Cornerstone wins 8-man opener over Riverside to stay perfect

Published 1:34 pm Saturday, September 9, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA – The Cornerstone Chargers got off to a 2-0 start in 11-man play thanks to wins over Snook and Coosa Valley, and they hoped to carry that momentum into the start of 8-man play as they vie for a state title.

They did just that and made a big statement to open their 8-man season as the Chargers beat Riverside, 52-16, on Sept. 8.

After the Chargers earned an opening drive touchdown to go up 8-0, Riverside got the ball in Cornerstone territory off a turnover on downs. Shortly after, Cornerstone secured a pick-six to extend their lead to 14-0.

The Chargers would go on to score 24 in the first quarter thanks to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Zeke Adams to increase their lead with less than a minute left in the opening period.

Cornerstone capitalized early in the second quarter off a Riverside turnover on downs with a 47-yard touchdown run and another two-point conversion to go up 32-0.

The Chargers recovered a fumble on Riverside’s next drive and drove the ball downfield for a rushing touchdown and two-point conversion to increase their lead to 40-0.

On Cornerstone’s next drive, they converted a fourth down and kept the drive going to earn their third rushing touchdown of the half with less than a minute left in the quarter. With the score, the Chargers scored 46 unanswered points going into the halftime break.

Riverside put together a lengthy drive to open the second half, and a one-yard touchdown pass and two-point score put them on the board, but still left them down 46-8.

Cornerstone immediately responded with an 80-yard kick return touchdown, which would prove to be their final touchdown of the night as the offense cruised up 52-8 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Riverside was able to secure a late touchdown midway through the fourth quarter on an eight-yard scoring run to cut the Cornerstone lead to 52-16, but that ended up as the final score as the Chargers took the win over their opponents from Tennessee.

With the win, Cornerstone improves to 3-0 and will face 2022 region champions Springwood on the road next week as the Chargers hope to earn back-to-back regular season wins over Springwood and avenge their loss in the state semifinals.