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CHS hangs early, stumbles late in 55-23 loss to Cordova

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By Michael Ward 

It looked like things were well on their way to getting ugly in the first quarter of last Friday night’s game between the Cordova Wolves and visiting Collierville Dragons.

Barely two minutes into the game, the Wolves had found the end zone twice on a 57-yard pass from Christian Arrambide to Travis Green and a 45-yard run from Jeremy Banks. Collierville, however, found a way to keep things interesting before Cordova pulled away in the second half for a 55-23 victory.

Down 14-0, Collierville drove deep into Cordova territory, with the second of five straight runs from Cole Johnson giving the Dragons first and goal from the 2-yard line. The Wolves stuffed Johnson on the next three runs, and the Dragons were forced to settle for a 21-yard Caleb Myers field goal.

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Senior running back Cole Johnson throws up a stiff arm as he rumbles down field Friday night against Cordova. Photo by Roger Cotton 

After Cordova turned the ball over on downs, Collierville again drove deep into the Wolves’ territory, this time stalling at the 12-yard line. Myers’ 29-yard field goal put the Dragons down 14-6 late in the first quarter.

Cordova responded by driving 71 yards in 1:10 to go up 21-6 after a 7-yard Banks touchdown run, but the Dragons continued to claw their way back into the game in the second quarter.

Collierville’s defense recovered a fumble while sacking Arrambide, and two plays later, quarterback Matt Connors connected with Marcus Bersoza for a 20-yard score, giving the Dragons their first touchdown of the game with 10:20 to go before halftime.

Banks added his third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run with 3:29 remaining in the half, but Myers responded with his third field goal – this one from 40 yards – with 21 seconds remaining, making it 28-16 in favor of the Wolves at the half.

After a 5-yard touchdown pass from Connors to Bersoza in the third quarter made it a 28-23 game, the Dragons looked to be gaining momentum. However, the Wolves quickly squashed any hope of a Collierville comeback.

Less than a minute later, Cordova’s Jacolby Hewitt sprinted 50 yards for a touchdown on a reverse play, putting the Wolves up 35-23. Banks scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 65-yard run late in the quarter, as Cordova coasted into the final quarter with a 41-23 lead.

With Collierville threatening to score early in the fourth, Cordova’s Asa Bonner recovered a Johnson fumble, taking it 80-plus yards the other way for a defensive touchdown. Kameron Graham’s 9-yard run midway through the quarter would be the final touchdown of the game, as the Wolves improved to 4-1 on the season with the 55-23 win.

“We crawled back three times,” Collierville Head Coach Mike O’Neill said of his players. “One thing I’ve got to say about our guys (is) they play hard. They’re going to play and going to play hard. But we’re making fundamental errors.”

Now midway through the regular season, O’Neill added the team has to make some internal adjustments to try and eliminate those errors.

Collierville (2-3) looks to get back to .500 this Friday night as the Dragons host the visiting Wooddale Cardinals (3-2) for Homecoming 2017.

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