Corning's Russell Cox rushed for 191 yards and scored five touchdowns to lead the junior Bobcats to a 38-18 victory over host Manila Thursday night in 3A-3 conference football action.
(Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)
The Lions had no trouble moving the football, rolling up 300 yards of total offense while scoring three touchdowns, but squandered a golden opportunity early in the fourth quarter that would have given Manila a chance to pull within six points of the Bobcats.
The Lions trailed 24-12 when Thomas Davis ripped off a 51-yard run, giving Manila a first down at the corning six yard line as the third quarter expired. A procedure penalty pushed the Lions back to the 11 yard line, but a three yard pass from quarterback Kyle Joyner to wide received Caleb Reinhart and a three yard run by Davis set up a crucial third and goal at the Bobcat five early in the fourth period. But on fourth down, the center snap sailed over Joyner's head and was recovered by Corning's Jordan Rainwater at the Bobcat 19, snuffing out the Lion threat.
Corning wasted little time in taking advantage of the Manila turnover, putting together a quick five-play 81-yard touchdown drive capped off by Cox's fifth touchdown of the night from 20 yards out, giving the Bobcats a 32-12 lead with 4:22 left in the game. The drive was highlighted by a 55-yard pass from quarter back Nathan Oxner to wide receiver Matt Barton.
Manila got on the board first, taking the opening kickoff and driving 66 yards in six plays to take a 6-0 lead on Joyner's 13-yard touchdown strike to Davis at the 5:01 mark of the first period. The two point conversion failed.
Corning came right back with an 80-yard touchdown drive of their own, capped off with Cox's first touchdown run of the night from nine yards out at the 2:59 mark. The two point conversion pass fell incomplete, leaving the score tied 6-6.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the gamed when Cox scored on a 15-yard end around run with 29 seconds left in the first quarter. The score was set up when Barton picked off a Joyner pass at the Corning 43 yard line. The bobcats faced a fourth and nine at the Manila 45 and lined up in punt formation, but Cox took the snap from center and dashed around right end for 15 yards and a Corning first down. The Bobcats scored two plays later to take a 12-6 lead.
Manila quickly answered with an eight play, 65-yard drive, scoring on a one yard touchdown plunge by Alldonn Skelton with 4:13 left in the half. The two point conversion attempt failed, leaving the game tied 12-12.
Corning took the lead for good when Cox scored from three yards out with just 22 seconds left in the first half to take an 18-12 lead into the dressing room. Cox's 41 yard halfback pass to Barton set up the Corning touchdown.
Manila threatened midway through the third quarter driving to the Bobcat 14 yard line, but Barton came up with his second interception of the game to cut short the Lion scoring opportunity.
The Bobcats wasted little time in stretching their lead as Cox scored on his second end around play of the game, this time from 53 yards out, to push the Corning lead to 24-12 with 1:17 left in the third quarter.
Trailing 32-12, Joyner and Davis hooked up once more, this time for a 33-yard pass play that pulled the Lions to within 32-18.
Oxner's 48-yard touchdown pass to Barton with 1:56 left in the game set the final score at 38-18.
"We just didn't take advantage of our opportunities," Manila Coach Toby Doke said. "We get in the red zone and just can't score. It's been that way the whole season. We have to find a way to win games. We have a lot of eighth graders and they will get better. We moved the ball well all night, but couldn't find a way to stop Cox."
Corning finished with 396 yards of total offense, rushing for 213 while passing for 183 more. Oxner completed six of 10 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown while Cox completed his only pass of the night for 41 yards. Cox amassed 232 yards of total offense on the evening.
Joyner completed 11-21 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Reinhart snared seven passes for 78 yards while Davis caught three passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Kyler Williams snagged one pass for 10 yards.
Skelton and Davis led the Lions in rushing, with 81 yards apiece. Tanner Platz carried one time for seven yards, as Manila totaled 165 yards on the ground.