Coffee County Middle School football came into this week's game 0-3 and on losing end of some close finishes to start the season. This did not stop the Red Raiders from a dominant 36-6 home victory over conference foe Harris on Wednesday, August 28.
"We did good, we came out fast. We got a lot of turnovers tonight," Coach Bryan Morgan said. "Defense, they played another great game, they stopped what [Harris] were trying to do. Offensively, we got Blayne [Myers] going a little bit more, but we had some good runs."
Myers accounted for four of the Raiders' five touchdowns to help put the game out of reach. The eighth grader split these between both halves, with two in each.
"I think we needed that win today, after all these losses we took, I think a win'll help boost our confidence" Myers said. "Our linemen, they really worked hard today, I'm very thankful for that."
In addition to strong offensive play from players such as Myers, Cole Pippenger and Jackson Shemwell, the CMS defense forced four Harris turnovers on fumbles to help the offense get more time on the field.
"We got to the outside like we wanted to and then with Blayne running it inside, it's kind of giving us a new dimension," Morgan said. "They're starting to put it together."
On the Raiders' first drive of the night, Pippenger almost put them on the board with a 48-yard run to the end zone that was called back on a flag. After CMS retained possession on the ensuing punt, Myers ran eight yards into the end zone to put the Raiders up 6-0.
Myers hit his second touchdown in the second quarter on a 14-yard run. On the two-point attempt, Shemwell connected with Pippenger to make it a 14-0 game with 4:23 left in the first half.
Just before halftime, Ethan Hargrove nailed a field goal with five seconds on the clock to give the Raiders a comfortable 17-0 lead at the break.
The boys did not slow down in the second half. Myers punched in two more touchdowns in the third quarter from four and three yards out to push CMS further ahead.
Shemwell accounted for the team's fifth and final touchdown near the start of the fourth quarter. The quarterback carried the ball on third and six and ran into the end zone to make it a 36-0 game.
Harris got on the board with four seconds left to avoid the shutout and the Raiders got on the win column with homecoming up next on the schedule.
"That needs to fire them up ready to go for the stretch run," Morgan said. "We got four more conference games in a row starting next week with South and then North and Warren and White, so we really control our own destiny."
Pippenger finished the night with seven carries for 41 yards, with an additional two catches for 17 receiving yards.