Schedule Breakdown: Cornerstone hungry to take next step to state title

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

After falling just short of the AISA 8-Man state championship game last year, the Cornerstone Chargers are ready to go even further this year.

It won’t be easy, though, as they face a difficult region schedule and will test themselves with multiple 11-man games in non-region play.

The Chargers will open their schedule with a trip to Snook Christian on August 18. Cornerstone took last year’s meeting, 38-20, in an early 11-man showcase for an offense that would become a threat in 8-man football.

Next, Cornerstone will take on area rival Coosa Valley in an 11-man game at home on August 25. The Chargers will hope to use their home field advantage to beat Coosa Valley for the second straight year and retain the trophy and bragging rights.

The lone addition from last year’s schedule will come after Cornerstone’s Week 3 bye when they host Riverside Christian on September 8. The Knights are visiting from Tennessee and should pose a good challenge for the Chargers.

Then, Cornerstone hits the road again for a contest with Springwood on September 15. Springwood won the region regular season title last year and took down the Chargers in the semifinals, but Cornerstone took their regular season meeting, 52-50. Expect an emotional and hard-hitting game in the rematch as Cornerstone seeks revenge from their playoff loss.

The Chargers will then take on back-to-back regional opponents as they host North River Christian on September 22 and Southern Prep on September 30. This could be the most crucial stretch of the season as both teams finished around Cornerstone in the regional standings, and a pair of wins would go a long way in securing a playoff spot.

After that, Cornerstone stays at home for a game against Trinity Christian on October 6. That will be Cornerstone’s homecoming game, and they’ll look to close out homecoming week strong with a win over their county foes from Pelham.

Cornerstone will wrap up their four-game homestand against Meadowview Christian on October 13. Meadowview went winless last season, but the Chargers would be wise to not overlook them as they eye the final game in their regional schedule.

That final game will once again be against Evangel Christian Academy of Montgomery. Their trip to the state capital on October 20 is a crucial game on their schedule, as the Lions are the reigning state champions and only beat Cornerstone by 12 last year. The Chargers will look to get a win over the champions to close out the regional regular season.

Finally, Cornerstone will travel to Bessemer Academy for a non-region game to close out the 2023 regular season on Thursday, October 26. A win here would be great for momentum going into the playoffs, and expect Cornerstone to approach this game with that in mind as they aim to take the next step in their program’s rise and win a state championship.