It was the Cornersville Bulldogs who finished in the top spot of the Elk River Conference championship. The ‘Dogs took the title with a 36-26 win over South Lincoln’s Eagles Saturday at Meadows/Thompson Stadium.
In their inaugural season in 2017, teams from Lincoln County making up the Central Division went 0-5 in the playoffs; 2018 saw the local middle school programs go 4-1.
Coming out of the regular season, the order of finish in the Central Division was South Lincoln, Highland Rim, Unity, Blanche and Flintville. In the Frontier Division, it was Cornersville, Richland, Huntland, South Giles and Moore County.
In Thursday night’s game, Flintville won over Moore County, 46-14, and Blanche defeated South Giles, 28-26, in overtime.
Saturday, Unity won 22-14 over Huntland; Highland Rim defeated Richland, 44-22; and Cornersville took the title, defeating South Lincoln, 36-26.
In the championship game, Cornersville was first to put points on the board, up 8-0 at the 3:12 mark in the first. But, the Eagles answered quickly when Eli Ogle connected with Kenny Squires on a 59-yard strike. The two-point conversion was good, and with 2:53 remaining in the period, it was knotted at 8-8.
With 6:35 in the second, Cornersville converted on a 4th and 14 yards to go, taking it to the Eagles’ 11 yard line. With 5:22 on the clock, the ‘Dogs found pay dirt, followed by a good 2-point conversion, taking the lead, 16-8.
At the 3:48 mark in the first half, Eli Ogle cut the margin using his legs on a 43-yard touchdown run, but the 2-point conversion failed, and South Lincoln trailed, 16-14.
The Bulldogs took advantage of field position and tacked on another score before the half, taking it in from the 12 yard line. The 2-point attempt was no good. The Eagles trailed 22-14 at the half.
At the 3:32 mark in the third, the Bulldogs capped off a drive, pushing it in from the 1 yard line. The 2-point conversion was good, and Cornersville was up, 30-14, headed to the fourth.
With 7:52 remaining in the game, South finished a drive that started late in the third frame. Eli Ogle hooked up with Brady Wiseman but missed the conversion; the Eagles trailed 30-20.
Cornersville’s final score of the night came with 2:14 on the clock, scoring from the 3 yard line. The conversion failed, and it was a 36-20 ball game.
But, the Eagles were still making some noise. Eli Ogle connected with Coleman Bain for a 51-yard score. The conversion was no good, and with 1:57 remaining in the game, South trailed 36-26.
The Eagles attempted an onside kick, but the ‘Dogs recovered and ran the clock out for the win.
The following is a list of players from local schools who were named to the E.R.C. All- Conference team:
South Lincoln: Eli Ogle, Offensive Player of the Year, and Austin Murphy, Kenny Squires, Brady Wiseman, Coleman Bain and K.K. Braxton.
Highland Rim: Nathan Johnson, Offensive Lineman of the Year, and Angel Martinez, Logan Carter, Nathan Boaz and Erwin Lopez.
Unity: Aron Jones, Hayden Meeks, Hunter Hammons and Dylan Moore.
Flintville: Ben Davis and Skylar Swing.