Bulldogs dominate Eagles in blowout win
In the postgame huddle, Gerard Randolph told the team that he thought they had just played the best game he had seen the Bulldogs turn in as Cornersville’s head coach and it was an almost perfectly executed performance as the number three-ranked Dawgs spun a dominating 41-0 shutout win over seventh-ranked 2A Eagleville in the home opener at Frog Bottom Friday night.
“Last year woke us up, but we knew coming in that they would be a disciplined team like they always are,” Cornersville senior running back Eli Woodard said. “I don’t recall the last five years beating them, so with our home crowd we wanted to come out with our hair on fire.”
It was sweet revenge for the Bulldogs (2-0), who dropped their only regular season game at Eagleville (1-1) last season.
“It was just a great game by these guys, I’m tickled to death man, they came out and put together four quarters,” Randolph said. “I told the guys earlier in the week that if they come out and do their jobs, we are a tough team to handle and tonight they came out and showed that.”
The Bulldogs led 27-0 at the half and the game went to a running clock with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter.
“They guys have been wanting to come back to this game because they knew they didn’t play well last year at Eagleville, so they really wanted it this year and they took care of business,” Randolph said.
Cornersville was really never challenged in the contest as they outgained the Eagles 313 yards to 99 on offense, averaging 7.3 yards per play with a 20-7 first down advantage, and won the turnover battle 2-0.
“If you want to win big games like this you have got to win up front, offensively and defensively and our guys did really well up front,” Randolph said.
The Bulldogs’ defensive unit chased Eagleville standout quarterback Ethan Cobb all night, sacking him twice and holding the senior signal caller to 54 yards passing and 10 yards rushing on 13 attempts.
“We had great defensive line push, not just running up the outside and getting him right down the middle, the middle pushed up and the outside pushed and he had to scramble almost every time and he still didn’t have anywhere to throw, but two or three times,” Woodard said. “Pressure on the quarterback is what we wanted to do tonight.”
Meanwhile, Cornersville senior quarterback Henlee Mitchell turned in the best game of his career, completing 4-out-of 7 passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, while protecting the ball and running an efficient offense the entire game.
“I talk to him (Mitchell) every day at practice and tell him just give us a chance, just give us a chance,” Randolph added. “We work hard every day at practice and I want him to have success too, so he did a great job tonight.”
Woodard had a huge night as he ran for 142 yards and two TD’s on 16 carries and caught one Henlee pass for a 20-yard touchdown on a fourth down play that capped off Cornersville’s opening possession of the game.
Eagleville’s initial possession of the game was ruined on a fourth-down sack by the Baus brothers (Dylan and Devin) before the Bulldogs drove 74 yards on 11 plays and scored on another fourth down pass from Mitchell to Peyton Finch from 22-yards out with 10:28 remaining in the second quarter.
“We just read our keys, trusted each other, and everybody got their gap and just played ball,” senior lineman Devin Baus said. “We knew he (Cobb) didn’t like pressure on him, so that’s what we did, just kept the pressure on him.”
The Bulldogs’ defense held again and forced a punt and then a decent Cornersville drive was halted to force a punt before the tide turned for good when Blake Pickett recovered a muff at the Eagleville 14-yard line.
On the next snap, Woodard ran to pay dirt and Jackson Williams booted the PAT to make it a 20-0 contest with 4:21 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Eagleville blundered again, fumbling the ball away that was recovered by Ethan Courtemanche at the Eagles’ 20-yard line.
“If the defense can get turnovers it gives you a better chance to win the ballgame and that helped us out tremendously tonight,” Randolph said.
Eagleville picked up a holding call on the next snap before Cameron Whitaker scored on a 10-yard touchdown run.
Williams PAT kick was true and the Bulldogs led 27-zip at the half.
“Going to the locker room with that lead was energetic,” Baus stated. “We just wanted more and keep giving it to them.”
On the first drive of the second half, Eagleville went nowhere and had to punt the ball away again before Cornersville put the game away for good as they drove 73 yards with Woodard finishing off the short, six-play drive via a 26-yard touchdown scamper.
Woodard added the two-yard two-point conversion run that made it 35-0 to start the running clock.
The Eagles drove to the midfield stripe before turning the ball over on downs with 11:04 remaining in the contest.
The Bulldogs were in full ball control mode, running the football six straight times with Trenten Warren capping off the scoring on the night with a 2-yard bull run to the end zone and a 41-0 Cornersville lead.
It looked like Eagleville was going to bust up the shutout when Wyatt McLemore ripped off a 44-yard TD run, but the play was called back on a holding penalty and the game ended with Cornersville picking up the shutout.
“We celebrate, but we only celebrate to about 12:01 Saturday morning,” Woodard said. “Then we start looking at film for the next game because that one is behind you and gone, so we only think about one game at a time.”
The Bulldogs entertain Moore County (2-0) in the Region 5-A opener at Frog Bottom Friday night with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
“This is a big game for us to start region play,” Randolph said. “Moore County is tough, coach (Jason) Dobbs is doing a great job over there and we have to be ready to play and put together another good four quarters against them.”
Eagleville 0 0 0 0-0
Cornersville 7 20 8 6-41
Cornersville-Henlee Mitchell 20-yard pass to Eli Woodard, Jackson Williams PAT, 7:12
Cornersville-Mitchell 22-yard pass to Peyton Finch, PAT NG, 10:28
Cornersville-Woodard 14-yard run, Jackson PAT, 4:21
Cornersville-Cameron Whitaker 10-yard run, Jackson PAT, 3:45
Cornersville-Woodard 26-yard run, Woodard two-point run, 5:45
Cornersville-Trenten Warren 17-yard run, two-point conversion NG, 6:04
Total Offense-Eagleville 99, Cornersville 313
Rushing-Eagleville 45, Cornersville 238
Passing-Eagleville 54, Cornersville 75
First Downs-Eagleville 7, Cornersville 20
Turnovers-Eagleville 2, Cornersville 0
Penalties-Eagleville 7-55, Cornersville 5-45
Rushing-Eli Woodard 16-142-2TD, Cameron Whitaker 10-60-TD, Trenten Warren 8-39-TD, Henlee Mitchell 2-(-3)
Receiving-Peyton Finch 2-25-TD, Blake Pickett 1-30, Woodard 1-20-TD
PAT-Jackson Williams 3-4
Kickoffs-Brady Calahan 1-14
Tackles-Devin Baus 4.5 (1.5TFL), Pickett 4.5, C.J. Coble 4 (1.5TFL), Woodard 3, Warren 3 (.5TFL), Devin Massengill 3, Dylan Baus 2 (.5Sack, .5TFL), Whitaker 1.5 (Sack, 1.5TFL), Ryan Prosser 1, Ethan Courtemanche 1, Finch 1 (TFL), Cameron Estes 1, Trenton Posey 1, Michael Bungay 1, Tracey Woodard 1, Jackson Mitchell .5.