CARBON HILL — A hotly-contested first half of football turned into a comfortable road win for the Cordova Blue Devils Thursday night.
A late, momentum-stealing first-half touchdown by Carbon Hill excited the home crowd, but Cordova rallied to score three second-half touchdowns as they cruised to a 30-8 victory.
Cordova received the opening kickoff and wasted no time marching down the field — scoring on the seventh play of the drive on a 29-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Cody Headrick to Cade Naramore. The two-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Carbon Hill’s Zack Lawhorn to keep the score 6-0.
Carbon Hill quickly went three and out on their opening drive, but Cameron DeJesus managed to get the ball right back for the Bulldogs with an interception.
Carbon Hill proceeded to put together a strong drive on the next possession, pushing the ball all the way to the red zone before back-to-back sacks by Cordova’s Hayden Bates and Blaze Nix led to a turnover on downs.
On the ensuing possession, Cordova used two screen passes in a row to set up a 35-yard touchdown pass from Headrick to Adam O’Rear on a fake-screen play. Cordova couldn’t convert any of their five 2-point conversion attempts so the score remained 12-0.
O’Rear followed up the touchdown with a huge defensive play — an interception that squashed another promising Carbon Hill drive with 2:43 remaining in the first half.
That’s when things started to get interesting. Coach Chavis Williams and his Bulldog defense stopped Cordova quickly for a three and out and then masterfully ran their two-minute offense. After both a big reception and rush from Devon Daniel, quarterback Clay Tittle found Zack Lawhorn in the endzone for a touchdown.
Daniel’s 2-point conversion run was good, leaving the score 12-8 going into halftime.
Carbon Hill’s momentum didn’t last long however as Cordova forced a fumble on the opening drive of the second half.
The Blue Devils then chose to power run the ball six straight times before Jack Gable scored from 2 yards out to boost the lead to 18-8.
Kevin Headrick picked off a Tittle pass on the first play of the following drive, which Cordova quickly turned into a 28-yard touchdown pass to Naramore to make the score 24-8.
Cordova’s defense continued to frustrate the Carbon Hill offense, forcing a three and out. Cordova’s offense took over and drove the ball for 7 plays before Cody Headrick hit senior tight end Jordan Perrin for the final score of the evening.
Carbon Hill got the ball into the red zone on the next drive yet again, but Cordova forced a fumble that was recovered by senior linebacker Connor Cox to end the threat.
The Blue Devil effort earned new head coach Justin Palmer his first win in Alabama. While Coach Palmer admitted that it felt great to get his first win, his thoughts immediately went to his players.
“I’m just so thankful our guys are getting to play, to be honest. This win is so important, especially to our seniors, because you really never know when it may be the last one. We started a little sluggish, but to get a win against a well-coached, tough team like Coach Williams has, feels pretty good,” Coach Palmer said after the game.
Both Cordova and Carbon Hill open region play next week as Cordova (1-1) travels to Pleasant Grove, while Carbon Hill (1-1) plays at home against Susan Moore.