The No. 5 ranked Cornersville Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0 ) fresh off a dominating performance in last Friday’s 39-0 win over region foe Huntland, returned to the friendly confines of “Frog Bottom” on the campus of Cornersville High School, as they welcomed the Region 4-A Clay County Bulldogs, themselves a top twenty ranked team in 1A, before a packed house.
The Clay County Bulldogs, flashing speed and big play capabilities, rolled over the Cornersville Bulldogs to the tune of a 38-12 shellacking.
Clay County was led by running back Alec Kerr who scored in almost every way possible - a punt return, two pass receptions, a three-yard run and a two-point conversion for a total of 26 points.
Cornersville was led by Ben Franklin who carried the ball 12 times for 54-yards.
Defensively Barrett Powers led Cornersville with six tackles and Rhett Woodard added 4.5 tackles.
Bulldog Head Football Coach Gerard Randolph said, “We knew coming in that they (Clay County) had some athletes that could make plays and that’s what they did tonight. We didn’t help ourselves as we played behind the chain tonight and against a good team, it will get you beat every time. We have got to eliminate big plays. That cost us tonight.”
Cornersville won the toss and elected to defer until the second half.
Clay County, after an Eli Welch kickoff, began their first possession at their own 27-yard line and began immediately to move the ball.
Clay County quarterback Nate Adams completed two passes that moved the ball to the Clay County 40-yard line.
An offensive holding call moved the ball back 10 yards but on the next play Adams found Weston Birdwell down the far sidelines, who went up and took the ball away from the Cornersville defender, then raced down field before Cornersville’s Hunter Fitzgerald tracked him down at the five-yard line.
The Cornersville defense bowed its back and Wesley Pigg, Barrett Powers and Rhett Woodard made stops in the shadow of the goal line.
On fourth down Pigg stopped Clay County and Cornersville took over on downs.
The Clay County defense was up to the challenge and Cornersville went three-and-out with Tyler Brockman punting the ball away to the waiting Kerr, who started up field, broke to the middle of the field and raced 45 yards for the touchdown.
After the PAT was blocked, Clay County led 6-0.
Cornersville took the ensuing kickoff and with Ben Franklin and Riley Qualls rushing the ball moved to the Clay County 49-yard line.
The drive stalled and Brockman again punted a booming kick to the Clay County 11-yard line.
After Cornersville’s Blake Jones stopped Kerr in the Clay County backfield, Adams on second down found Kerr over the middle and the running back juked two Cornersville defenders and raced down field for a 90-yard touchdown run after catch.
The PAT was no good and with 2:37 left in the first quarter, Clay County led 12-0.
Cornersville came roaring back as Mason Calahan took the kickoff and raced down the Clay County sidelines and would have scored but for that man Kerr, who raced him down at the Clay County one-yard line.
From there Riley Qualls rushed into the end zone for the touchdown but the two-point try was no-good, but Cornersville had cut the lead in half, 12-6.
Cornersville’s offense still was sputtering and after another Brockman punt, the Clay County Bulldogs began a 13-play drive, aided by two Cornersville penalties, that moved the ball downfield.
Adams again found Kerr for a four-yard touchdown, but once more the two-point conversion was no good leaving the score with an 18-6 Clay County advantage.
After another three-and-out, Cornersville left Clay County with good field position at their own 45-yard line.
Clay County went to work with Joseph Marcom running for 20 yards then Adams found Birdwell for a 35-yard touchdown and the visitors pushed their lead out to 24-6, with another two-point conversion failing to find the end zone.
Cornersville pulled up its bootstraps and before the half wound down, they drove, on a nine-play drive, to the Clay County two-yard line but were denied as Woodard was downed in the back field to turn the ball over on downs to Clay County.
That stop left the score at 24-6 in favor of the visitors.
Cornersville took the second-half kickoff and began a 13-play drive to keep the ball away from the quick striking Clay County offense.
With Franklin running hard for Cornersville and quarterback Caden White finding Riley Qualls with a crisp pass, the home ‘Dawgs moved down the field.
Woodard plowed for yardage, Qualls and Wesley Pigg slashed through the Clay County line, then White lofted a pass toward the goal line that was tipped by Clay County.
But Eli Welch, using his basketball jumping skills, grabbed the ball at the Clay County three-yard line.
