Prep Football: Corbin clips Cards in opener
George Rogers Clark running back Darian Farris fends off a defender during a 21-yard run in the first quarter of the Cardinals¿ season-opener Friday night at Corbin. (Sun photo by Bill Thiry / August 18, 2012)
Host Corbin stopped the Cardinals on the 1-yard line with 1:29 remaining and held on for a 13-12 triumph over the Cardinals. The decisive stand came after Clark’s Robert Cornelius recovered a Redhound fumble at the 6-yard line with 3:17 remaining.
However, the Cardinals failed to capitalize on four opportunities on their final drive that started at the hosts’ 5-yard line, ending a night of frustration that included 18 penalties for 155 yards.
After Clark quarterback Darian Skinner was stopped short of the end zone on the 1-yard line, Corbin ran out the clock to complete the successful comeback.
Clark scored the first two touchdowns of the contest and led 12-0 early in the second quarter, but the hosts shut down the Cards in the second half and scored 13 unanswered to secure the victory.
Clark (0-1) reached the red-zone four times and failed to cash in on each opportunity in Steve Collins’ debut as coach of the Cards.
Collins spent the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator at neighboring Montgomery County and was a successful head coach in Georgia prior to his two-year stint with the Indians.
“We had plenty of opportunities (to score), but we just left it on the field,” the first-year Clark coach said afterward. “We had non-conversions (on point-after attempts) … it was everything, from offense, to defense to special teams. We’ve got to convert and take advantage of opportunities given to us. I don’t know how many times we were down in the red zone, two, three, four times, but we’ve got to make points out of that.”
Despite the inability to score in the final two quarters, Clark displayed flashes of brilliance throughout the contest, especially in the first half.
Skinner and running back Cadarrell Spight combined for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Spight finished with 132 yards and had 130 of those in the first two quarters, including an impressive 70-yard jaunt with 10:17 remaining in the first half. Skinner had 114 yards in the first quarter and scored the team’s first score of the season with an 87-yard run at the 2:15 mark of the quarter. Skinner finished with 132 yards.
“He (Skinner) did an excellent job and that’s what we expect of him,” Collins said. “He’s a kid that we knew could (lead the offense). He’s a little banged up with his ankle, but he’s a warrior. He went out there and did the best he could do. “
Corbin got a big performance from running back Matthew Jewell, who rushed for 165 yards and scored both touchdowns for the hosts. It was Jewell’s 71-yard score with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter that proved to be the difference on the outcome.
The Cardinals finished with 354 yards rushing, including 248 in the opening half.
“I’m pleased with the effort and intensity — they gave it all they had,” Collins said. “We’ve just got to shore up the mistakes – the penalties. We had our share of them and we’ve got to overcome them.”
The opener wasn’t without a learning curve for Clark and Collins said his team will grow from the setback.
“We’ll learn more from this game than from any of them,” Collins said. “We had expectations, but we knew it would be tough coming down here to play. They have a lot of tradition down here and they’re a tough, physical football team. We’re trying to get over that hump and we knew this would be a stepping stone for us.”
Clark 06 06 0 0 — 12
Corbin 0 0 06 07 — 13
GRC – Skinner 87-run (kick failed), 2:15.
GRC — Spight, 70-run (run failed), 10:17.
Corbin — Jewell 4-run (kick failed), 6:45.
Corbin — Jewell 71-run (Taylor kick), 2:03.