SECTION —The Cedar Bluff football team’s offense hasn’t been as efficient of late as head coach Jonathan McWhorter wants.
Unfortunately for Section, the Tigers offense was firing on all cylinders Friday night.
Cedar Bluff used big plays in the passing game and a strong rushing attack to supply plenty of offense while its defense nearly pitched a shutout in a 37-7 Class 2A Region 8 win at Section Friday night.
The win kept Cedar Bluff (4-0, 3-0) tied with No. 1-ranked Fyffe atop the region standings.
“It’s a huge region win for us,” McWhorter said. “We tell our guys every week that every region game is for a region championship. Section is an improving football team. They did some things that we hadn’t seen on film. Our coaching staff did a great job of making adjustments.”
Section’s ball-control game plan started well as it ran 16 plays to Cedar Bluff’s one in the opening quarter. But a penalty stalled the Lions’ first drive, and the second possession ended with a missed field goal.
“That was our game plan and we had some success early, but we just did some things that hurt ourselves there,” said Section head coach Chris Hammon. “After that, we just got whipped up front and (Cedar Bluff) made some big plays.”
Cedar Bluff’s first big play came on quarterback Samuel Cosby’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Anbre Leek on the Tigers’ only offensive play of the first quarter. The first of Nick Clifton’s four extra points had Cedar Bluff in front 7-0 after one quarter.
Section (1-3, 1-2), which was celebrating Homecoming, missed a 42-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, and the Tigers followed with a seven-play scoring drive that was capped by Cosby’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Leek. Cedar Bluff went in front 20-0 on its next possession thanks to Cosby’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:51 left in the second quarter, and Clifton kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Tigers a 23-0 halftime lead.
Cedar Bluff opened the second half with Leek’s 87-yard touchdown catch from Cosby to push the lead to 30-0. The Tigers’ final scored was Cosby’s 1-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.
Section avoided the shutout with JR Walker’s 17-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds left. Kaden Bradford’s 38-yard reception from Jace Holcomb set up the score.
Section finished with 186 total yards. Drake McCutchen ran for 94 yards on 23 carries and also had an interception and a fumble recovery on defense.
Cedar Bluff finished with 425 total yards. Samuels was 9-of-13 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns, with Leek catching five of those completions for 179 yards. Cosby also ran for 65 yards on seven carries while Jacob Gordan ran for 65 yards on seven carries and Trey Stitts ran for 59 yards on five carries.
“We’ve been dragging a little bit on that side of the ball (offense). We did some really good things,” McWhorter said. “Proud of those guys.”