Two plays later White snuck into the end zone and though the two-point conversion was no-good, the faithful home crowd breathed a little easier as again Cornersville cut the lead in half, 24-12.
Clay County responded with an eight-play drive, once again helped by a defensive penalty by Cornersville.
Cornersville had Clay County third and 13 at the Bulldog 43-yard line but Adams found Brayden Allred with a pass that went for 46 yards to the Cornersville 11-yard line.
After a Cornersville pass interference, Kerr again ran for a touchdown, and with the two-point conversion again failing, the lead was now 30-12, Clay County.
The Cornersville offense struggled for the rest of the game and Clay County tacked on another touchdown on an Adams two-yard score in the fourth quarter and this time the two-point conversion, by Kerr, was good and when the horned sounded to end the game Clay County had their impressive 38-12 victory.
Cornersville’s Wesley Pigg said, “We should have scored more points and defensively we should have played better. They were fast, but that’s what Mondays are for—go back and hit the sleds and get better.”
Riley Qualls add, “We came out flat. They made more plays than we did. We didn’t execute, and we didn’t stay in front of the chains.”
Cornersville will take on the Collinwood Trojans next Friday night for homecoming at “Frog Bottom” field.
Clay Co. 12 12 6 8 — 38
Cornersville 6 0 6 0 — 12
CC — Alec Kerr 45 punt return, (kick failed), 6:20.
CC — Kerr 90 pass from Nate Adams, (2 pt. conversion failed), 2:37.
C — Riley Qualls – 1 run, (2 pt. conversion failed), 2:18.
CC — Kerr 4 pass from Adams, (2 pt. conversion failed), 8:10.
CC — Weston Birdwell 35 pass from Adams, (kick failed), 5:24.
C — Caden White 1 run, (2pt. conversion failed), 6:14.
CC — Kerr 3 run, (Levi Garrett kick), 2:41.
CC — Adams 2 run, (Adams 2pt. pass to Kerr), 7:40.
Stats: Clay County C’V
No. of Plays: 45 54.
Total Offense: 351, 163.
Time of Possession: 21:15, 26:45
Rushing Attempts – Yards: 32-98 yds, 39-115 yds.
Passing: Completions – Attempts: 7 for 13, 8 for 15.
Passing Yards: 253, 48.
TD-Int: 3-0, 0-1
Fumbles: Lost: 0-0, 2-0
Turnovers: 0, 1.
First Downs: 13, 11.
First Downs - Rushing: 6, 8.
First Downs – Passing: 6, 2.
First Downs – Penalties: 1, 1.
Third Down Conversions/Attempts: 3/11 (27.3%), 4/15 (26.7%).
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts: 2/3 (66.7%), 1/2 (50%).
Penalties – Yards: 3-30, 6-60.
Punt Average: 4- avg. 29.5 yds, 8 – avg. 30 yds.
Cornersville: Jackson Caden White 6-11, 37 yards, Blaine Woodard 2-4, 11 Yards, Int.
Clay County: Nate Adams, 7-13, 253-yards, 3 TD.
Cornersville: Ben Franklin 12-54 yds Mason Calahan 5-32 yds, Rhett Woodard 8-22 yds, Riley Qualls 6-20 yds, TD, Wesley Pigg 1-3 yds, Caden White 6 – (-17) yds.
Clay County: Joseph Marcom 19-55 yds. Alex Kerr 8-15, TD.
Cornersville: Rhett Woodard 1-19 yds. Wesley Pigg 1-17 yds, Blake Estes 1-11 yds.
Clay County: Kerr 3-107 yds. 2 TD
Cornersville Tackles: Barrett Powers 6, Rhett Woodard 4.5, Eli Welch 4, Hunter Fitzgerald 3.5, Wesley Pigg 3.5, Blake Jones 3.5, Tyler Brockman 3, Logan Springer 2, Ben Franklin 2, David Metcalf 2, Mason Calahan 1, Blaine Woodard 1, Blake Estes 1, Riley Qualls .5, Jonathon Zuniga .5.
Cornersville: Tyler Brockman 4-240 yds, 30 yds avg.
Punt Returns: Blaine Woodard 1-4 yds,
Kick Returns: Mason Calahan 2-97yds, avg 48.5, Tyler Brockman 3-49 yds, avg 16.3, Wesley Pigg 2-25 yds avg 12.5.