Bulldogs beat Mt. Pleasant for third straight win
The Cornersville Bulldogs got knocked in the mouth early before turning it in on for a huge 42-20 comeback win versus Region 5A foe Mt. Pleasant at Frog Bottom Friday night.
“We knew we were facing adversity in this game,” Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. “These guys are hungry. Winning, it feels good to them. They willed their way to a win.”
It was the third win in a row for the Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0), who took over the top spot in the region standings after seventh-ranked Fayetteville (4-1, 2-1) suffered an unpleasant 26-21 loss at Moore County.
Mt. Pleasant was in the mood to knock off the high flying Bulldogs, taking a 14-0 first quarter lead on a Tai Pillow 85-yard kickoff return touchdown and a Keshawn Hudson 54-yard TD pass from Trevion Hale.
The Dawgs came up with a momentum swinger with 11 seconds to go in the first quarter when they recovered a Mt. Pleasant fumble and turned the turnover in to six points on an Eli Woodard 6-yard TD run.
There was no more scoring in the first half as the Bulldogs went to the locker room looking for some answers.
“I don’t think we were ready,” Randolph said. “I think Mt. Pleasant hit us in the mouth and kinda shocked us a little bit. We were holding our heads down a little bit until we got them in at halftime and we talked to them.”
Randolph, who took over as Cornersville head coach in February 2015 added, “I told them ‘Guys, we’re not out of this game. We’re one score behind and we get the ball back’.”
Cornersville’s second half production rebounded significantly, beginning on a monstrous special teams play when Cameron Whittaker returned a Mt. Pleasant punt 84-yards for a touchdown and when Darien Bush’s 2-point pass from Henley Mitchell was successful, the Bulldogs had come back to tie the contest at 14-14.
From there, the Bulldogs’ offensive machine went to work, scoring three more unanswered touchdowns on a pair of TD runs by Woodard and a Peyton Finch 3-yard scamper.
Mt. Pleasant notched its final touchdown of the game on a Zyshon Alderson 85-yard kickoff return before Woodard closed out the scoring with a 31-yard TD run to cap off the region victory.
“We’ve got life,” Randolph said. “The guys came together and we pulled one out in the second half.”
Woodard had another huge night behind center, carrying the pigskin 25 times for 226 yards and four scores.
The Bulldogs outrushed the Tigers 402 yards to 285 as Whittaker had 8 carries for 71 yards, Kolbe McMahon toted the rock 9 times for 62 yards and Finch rushed the ball 6 times for 26 yards and a score.
CJ Coble led the stingy Cornersville defense with 7.5 tackles and a quarterback sack, Brock Powers and Brice Dunkleman had five takedowns apiece, while McMahon and Whittaker came up with one interception each.
The Bulldogs finish off a four-game home stand this week when they entertain winless Perry County for Homecoming at Frog Bottom.
“We need to correct some mistakes we made tonight,” Randolph said. “We’ve got to fix our kickoff coverage. We can’t wait so long to come on as a football team… play four quarters. We’ve got to fix the little things.”
Marshall County Tribune Editor Jay Langston contributed to this article.
Mt. Pleasant 14 0 0 6-20
Cornersville 0 6 16 20-42
Mt. Pleasant- Tai Pillow 85-yard kickoff return, PAT NG
Mt. Pleasant- Keshawn Hudson 54-yard pass from Trevion Hale, PAT run NG
Cornersville-Eli Woodard 6-yard run, PAT pass NG
Cornersville-Cameron Whittaker 84-yard punt return, Darien Bush 2-point pass from Henley Mitchell
Cornersville-Peyton Finch 3-yard run, Kolbe McMahon 2-point run
Cornersville-Woodard 12-yard run, Adam Qualls PAT
Cornersville-Woodard 5-yard run, Qualls PAT
Mt. Pleasant- Zyshon Alderson 85-yard kickoff return, PAT run NG
Cornersville-Woodard 31-yard run, PAT kick NG
Total Offense-Mt. Pleasant 285, Cornersville 402
Rushing-Mt. Pleasant 211, Cornersville 385
Passing-Mt. Pleasant 74, Cornersville 17
First Downs-Mt. Pleasant 12, Cornersville 22
Penalties-Mt. Pleasant 7-55, Cornersville 3-15
Turnovers-Mt. Pleasant 2, Cornersville 3
Rushing-Eli Woodard 25-226-4TD, Cameron Whittaker 8-71, Kolbe McMahon 9-62, Peyton Finch 6-26-TD
Passing-Eli Woodard 1-2-17
Receiving-Cameron Whittaker 1-17
Kickoffs-Eli Woodard 1-19, Cameron Whittaker 1-12
Punts-Cameron Whittaker 1-84-TD
PAT-Adam Qualls 1-2
Punting-Peyton Finch 2-66
Tackles-CJ Coble 7.5 (.5 SACK), Brock Powers 5, Brice Dunkleman 5, Kolbe McMahon 4.5 (INT), Blake Pickett 3, Devin Baus 2.5, Cameron Whittaker 2 (INT), Darien Bush 2, Eli Woodard 1.5, Brady Calahan 1, Peyton Finch 1 (.5 Sack), Cameron Estes 1, Adam Qualls .5, Houston Williams .5