Chargers crush Rangers in blowout
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
COLUMBIANA — It’s safe to say that the young, inexperienced football team that Cornerstone Christian School fielded last season is officially a thing of the past. Especially after the maturity and toughness shown in a 29-0 shutout of Lyman Ward Academy on Sept. 5.
The Chargers started off the game by kicking to the Rangers, who promptly went three-and-out and punted.
Cornerstone took the ball at its own 32, and used a hurry-up no-huddle offense to put together a 13-play drive that ended when Quartez Walker broke through on a 5-yard run for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good, and with 2:01 left in the first, the Chargers held a 6-0 lead.
On the next possession, Ian Briggs hit Cade Adams for an 86-yard touchdown pass to put the Chargers up 14-0 following the two-point conversion.
The two squads swapped possessions twice before a Ranger fumble fell into the hands of the Chargers. A turnover on downs ensued, and the Rangers ran out the clock to end the half.
After Lyman Ward had a turnover on downs to start the half, Cornerstone took over at its own 12. Briggs hit Brown for a 26-yard pickup, followed by an Adams 9-yard run. Briggs then found Jeffrey Odgers for a 25-yard gain. Briggs capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Chargers up by 21 after the Logan Tucker extra point.
Lyman Ward again failed to get anything going on its next drive, turning the ball over on downs again.
The game wasn’t without its heated moments amid several personal foul and unsportsmanlike penalties (the Rangers had no fewer than five combined), most notably shown after Ian Briggs scrambled for a 10-yard touchdown run with 26.7 left in the third quarter. As Tucker attempted the extra point, tempers flared as he was roughed on two consecutive attempts.
Cooler heads prevailed, however, and the Chargers went for two and capped off the night with a 29-0 win.
Cornerstone head coach Tim Smith said he was proud of the effort the Chargers showed in the shutout.
“The kids are playing really hard,” he said. “We started slow, but they finally got it cranked up. We got in hurry-up mode a little bit. I wish we had more depth, they love to play at that pace, but it just wipes us out. We got our pace game going, and we scored twice real fast on them.”
Briggs finished the night 10-of-15 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 39 yards and two scores. Walker had 41 on the ground with a touchdown, while Adams led the receiving corps with 119 yards and a score. Defensively, Brown had nine tackles on the night.
Smith said the Chargers have challenge in facing Abbeville Christian on Sept. 12, but said he felt the team had momentum going into the matchup.
“I don’t have to say anything to them,” he said. “They’ve got confidence right now we can beat anybody. We’ll have our hands full, but I guarantee this little bunch here will give them a ball game.”