Cornerstone woozy after rollercoaster ride

Though the Shelby County Fair left town a few days ago, you couldn’t tell it Friday night at Cornerstone. Filled with twists and turns, the Chargers heartbreaking loss to Chambers Academy sure felt like a rollercoaster.

Cornerstone fell in the final minute of the fourth quarter after the Rebels hit a 25-yard field goal to take the lead, 31-28.

“It was a very exciting game,” said Chambers head coach Jason Allen. “They never quit and my guys played through [the whole game] too. There were no losers here tonight.”

The Rebels drew first blood off a 21-yard run by senior running back McKeldric Daniel. The touchdown drive came after a fumble by Charger quarterback Lance Benton.

Daniel found the end zone again early in the second quarter after pounding it in from 3 yards out to put the Rebels up, 14-0.

The Chargers finally found a spark on their next possession, with strong runs from Benton, Corey Woodall and Patrick Shaw.

The team’s first points would come from a Woodall 5-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the gap at 14-6.

Woodall continued his heroics on the Rebels’ next possession, recovering a fumble near midfield.

The Chargers quickly marched down the field and looked poised to tie things up before the break.

However, things changed when Benton threw a pick to Ben Hadaway in the end zone.

On the team’s first drive of the second half, Woodall found a hole and — 49 yards later — six points. The two-point conversion failed.

Chambers responded with a touchdown of their own via a 4-yard dash by Ryan Smith. The PAT bounced off the upright, but the Rebels had the momentum again and a larger lead, 20-13.

The Chargers turned the ball over again on their next possession when Brandon Johnson fumbled fighting for extra yardage.

The Rebels again capitalized on the turnover when Smith ran it in from 7 yards out.

Down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Chargers didn’t give up.

Cornerstone methodically marched down the field and scored again off a 5-yard run by Woodall. J.V. McKinney’s two-point conversion was good and the score tightened, 21-28 with 11:29 to go.

Woodall finished the night with 161 yards, three touchdowns — and that’s just on offense. The junior also had six tackles and the fumble recover.

Cornerstone held the Rebels on their next possession, and then battled back down the field.

McKinney found the end zone from 6 yards out and then ran in the two-point conversion to give the Chargers their first lead of the night, 29-28.

However, 5:09 on the clock was all the time Chambers needed to crash the comeback party. The Rebels kicked a 25-yard field goal to take the lead, 31-29, with 29 seconds left.

Woodall tried to make things interesting on the last play of the game, running the ball 46 yards until he was shoved out of bounds at the 15-yard line.

“It just wasn’t in the cards for us tonight,” said Woodall. “We had a couple of costly turnovers in the first half, and that really hurt us. They’re a great team.”

Charger head coach Tim Smith said his team started to slowly.

“We looked like we were walking in quicksand,” said Smith. “But I’m proud of the way we fought back.”

Cornerstone rushed for 303 yards as a team, mainly behind Woodall and McKinney’s 83 yards. Quarterback Benton was 5 for 11 for 38 yards, but he also had the interception and fumble.

Patrick Shaw lead the team with nine tackles, while Benton, Josh Dunnaway and Clint Crumpton all had eight.

Cornerstone (3-2, 3-1) plays at South Montgomery next week in another area match-up.