CMS earns comeback win on Homecoming

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Tanner Edwards (9) and Rhett Woodard (8) flank Cornersville Middle School Homecoming Queen Madison Hopkins before Thursday night’s game versus Blanche.
Photo by George “Pap” Warren

After last week’s 20-12 loss at Moore County dropped Cornersville Middle School (CMS) to an even 3-3 on the season, the Bulldogs came up big for Homecoming with a 28-14 come from behind win over Blanche Thursday night at Frog Bottom.

“We didn’t really know what the game plan was going to be because we had never seen them before, we didn’t even know what color uniforms they had,” CMS coach Ray Stocstill said. “They really gave us a good battle and it was a hard fought game and you could say that both teams had an opportunity to win because of how hard they played.”

CMS took the opening kickoff and marched all the way to the Blanche 18-yard line when the first quarter ended with the Bulldogs facing a fourth-and-fourteen play.

Mason Calhan (27) splits three Blanche defenders before heading to the end zone for a second quarter touchdown.
Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

On the first play of the second quarter, CMS quarterback Elijah Pitts found a streaking Mason Calahan across the middle and Calhan juked his way through three Ardmore defenders until crossing the goal line for touchdown.

The PAT run was no good and two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Hank Bayless ran 39-yards for a Blanche touchdown and Antonio King added the 2-point run to make it 8-6 with 6:09 remaining in the first half.

The Bulldogs matched the fast TD with one of their own when Nick Neuswander scampered 23-yards for a score on the third play of the ensuing series.

Tanner Edwards (9) saves the day for Cornersville with a fumble recovery on their initial scoring drive of the game.
Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

The PAT pass was no good, making it 12-6 Bulldogs.

Ardmore put together another scoring drive that culminated with a Will Phillips 49-yard TD catch from Kelby Fitch with 2:25 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs stuffed the PAT run and the first half ended with Blanche leading 14-12.

Eli Welch drilled the second half kickoff deep, pinning Blanche and the Bulldog defense held firm, forcing a punt after four plays.

Blanche was also up to the task on defense and forced the Bulldogs to punt, and this time Welch nailed a long punt to the Ardmore 24-yard line.

On a third-and-nine snap, Tanner Edwards picked off a Blanche pass and returned it to the 40-yard line.

The Bulldogs used the final play of the third quarter and drove in the fourth quarter all the way to the Blanche 1-yard line where Rhett Woodard pounded the rock into the end zone and Pitts followed with a 2-point conversion run to put CMS up 20-14 with 4:31 remaining in the contest.

Eli Welch (75), who had a huge game for the Bulldogs, seals the deal with a fourth-quarter fumble recovery. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

Welch hammered the ensuing kickoff to the Ardmore 14-yard line and on the next play, Welch recovered a fumble to put the Bulldogs in a position to put the game away with 4:07 left.

“We having been working with him (Welch) the last two years on ball placement when you kick off to get the ball in the corners because we have always had a lot of fast kids to go down there and get it,” Stocstill said. “We knew since the last few weeks that he is able to do that and it is something we will be glad to get to the high school.”

“He’s a great kid, he comes from a good family, and does everything we ask him to do, so he is just fun to be around.”

Three plays later, the Bulldogs did put it away as Pitts pounded his way to pay dirt and Woodard rumbled in for the 2-point conversion to make it 28-14.

“Pitts is a smart kid, his dad (Aaron Pitts) is a coach, he’s has been around football all of his life, and he is a tough little fellow” Stocstill said. “He is going to be a really special player, he just has to grow into it.”

Blanche went backwards on the next series and the game ended with the Bulldogs winning by the two-touchdown margin.

“We are really proud of them and they have worked hard all year to get better, and that’s all you can ask,” Stocstill said.

Blanche 0 14 0 0-14

Cornersville 0 12 0 16-28

Scoring

Second Quarter

Cornersville-Mason Calahan 21-yard pass from Elijah Pitts, PAT run NG, 7:49

Blanche-Hank Bayless 39-yard run, Antonio King 2-point run, 6:09

Cornersville-Nick Neuswander 23-yard run, PAT pass NG, 4:19

Blanche-Will Phillips 49-yard pass from Kelby Fitch, PAT run NG, 2:25

Fourth Quarter

Cornersville-Rhett Woodard 1-yard run, Pitts 2-point run, 4:29

Cornersville-Pitts 7-yard run, Woodard 2-pt. run, 2:59

Total Offense-Blanche 126, Cornersville 202

Rushing-Blanche 77, Cornersville 171

Passing-Blanche 49, Cornersville 31

First Downs-Blanche 6, Cornersville 15

Turnovers-Blanche 3, Cornersville 0

Penalties-Blanche 1-5, Cornersville 2-15

Cornersville Offense

Rushing-Rhett Woodard 13-85-TD, Nick Neuswander 10-59-TD, Elijah Pitts 8-30-TD, Tanner Edwards 1-(-3)

Passing-Elijah Pitts 2-6-31-TD

Receiving-Mason Calahan 1-21-TD, Hunter Fitzgerald 1-10

Kicking

Kickoffs-Eli Welch 4-160

Punts-Eli Welch 1-49

Returns

Kickoffs-Hunter Fitzgerald 2-24

Defense

Tackles- Rhett Woodard 4, Bryson Alexander 4(SACK), Elijah Pitts 3.5, Eli Welch 3.5 (Fumble REC), Hunter Fitzgerald 1.5, Hunter Dye 1, Chris Edwards 1, Briar Alexander 1, Tanner Edwards .5 (INT, Fumble REC), Riley Qualls .5