Two winning streaks were on the line Friday night as Corinth Holders played host to Franklinton.
Aided by a fast start, Corinth Holders improved its streak to four games with a convincing 38-0 win over the Red Rams, who entered the game unbeaten through their first five contests.
Corinth Holders (4-2) passed its final non-conference test in fine fashion, holding the Franklinton rushing attack in check all night long.
“They’ve just been tremendous offensively,” Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt said of the Red Rams’ ground game. “To shut them out after they’ve been averaging 40 points a game and 400 yards rushing, to be able to get that victory, was big for us.”
The Pirates’ defensive line and linebacking unit collapsed on Franklinton ball carriers the entire game, holding the Red Rams to just 129 yards on 43 attempts.
To record the shut out, Corinth Holders forced six three-and-out offensive series, three turnovers on downs and a turnover.
“They’ve just been getting better every week,” Honeycutt said of the defense. “With guys in the middle like Khalil Wright, Dylan Patton, David Pierson and Elliott Lindley, that’s four pretty good defensive players inside.”
Corinth Holders put together three scoring drives in the opening quarter that took a combined 12 offensive snaps and just 4:17 off the clock to build the 20-0 lead.
After a 27-yard kickoff return from Kaelin O’Neal set the Pirates up in great field position, Corinth Holders needed just six plays to take the early lead when Elliott Lindley bulled his way into the end zone from one yard out.
The Pirates’ next drive was also fruitful as Howard Watson scored on a nine-yard run to complete a five-play, 34-yard march down the field.
Corinth Holders took complete control of the game when the Red Rams fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive and Shamarko Wortham recovered the ball on the Franklinton 38-yard line.
It took just one play to turn the good fortune into more points as Cole Sakowski hit Dymon Walker on a go-route down the sideline for six more points.
The quick-hitting Pirates stayed true to form in the second quarter when they built onto the lead even more.
A 30-yard return from Dymon Walker on a short Franklinton punt gave Corinth Holders the ball inside the red zone.
Watson scored his second touchdown of the half two plays later from two yards out.
Tony Kirkwood got into the action on the Pirates’ next possession when he took the pitch from Sakowski on the reverse, switched fields and took it in from 68 yards out.
Sakowski’s second touchdown pass of the night to Steven Adams was the only score in the second half.
Sakowski finished 11-of-15 passing for 200 yards with Walker leading the way with five receptions for 101 yards.
Watson led Corinth Holders with 60 yards on the ground.
Franklinton’s Rondez Taylor managed 48 yards on 17 carries to lead the Red Rams.
After dropping two hard-fought games on the road against Clayton and Northern Nash to start the season, Corinth Holders enters action next week in the Two Rivers 3A Conference winners of its last four games.
Honeycutt knows his team will need to take its level of play up even another notch to continue its winning ways.
“They’re going to have to be good when we get into conference,” said Honeycutt. “Our conference is going to have some very good football teams and for us to be able to win, they’ve got to be able to play great.”