Bulldogs beat Huntland for fourth victory in row

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Cornersville's Eli Woodard (7) catches an 18-yard pass from freshman Henlee Mitchell. Photos by George "Pap" Warren

The Cornersville Bulldogs are on fire!

Four consecutive region wins, including a 40-16 win over Huntland at Frog Bottom Friday night put the Cornersville (4-2, 4-0) squad in uncharted territory, holding down a tie with Columbia Academy (5-0, 5-0) for first place in Region 4A.

"It feels so incredible to have our name mentioned as being tied with Columbia Academy for the top spot in the region," Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. "This team is hungry and they want to be successful each and every time that they step onto the football field. They enjoy playing the game of football with each other and they believe."

Well-rounded

The Bulldogs turned in a well-rounded performance versus the Hornets (3-4, 2-3), putting up 260 of total offense, committing just one turnover, while inducing four, going backwards just twice on a penalty and in a stellar defensive display, the Frog Bottom boys returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

"We knew coming in, to beat a good team like Huntland we would need to create some turnovers," Randolph said. "Blake Pickett and Eli Woodard were able to capitalize off of turnovers and created scores for our defense. When you can score on defense as well as offense that makes the game really fun to be a part of."

Eli Woodard led the Cornersville ground attack, rushing for 102 yards on 12 carries and Cameron Whittaker had another huge night, scoring twice in a 92-yard, 11-carry effort.

Trenten Warren continued his short yardage specialty as the bruising fullback scored on runs of three and one yards in the contest.

"Our offensive line continued to open nice running lanes for our running backs and all of our backs will tell you, if it were not for the big guys up front than none of this success would be happening," Randolph stated. "Eli Woodard, Cameron Whitaker and Trenten Warren have really ran the ball extremely hard this year."

Peyton Finch tries to turn the corner for a big gain after catching a pass from Henlee Mitchell.

Team effort

"They feed off of each other and they want to see each other do really well. It is a blessing to have all three of those guys in our backfield."

The Cornersville defense has given up 19.5 points per game this season in Region 4A play and Friday the Bulldogs' main task was stopping Huntland's talented running back DJ Taylor.

Although Taylor did get his yards---169 yards on 21 touches and a TD---Randolph still was proud of defensive unit.

"I thought we did a really good job of making some adjustments after DJ Taylor hurt us a couple of times on the ground," Randolph said. "We had guys flying around making impact plays on defense. It was imperative that we got a lot of Bulldog players to the ball on defense, so we were really proud of the defensive effort that was put forth on Friday night."

The Bulldogs scored a lone first quarter touchdown before putting up 13 points in the second quarter that was good enough for a 20-8 halftime lead.

From there Dawgs went rabid, posting 13 more points in the third period and they finished off the Hornets with Woodard's fourth quarter pick six.

"I am one proud coach after the victory against Huntland, we knew coming into the game that we were going to have to win at all three phases of the game to be successful," Randolph said. "The guys knew what was at stake against Huntland and they stepped up and competed for four quarters. I thought our team showed a lot of heart and effort and this was a really good win for our football program."

Fan support

Randolph was quick to point out that without the help of the Bulldogs' fans in the last three home wins, none of the success would be possible.

"The guys really feed off of hearing the crowd cheer them on and our crowd has truly been the "12th Man" this year," Randolph stated. "Several Bulldog supporters have started coming early tailgating in the parking lots, and they have created such a great football atmosphere in Cornersville. On behalf of the Cornersville football program, I just want to let them know we truly appreciate the big time support."

The Cornersville defense was stout was again, giving up 16 points in their big win over Huntland Friday night at Frog Bottom.

The Bulldogs can make it five wins in a row and four straight at Frog Bottom when they entertain a surprisingly good Summertown (6-1, 4-1) football team that is only playing varsity football for two seasons.

"This game is huge for our program, it will be senior night for our three seniors Ben Taylor, Dakota Polk and Andrew Brady and the rest of the team would like to see these young men get a big win on senior night," Randolph said. "Not only is this game big for the seniors, but it has playoff implications all over it. Making the playoffs is a big team goal for our squad and winning this game against Summertown puts our team in a good spot to reach that goal."

Huntland 0 8 8 0-16

Cornersville 7 13 13 7-40

Scoring Plays

First quarter

Cornersville-Cameron Whittaker 11 run, Ben Taylor PAT

Second Quarter

Cornersville-Whittaker 6 run, Taylor PAT

Huntland-Noah Norwood 6 pass from Ryan Dickey, DJ Taylor run

Cornersville-Trenten Warren 3 run, two-point run NG

Third Quarter

Cornersville-Blake Pickett interception return, PAT kick NG

Huntland-Taylor 6 run, Alex Simmons two-point pass from Dickey

Cornersville-Warren 1 run, Taylor PAT

Fourth Quarter

Cornersville-Woodard interception return, Taylor PAT

Total Offense-Cornersville 260, Huntland 246

Passing-Huntland 36, Cornersville 29

Rushing-Cornersville 260, Huntland 246

First Downs-Cornersville 14, Huntland 13

Turnovers-Huntland 4, Cornersville 1

Penalties-Cornersville 2-15, Huntland 1-5

Cornersville Offense

Passing-Henlee Mitchell 3-5-29-INT

Receiving-Peyton Finch 2-11, Eli Woodard 1-18

Rushing-Eli Woodard 12-102, Cameron Whittaker 11-92-2TD, Trenten Warren 10-17-2TD, Jose Minor 1-9, Peyton Finch 1-7, Henlee Mitchell 2-4

Defense

Tackles-Ben Taylor 6, Brock Powers 5 (sack), Blake Pickett 5 (INT), Eli Woodard 4.5 (INT), Trenten Warren 4.5, CJ Coble 4.5, Cameron Whittaker 4, Brice Dunkleman 3.5, Devin Baus 1.5, Houston Williams 1.5, Jose Minor 1, Dakota Polk 1