Cornerstone holds off Tuscaloosa for 1st win

Cornerstone Christian Academy's Lucas Hale (8) attempts a pass during a game against Tuscaloosa Christian Academy at Rodeo Field in Rainsville last Friday night.

Lucas Hale tossed four touchdown passes, Matt Johnson caught three scoring passes and Cornerstone Christian held off Tuscaloosa Christian’s fourth-quarter rally to win a 56-42 offensive slugfest at Rodeo Field in Rainsville last Friday night.

The Eagles (1-1) picked up their first victory under first-year head coach Jeff Nelson after airing out the ball to the tune of 308 yards passing.

Hale finished 10 of 16 for 216 yards with four passing scores and one interception. Israel Phillips was 3 of 5 for 84 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions; he also caught a touchdown pass with 19 yards receiving.

Johnson led all receivers with 183 yards on eight catches. Phillip Grizzard and Eli Carter each finished with 49 yards receiving and caught a touchdown pass apiece. 

CCA finished with 117 yards rushing, led by Phillips’ 90 yards on six carries with a score.

Phillips got on the receiving end of a 33-yard pass from Hale and Grizzard kicked an extra point to give the Eagles a 35-22 halftime advantage.

Phillips hit Grizzard for a 25-yard scoring connection late in the third and Grizzard added a PAt kick to extend CCA’s lead to 56-28 heading into the final period.

Luke Jones, who ended his night with 171 yards rushing on 19 attempts, helped slice the scoring margin for the Warriors (1-1) with a 65-yard rushing score to make it 56-34, before adding a successful 2-point conversion run.

The Warriors had one more score in them, as Logan Minor found Nathan Johns for a 30-yard scoring connection later in the period.

TCA rushed for 226 yards but was just 4 of 15 on third-down conversion attempts.

Minor completed 11 of 26 passes for 141 yards with three TDs and an interception. Jones was on the receiving end of three touchdown passes and tallied five catches for 110 yards.

Johnson returned a kickoff 70 yards for a second-quarter touchdown to give the Eagles a 28-14 advantage following a PAT kick.

David Delevie intercepted a Warriors pass and returned it 21 yards. Jack McGullion led all CCA defenders in tackles with nine, Layne Fortner and Phillips each added five stops and Tristan Johnson had four.

Clay Merriam led TCA’s defense with six tackles, Sean McMullen had four tackles and Jack Arsenault intercepted a pass.

The Eagles have a bye week before their first road game of the season. They visit Russell Christian Academy in Meridian, Miss., on Sept. 25.

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