Cornerstone rolls over Kingwood

Tyler McNamee and the Cornerstone Chargers raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead on Sept. 16 against Kingwood en route to a 38-14 win. (Contributed / Cindy Wingard)

Tyler McNamee and the Cornerstone Chargers raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead on Sept. 16 against Kingwood en route to a 38-14 win. (Contributed / Cindy Wingard)

By Chris Megginson / For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – A large crowd was on hand Friday night to watch Cornerstone Christian take down Kingwood Christian, 38-14, in the first AISA cross-county rivalry matchup of the season.

Cornerstone jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead en route to its first win over the Kingwood Lions since 2004 and first three-game win streak since 2012.

“The first half was as good as we’ve played for a long time. Everything we did offensively just clicked,” said CCS Head Coach Tim Smith. “Defensively, especially in the first half, we got after it. I thought it was the most physical we’ve played in a quite a few years. It was impressive for us.”

Tyler McNamee put the Chargers on the board with 2:26 left to play in the first quarter, connecting with Ben Perryman on a 21-yard touchdown pass. Jace Bailey added the PAT for the 7-0 lead.

McNamee, who added a 22-yard touchdown pass to JoJo Joiner early in the second quarter and closed the first half with a 5-yard touchdown run. Sandwiched between the touchdowns was a 28-yard field goal from Bailey, the first made field goal in the freshman’s two-year career.

“He’s become a little weapon for us,” said Smith.

Kingwood kicked an onside kick and recovered to start the second half, helping set up a long touchdown pass from Tyler Henderson to Noah Seiger, to make it 24-6. Joiner intercepted the Lions’ 2-point pass.

Cornerstone’s Jake Blankenship took the ensuing kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and 31-6 lead.

Henderson found the end zone again for Kingwood with 2:39 to play in the third quarter on a 10-yard pass to Jontae King. The Lions 2-point try made it 31-14.

“We came out a little fired up in the second half and played better defensively,” said Kingwood Head Coach Sheldon Ward. “We just have to learn how to play a full ballgame. If we can ever do that we can be pretty good … We’ve just got to try to forget about this one and bounce back next week. It don’t get any easier next week.”

McNamee rounded out the Chargers’ scoring with a 41-yard TD pass with 8:21 to play in the game. McNamee finished with 103 yards on 6-of-10 passing, rushed for 24 yards on six carries and contributed to four touchdowns. Joiner was the lead target with 63 yards on two catches, both for TDs.

Logan Tucker led the CCS ground game with 100 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, Cornerstone forced seven Kingwood turnovers. In addition to Joiner’s interception, Blankenship, Rhett Edmondson and McNamee had interceptions. Edmondson, Tanner Falkner and Mason Vanier. Tucker Johnson had two sacks, while Falkner, Vanier and Jahnari Chisolm each had one. Blankenship and Theo Mango each had six tackles to lead the Chargers.
Cornerstone’s 3-1 start is its best since its 8-0 start in 2009, a season which finished in the state semifinals.

“I told them tonight they’ve got a chance to do something special if they can keep working,” said Smith. “They have a good time together. It’s one of those teams you like to go to practice with them. They enjoy each other. I told them I thought it was one of the best team efforts we’ve had in a long time at Cornerstone.”

The Chargers will remain home next week to host Hope Christian in another cross-county matchup, while Kingwood (0-4) will travel to Chambers Academy.