Bulldogs cage Tigers for 3rd straight win
After back-to-back losses to open the season, the Cornersville Bulldogs have turned into legitimate playoff contenders when they won their third region game in row Friday night, outlasting Mt. Pleasant 35-20 at Frog Bottom.
"I was very proud for our football team to get the win against Mt. Pleasant. If I'm not mistaking, it has been 16 years since Cornersville defeated Mt. Pleasant in football," Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. "I thought our guys set the tone early and allowed us to build a nice lead. It was fun watching the guys execute and call on each other to make plays."
The win over the Tigers moves the Bulldogs to 3-2 on the season and undefeated at 3-0 in Region 4A play.
"This win builds momentum for our program," Randolph said. "This win also puts our program in a good position to compete for a playoff spot in the region. We are treating every game from here on out, as if it's the biggest game that we have ever played in.
Cornersville jumped on Mt. Pleasant early and often, scoring 29 first quarter points as running back Cameron Whittaker scored three straight touchdowns to open the contest.
"We had explained to the guys during the week that it was very important that we got off to a good start, so give credit to our offensive line for opening huge running lanes for our running backs," Randolph stated. "We really want to set a physical presence when we take the field and I think we were able to do that during the game."
Whittaker finished with four scores in the game and had 140 yards on 12 carries.
"We had a game plan to where we thought we could be successful running the ball at them and the guys carried out the plan and did their jobs," Randolph said.
Whittaker's backfield classmate Eli Woodard, who led the Bulldogs' 340-yard rushing attack with 173 yards on 21 touches scored the fourth Cornersville touchdown on a 28-yard TD reception from Henlee Mitchell.
"Our big guys up front have been challenged by our coaches to put this team on their backs, we are still a work in progress up front, but it makes me proud to see how hard Brock Powers, CJ Coble, Alex Webster, Devin Baus, Brice Dunkleman, and the younger guys that get reps, also work during the week to make us better," Randolph said.
Mt. Pleasant scored the next 14 points, but the Bulldogs played a clean game with zero turnovers and when Whittaker scored his fourth TD of the game in the final period, the Bulldogs had secured the win.
"I know the guys get tired of hearing me say and talk about taking care of the ball, but as we all know it can get you beat quicker than anything," Randolph stated. "That's something that we talk about and work on through the week, so I thought we did a good job of eliminating our turnovers this week."
Randolph and the coaching staff knew the defense would have to play one of the best games of the season to contain Mt. Pleasant athletes and they did, stopping the Tigers in the red zone with a bend but don't break effort.
"Our defense has played well thus far and I would like for us to limit teams from scoring as much, but we are still a work in progress," Randolph said. "It was fun watching our defense Friday night fly around to the ball and deliver some really nice hits."
The Bulldogs have an opportunity to win four straight as they get to fly around Frog Bottom again this week when they take on the Huntland Hornets (3-3, 2-2) with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant 0 8 6 6-20
Cornersville 29 0 0 6-35
Cornersville-Cameron Whittaker 3 run (Ben Taylor PAT)
Cornersville-Whittaker 14 run (Taylor PAT)
Cornersville-Whittaker 51 run (Eli Woodard run)
Cornersville-Woodard 28 pass from Henlee Mitchell (Taylor PAT)
Mt. Pleasant- Tez Rogers 1 run (Zyshon Alderson run)
Mt. Pleasant-Hayden Lovely 2 run (Lovely run)
Cornersville-Whittaker 9 run (PAT NG)
Mt. Pleasant-Rogers 5 run (Alderson run)
Total Offense-Mt. Pleasant 393, Cornersville 368
Passing-Mt. Pleasant 191, Cornersville 28
Rushing-Cornersville 340, Mt. Pleasant 202
First Downs-Mt. Pleasant 18, Cornersville 15
Turnovers-Mt. Pleasant 1, Cornersville 0
Penalties-Mt. Pleasant 11-85, Cornersville 5-35
Passing-Henlee Mitchell 1-3-28-TD
Receiving-Eli Woodard 1-28-TD
Rushing-Eli Woodard 21-173, Cameron Whittaker 12-140-4TD, Trenten Warren 5-29, Jose Minor 1-5, Henlee Mitchell 1-(-7)
Tackles-Dakota Polk 6.5, Trenten Warren 5, Cameron Whittaker 4.5, CJ Coble 4.5, Blake Pickett 4, Houston Williams 4 (.5 sack), Eli Woodard 3.5, Devin Baus 3 (sack), Ben Taylor 3, Brice Dunkleman 2.5 (.5 sack), Brock Powers 1, Dylan Baus 1, Bryan Giles 1
PAT-Ben Taylor 3-4
Punting-Ben Taylor 3-83
Punt Returns-Eli Woodard 1-11
Kickoff Returns-Cameron Whittaker 2-32, Eli Woodard 16, Ryan Prosser 1-0