Raiders blank CCS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Shelby Academy Raiders recorded their seventh win and seventh straight shutout Friday night as the Raiders downed West region rival Cornerstone Christian, 23-0.

The Raiders, who improved to 5-0 in the AISA Class A West region, carried only a three-point lead into halftime off a Colby Green 27-yard field goal.

Shelby Academy got things going in the second half, scoring on their first drive and then also on their second drive after holding Cornerstone to three-and-out.

Fifth-year Cornerstone head coach Tim Smith said he was proud of his team’s effort, but the Raiders proved to be too much in the second half.

&uot;I thought we played well, hard,&uot; Smith said. &uot;They just wore us down.&uot;

While the Chargers have been able to run effectively all year behind junior tailback Jamal Prentice, Shelby Academy was able to stop the Chargers for 66 rushing yards and 72 passing yards.

&uot;They shut down the run and we had to throw the ball more,&uot; Smith said.

Cornerstone quarterback Jon Ray was 4-of-12 on the night with one interception.

&uot;Jon Ray played well for a sophomore starting at quarterback,&uot; Smith said.

A swarming Raider defense and three turnovers kept the Chargers from ever shifting the momentum.

&uot;(It) took the wind out of our sail,&uot; Smith said of a late, second half turnover in the red zone.

Leading the Raider defense was Jason Stokes with seven tackles while Tim Dawson had four tackles and a fumble recovery.

The Raiders’ offense put up big numbers against the Chargers, with junior Barry Harrison paving the way with 95 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Quarterback Jake Ingram had a near flawless night, throwing 6-of-7 for 105 yards and rushing for one touchdown. Ingram’s main target of the night, Josh Kervin, led all Raider receivers with three catches for 42 yards.

Although the Chargers gave up 23 points to Shelby Academy, Smith was quick to praise the play of his defense, which held Shelby Academy to one of their lowest point totals of the year.

&uot;I thought Jamal, at free safety, played well,&uot; Smith said.

Smith also pointed to the play of linebackers Heath Smith and Wesley Criswell as bright spots in the game.

Shelby Academy travels to Demopolis this week to take on West Alabama Prep. Cornerstone plays host to Central Christian, a team the Chargers lost to last year, 43-12.

Cornerstone can clinch a playoff berth with one more region win.

After losing to a ranked Southern team two weeks ago and ranked Shelby Academy Friday, Smith sees similarities in the two teams.

&uot;I think, at the end of the year, you’ll see Shelby Academy and Southern playing for it all,&uot; Smith said