyton Finch 1.5, Blake Pickett 1, Dakota Polk 1, Alex Webster .5, Reece Morton .5, Ryan Prosser .5