Corner gets late TD to beat Oak Grove
by Lonnie Love
Oct 06, 2012 | 680 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CORNER — Corner’s Austin Sanford broke a fourth-quarter tie with a 80-yard kickoff return to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 35-28 win over Oak Grove on homecoming at Corner High School on Friday.

Oak Grove had just tied the game at 28-28 on a 56-yard touchdown pass before Sanford’s heroics lifted Corner to the region victory.

Sanford finished the night with two touchdowns on 97 yards rushing and the kickoff return for a score.

To open the game, Oak Grove won the toss but deferred, giving Corner the ball to start the game.

But Corner was polite and gave it right back. On the first play from scrimmage, QB Blake Byrd threw an pass intended for Kerry Smith but was picked off by the Tigers’ Andrew Praytor. Oak Grove returned the favor on their first play, Stephen Hooper fumbled and Sawyer Hammonds recovered for Corner.

But it didn't take long and on fourth and a yard Byrd tried a QB sneak and fumbled again. The Tiger's Robbie Cannon recovered setting up Oak Grove at their own 35 yard line.This time the Tigers were able to hang on to the ball for 14 plays and a score. Trey Prestridge ran it in from 27 yards out and Daniel Murkerson kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.

Corner (3-3, 2-2) again would return the favor and mount a scoring drive of their own in the second quarter. Byrd found Smith for a 35 yard scoring pass and the extra point kicked thru by Troy Elliott made the score 7-7.

After a couple of first downs, the guest Tigers would strike again. With 8:44 left until half, Hooper held on to the ball this time for a 33 yard run for a touchdown. After Murkerson's PAT it was Tigers 14-7.

Corner would not be outdone. With 1:19 left in the 2nd quarter Austin Sanford rambled 63 yards to pay dirt to even the score after Elliott's PAT at 14-14 going to the half.

This would be a wild second half homecoming game for both teams.

Oak Grove would take the second half lead by running 9 straight times with Hooper finishing with a 11 yard scamper to give them the lead with Murkerson's extra point at 21-14.

Corner would answer back. After a 46-yard pass from Byrd to Dylan Hand, Kevin Averhart carried it in from 3 yards out to tie it up again after Elliott's extra point at 21-21.

In the fourth quarter the crowd would come alive and make this a memorable homecoming for years to come.

Set up again through the air, Byrd to Smith for 34 yards to the Tiger 6, Byrd snuck it in from 2 yards and Elliott put Corner on top 28-21 with 8:25 left.

Oak Grove had an answer. Hooper took a pitch from QB Austin Lawrence that looked like another sweep, but Hooper pulled up and found a wide open Murkerson for a 56 yard tying touchdown after Murkerson's point after.

But on the ensuing kick off, Sanford would take it at his own 20 and race 80 yards to put this homecoming game in the memory books. Elliott's kick put Corner on top for good 35-28.

For Corner, Byrd had 154 yards passing completing 7 of 10 and one TD. Smith caught 2 passes for 69 yds and a TD.

For Oak Grove, Prestridge finished with 115 yds on 23 carries.

Homecoming Queen honors went to Eryn Golden.

Corner plays its final home game of the season next week against region foe Jemison.