CMS Bulldogs take down neighboring Bridgeforth
Football has long been touted as a team sport, but fans at any level of the game could appreciate the sheer dominance of two individuals on opposite sides of the field Thursday night when Bridgeforth Junior High School traveled to southern Marshall County to take on Cornersville Middle School.
Eighth-grader Brady Calahan scored all four Bulldog touchdowns and finished with 260 yards rushing on 13 attempts for three rushing touchdowns on offense and led the defense with four and a half tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, two interceptions with one returned 50 yards for a touchdown on the opening play of the second half.
Not to be outdone, Bridgeforth quarterback Tray McElroy scored all three Bobcat touchdowns and finished with 183 yards on the ground, but the Bulldogs were too much for the Giles County squad and squeaked out a 28-22 win.
"I thought the defense played extremely hard," Cornersville coach Ray Stocstill said. "We didn't make a lot of foolish mistakes, we didn't have a whole lot of penalties and didn't turn the ball over and you know, just the things you've got to do to win."
The Bulldogs went to Callahan early and often as the running back scored on a 40-yard touchdown scamper with less than a minute after the opening whistle and after a Jackson Farler two-point conversion run, the home team led 8-0.
The two squads traded possessions on the next two drives, but after Cornersville stalled out and punted the ball, the Bobcats evened the contest at 8-8 on a 22-yard McElroy quarterback keeper.
Both defenses stepped up, trading possessions back and forth before the Bulldogs took over midway through the second quarter and just as he did before, Calahan took the hand off and darted toward the sideline before cutting up field for the 61-yard touchdown run.
A Farler to Calahan conversion pass fell short and the Cougars went into halftime down just six at 14-8.
The Bulldogs looked ready to blow the game wide open after Calahan intercepted the McElroy pass to open the third quarter and raced 50 yards to the house to put the home team up 22-8 after Calahan scored the two-point conversion.
But the Cougars refused to die and McElroy engineered a touchdown drive that ate up five minutes off the clock before the stealthy quarterback ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run to chip away at the lead 22-14.
Calahan wasted little time putting the Bulldogs back on the scoreboard racing 65 yards to the end zone on the first play of the next possession, but another failed conversion allowed the Bobcats to remain in the game at 28-14.
McElroy led the Bobcats on another clock eating four-minute touchdown drive before slipping between the tackle on a two-yard quarterback keeper and Leland Berryhill scored on the two-point conversion to bring Bridgeforth within six at 28-22 with seven minutes left in the game.
The Bulldogs seemingly put the final nail in the Bobcat coffin on the ensuing kickoff when Alex Hilliard ran through the Bridgeforth defense and into the end zone, but Cornersville was caught with 12 players on the field; therefore negating the touchdown.
The ensuing possession saw a Calahan long run put the Bulldogs in the red zone, but the Bobcat defense held up the Cornersville offense on three straight plays and after a failed run on fourth-and-goal, Bridgeforth to regained possession at the 10-yard line with a chance to tie or claim the lead with two minutes left in the contest.
"I just told them they've got to keep playing," Stocstill stated. "No rest, gotta play. The defense played great all night, so I was confident they would finish the job."
The Bulldog defense came up with a stop of its own when after an initial Bobcat first down, Bridgeforth went to the air and once again Calahan stepped in front of the McElroy pass to seal the game.
A strong Cornersville defensive from was led by Wyatt Alexander with five tackles and two tackles for a loss and Trenton Posey with four tackles and one tackle for a loss.
The Bulldogs (5-2) end the season next Thursday with a much anticipated showdown when they travel to Lewisburg Middle School (1-5), which picked up its first win of the season last Thursday in an inspiring overtime win over E.A Cox on Homecoming.
"(Marshall County) is a big school," Stocstill pointed out. "They've got more players than we do and I'm sure they are better than we are. It will be a formidable task for us."
Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Bridgeforth 8 0 8 6-22
Cornersville 8 6 14 0-28
First Quarter-Calahan 40 run (Jackson Farler run), 7:08
Bridgeforth-Tray McElroy 22 run (Leland Berryhill run), 0:11
Cornersville-Calahan 61 yard run (PAT NG), 4:40
Cornersville-Calahan 50 interception return TD (Calahan run), 7:53
Bridgeforth-McElroy 55 run (Berryhill run), 3:01
Cornersville-Calahan 65 run (PAT NG), 2:56
Fourth Quarter-McElroy 4 run (PAT NG), 7:18
Rushing-Calahan 13-260-3TD, Jackson Farler 1-10, Alex Hilliard 1-1, James Mathis 1-(-5)
Tackles: Wyatt Alexander 5, Brady Calahan 4.5, Trenton Posey 4, Alex Hilliard 3.5, Blake Jones 3, James Mathis 3, Logan Courtemanche 3, Garrett Alder 1, Bailey Foss 0.5, Barnett Powers 0.5, Eli Welch 0.5, Jackson Farler 0.5
TFL: Wyatt Alexander 2, Brady Calahan 1, Trenton Posey 1, Alex Hilliard 1
Sack: Brady Calahan 1
Interceptions: Brady Calahan 2
Kickoff returns: James Mathis 1-20, Logan Courtemanche 1-0