Cornerstone completes region sweep
By Chris Megginson / For the Reporter
COLUMBIANA – Cornerstone Christian completed its sweep of the program’s first AISA region title with a 42-14 win over long-time cross-county rival Coosa Valley Academy on Senior Night.
“Anytime you beat a county rival it’s always good. We’ve already had a big year and we’d like to finish it,” said CCS head coach Tim Smith. “To be honest, if somebody in the summer was going to tell us that we’d win the region, I’m not sure I’d believe, but to sweep it, I’d never believe it.”
The Chargers got on the board late in the first quarter with a 58-yard touchdown run from Patrick Howell. Jace Bailey, who was returning from injury, kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead with 1:42 to play in the quarter.
Jahnari Chisolm scored from 4 yards out to open the second quarter, giving CCS a 14-0 lead after Bailey’s kick.
Coosa Valley scored its first touchdown of the night with 5:57 to play in the first half on a 10-yard halfback pass from Camden Knight to Chase Carlee. However, the Chargers answered in 56 seconds, with Tyler McNamee hitting Jake Blankenship for a 24-yard touchdown pass to go back up by 14 points, 21-7.
McNamee added another touchdown strike to close the half, a 65-yard connection with Jo-Jo Joiner, making it 28-7 at halftime. The CCS quarterback finished the game 5-of-8 passing for 116 yards and 32 yards rushing.
The third quarter was Logan Tucker’s to shine. The senior running back and linebacker made it 35-7 with a 6-yard touchdown run in the first two minutes of the half, and then added a 42-yard pick-six with 8:56 to play, rounding out Cornerstone’s scoring.
CVA added a second touchdown with 2:31 to play on a 19-yard run by Knight.
Cornerstone ran out the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter using 14 running plays, as they rushed for more than 200 yards as a team. Howell led the Chargers’ rushing attack with 90 yards on 12 carries and Tucker finished with 80 yards on 15 carries.
In all, CCS had more than 300 yards of total offense behind the protection of its offensive line: center Alston Matzke, guards Landon Guy and Tucker Johnson and tackles Mason Danier and Ryan Atchison.
“They really did a great job tonight. They’ve gotten better every week. For us to keep playing the way we have they’ve got to keep getting better. We’re very small on the front line so they have to use their speed and quickness,” Smith said.
Joiner (71 yards) and Blankenship (45 yards) accounted for all of McNamee’s 116 passing yards.
Defensively, Danier led CCS in tackles for the first time this season with nine stops, including three for a loss and a sack. Tanner Falkner also had nine tackles. Tucker added six tackles, including two for a loss, to go with his pick-six on defense. Theo Mangos and Chisolm each had seven tackles, while Jacob Foster and Joiner each had three tackles and four pass break ups.
Cornerstone (7-2, 5-0 AISA Class AA, Region 1) will close its regular season Oct. 28 in Tuscaloosa against North River Academy. Coosa Valley (1-8, 1-4 Region 1) drops its sixth straight game and finishes tied for fourth in the region, but will fall short of the playoffs due to a point-differential tiebreaker, won by Kingwood Christian Academy.