(Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)
9-1 overall record and a perfect 5-0 conference mark. But the Bobcats have struggled most of the year, entering Friday night's clash against Manila with only two wins on the season. The Bobcats looked more like last year's state playoff team in dealing the Lions a 41-0 setback in 3A-3 conference action on senior night at Manila.
Corning proved to be too big and strong on both sides of the ball, dominating the line of scrimmage throughout the evening. The Bobcats scored on their first possession when senior running back K.C. Smith rambled in from 12 yards out at the 5:26 mark of the opening quarter. Jake McDonald tacked on the point after attempt to give Corning a 7-0 lead.
Manila showed some offensive spark on their third possession of the game as quarterback Josh Miles hit running back Steven Green on a 38 yard flanker screen. But the drive bogged down, forcing another Manila punt.
Smith scored his third touchdown of the game from three yards out, capping off a methodical 71 yard scoring drive all on the ground. McDonald's PAT put Corning up 20-0 with 5:18 left in the game.
Smith's 32 yard scoring jaunt at the 1:14 mark, followed by McDonald's successful PAT gave the Bobcats a 27-0 lead at the half.
The Bobcats finished off the scoring with 55 seconds left in the third period on Smith's fifth touchdown of the night from two yards out. McDonald tacked on the point after to give Corning the 41-0 lead.
Manila found some success through the air as Miles finished with 153 yards passing on a 10-23 night, while backup quarterback Tracey Reinhart connected on 2-5 through the air for 14 more yards. Spencer Cain led all Lion receivers with five receptions for 60 yards. Green snared a pair of passes for 44 yards while Brian Borden also caught two passes for 42 yards. Reinhart had two catches for 10 yards while Frankie Cowgill caught one pass for 11 yards. The Lions managed just seven yards rushing on 15 attempts, led by Green's five carries for 42 yards. Reinhart carried once for 13 yards.
The Bobcats rolled up 397 yards of total offense on 45 plays. Corning rushed 42 times for 379 yards and all six of their touchdowns. The Bobcats completed just one pass on the night for 18 yards.
Smith, a 6'1" 210 pounder, blasted his way to 205 yards on 21 carries and five scores to lead Corning's offensive attack. Kegley carried 10 times for 77 yards and the other Bobcat score while running back Clint Buckhanan had five carries for 84 yards.
"Corning is just so big and strong," said Manila Coach Toby Doke. "They have four kids that go over 300 pounds, which gave them a big advantage at the line of scrimmage, and it showed. But I am proud of my kids. We continue to work hard, even though it may not show on the scoreboard. We are playing a lot of sophomores, and they are doing a good job. It's a learning process for them. Nick Bryan stepped up and had an outstanding game on defense tonight. Overall I think we played hard. We had some good things happen offensively. We didn't score, but we had some opportunities to score. We just dropped too many balls. We'll just have to learn and get better. Overall, I was proud of the way our kids played tonight despite what the scoreboard said."
Manila will hit the road Friday night when they travel to Piggott to take on the Mohawks in a 7:30 kickoff.