Bulldogs claim first ever region title

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Brock Powers (53) led the Bulldog defense with 8.5 tackles and two sacks.
Photos by George “Pap” Warren

Even without the services of two suspended seniors on the defensive line and an injured Eli Woodard, the Cornersville Bulldogs walloped Richland 56-20 Friday night in Frog Bottom to capture the school’s first-ever region title.

“Honestly, it feels awesome, but for different reasons,” Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. “I am so proud and happy for this group of young men that were able to accomplish this goal this year. I can't take all the credit for this region championship. I have a really good coaching staff that works very hard, and a football team that works very hard also.”

The Bulldogs (7-1, 5-0), who clinched home field advantage throughout the first three rounds of the TSSAA playoffs with the win over Richland, have a bye week Friday night before finishing up the regular season with road trips to Huntland and Lancaster Christian Academy.

The Cornersville defense stymied the Raiders for most of the game Friday night at Frog Bottom.

“We are very fortunate to be in this position to be able to rest guys,” Randolph said. “We have had a very tough schedule this year. We are definitely going to try to get some guys rested and back healthy.”

Cornersville maximized their offense versus Richland, running just 13 plays on offense and averaging 21.2 yards per rush in a 275-yard ground attack.

The Bulldogs did not attempt a pass in the game.

Cameron Whitaker (15) had a big night in the region-clinching win over Richland, toting the rock five times for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Cameron Whitaker led the way with 131 yards and two touchdowns, Kolbe McMahon had 61 yards and two scores, Darien Bush ran for 58 yards and a touchdown, Trenten Warren managed 22 yards and a TD, and quarterback Henlee Mitchell rushed the ball once for a 3-yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs also played a clean game with just two penalties for 10 yards and zero turnovers.

Brock Powers was a man possessed with a game-high 13.5 tackles and two sacks for a Bulldog defense that was on the field for 76 plays because of the easy time the offense turned in.

Seventh-ranked Cornersville jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and never looked back in the Bulldogs’ fifth straight win over the Raiders.

“We had some young guys step in to play some big roles,” Randolph said. “I was very proud of all the young guys that stepped up and played a big role in our victory.”

Darien Bush (5) takes off for a 43-yard touchdown run versus the Raiders.

Bush ran for a 43-yard touchdown late in the first half to make it 29-8 at the break before the Bulldogs outscored Richland 21-6 in the third quarter on touchdown runs by Bush and Warren.

Warren added a 21-yard fumble recovery for a score and Mitchell finished up the scoring in the game with a fourth quarter 3-yard quarterback keeper.

“I am extremely proud of the effort that was given this Friday night by our football team,” Randolph said. “This was a goal of ours at the beginning of the year, to be region champions, and the guys did not want to be denied.”

“The guys carried out the game plan that was installed this week at practice and it paid off for them at the end.”

Richland 0 8 6 6-20

Cornersville 15 14 21 6-56

Scoring

First Quarter

Cornersville-Kolbe McMahon 35-yard run, Darien Bush 2-pt. run

Cornersville-Cameron Whitaker 40-yard run, Adam Qualls PAT

Second Quarter

Cornersville-McMahon 26-yard run, Qualls PAT

Richland-Gus McGowan 85-yard kickoff return, Dustin Grenko 2-pt. run

Cornersville-Bush 43-yard run, Qualls PAT

Third Quarter

Cornersville-Whitaker 65-yard run, Qualls PAT

Richland-Grenko 10-yard run, PAT run NG

Cornersville-Trenten Warren 9-yard run, Qualls PAT

Cornersville-Warren 21-yard fumble return, Qualls PAT

Fourth Quarter

Cornersville-Henlee Mitchell 3-yard run, PAT NG

Richland-Skylar Tarpley 26-yard pass from Braxton Woodard, PAT run NG

Total Offense-Richland 292, Cornersville 275

Rushing-Richland 231, Cornersville 275

Passing-Richland 61, Cornersville 0

First Downs-Richland 20, Cornersville 10

Turnovers-Richland 2, Cornersville 0

Penalties-Richland 6-70, Cornersville 2-10

Cornersville Offense

Rushing-Cameron Whitaker 5-131-2TD, Kolbe McMahon 2-61-2TD, Darien Bush 3-58-TD, Trenten Warren 2-22-TD, Henlee Mitchell 1-3-TD

Kick Returns

Punts-Cameron Whitaker 1-37

Kickoffs-Blake Pickett 1-6, Brady Calahan 1-0

Kicking

PAT-Adam Qualls 6-7

Defense

Tackles-Trenten Warren 13.5, Brock Powers 8.5 ( 2 SACKS), Darien Bush 7, Tracy Wood 5, Ryan Prosser 4, Cameron Whitaker 3, Blake Pickett 3, Kolbe McMahon 3, Jacob Brooks 3, Wes Calahan 1.5, Devin Massengill 1, Adam Qualls 1, Ethan Courtemanche 1, Trace Griest 1, Cameron Estes 1, Logan Courtemanche 1, Houston Williams .5