By Albert Trevino
SHELBYVILLE – The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs earned a second consecutive victory while on the road Friday against the Shelbyville Dragons. Despite momentum swings throughout the game, a big turnover in the third quarter put Corrigan in the driver's seat to control the clock late and earn the 26-14 victory Friday. The Bulldogs will now have a week off to prepare for their first district match Oct. 13.
"We made less mistakes, but we still made plenty." said Bulldog head coach Seven Armstrong. "We have two weeks now to heal up and rest up, getting ready for district."
The offenses were closely matched, as the Bulldogs earned 249 total yards compared to the Dragons' 262 Friday. Bulldog junior running back Terrell Cook was the game's leading rusher with 11 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown. Dragon sophomore quarterback Jaylon Brinson led his team with 13 carries for 86 yards.
Other rushers included Dragon junior running back Trace Jackson with 10 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown, and Bulldog senior quarterback Ty Love, who had 19 carries for 61 yards with a rushing touchdown.
Corrigan deferred the opening kickoff, which the Dragons took advantage of by scoring on an 11-play drive that ended with a 25-yard TD run from Jackson. That drive controlled the clock for nearly half of the first quarter and gave Shelbyville a 7-0 lead.
Love carried the ball most of the way into Dragon territory on the Bulldogs' first drive, but the Shelbyville defense held strong near the red zone to force an early turnover on downs.
A three-and-out by the Shelbyville offense in the final moments of the first quarter gave Corrigan another change to get on the scoreboard. However, Dragon junior linebacker Kaleb Campbell intercepted a pass attempt from sophomore QB Dohn Freeman on the opening play of the second quarter, putting Shelbyville in good field position.
"We had a wide open receiver and the ball was thrown behind." said Armstrong. "It is just one of those things where a young quarterback makes a bad pass that gets picked off. He is going to get better and learn from it, because that is how you have to approach mistakes."
The Bulldog defense would still prevent Shelbyville from scoring on its next two possessions. Later, the offense put together a nine-play drive, ending with an 8-yard touchdown run by Love.
The two-point conversion was no good, which allowed the Dragons to maintain a one-point lead going into halftime.
Corrigan's offense suffered a three-and-out to start the third quarter, but immediately took advantage of a Shelbyville turnover caused by a bad snap. This started the Bulldogs from the Shelbyville nine-yard line and only required two plays for Love to rush four yards, taking Corrigan's first lead of the night.
"Field position is huge in this game. You take advantage of the mistakes they make and hope you can overcome yours." Armstrong said.
The Bulldogs would extend the lead on their following two offensive drives going into the fourth quarter. The first ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Love to senior tight end Alex Vance. The second score was a 58-yard sweep around the right end to put Cook into the end zone.
With limited time remaining, the Dragon offense would only manage to cut the lead down by seven points in the final minutes with an eight-play drive, ending with a three-yard touchdown run by junior running back Jacobi Jackson.
According to Armstrong, the consecutive wins against Kountze and Shelbyville will give his team some added momentum going into district action next week, while the players still prepare to compete at a higher level.
"It gives us something positive to work through. Practice is a lot better after a win." said Armstrong. "At the same time, we are still going to get after these kids and do the work that needs to be done to get better."
The Bulldogs will play their first district game at home against the Hemphill Hornets, Friday, Oct. 13 starting at 7:30 p.m.