Cory Rawson Upends Pirates

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Cory Rawson defeated Bluffton 24-14 Friday night at Spike Berry Field to open the 2010 football season for both schools.  The win in the series is the first for the Hornets since the 2003 opener. 

Rawson jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the game's first possession highlighted by a 59 yard pass from Jeremiah Alspach to Adam Rosendale down the left sideline on a busted coverage.  Alspach found Rosendale again two plays later for the four yard touchdown and 7-0 lead.  From there the Pirate defense settled in and forced CR to punt their next three possessions. The defensive line started to get some pressure with Jason Myers recording a sack and Ben Moser and others getting in the backfield more and more.

Offensively, the Pirates were a bit stymied.  BHS stayed ground oriented in the first half alternating carries of Jesse Gudakunst and Jeremy Basinger.  The Pirates looked to be wearing down the Hornets but couldn't sustain a first half drive.  Of the five first half BHS drives, two ended in punts, two on fourth down non-conversions and one on an interception on a long bomb.  

Cory tacked on a second touchdown on a one play drive late in the second quarter.  Alspach again found Rosendale for a 48 yard pass over the middle and 14-0 lead, which remained til halftime.

The teams flipped styles in the second half as Bluffton took to the air while CR switched to the ground game.  Bluffton's opening drive stalled and the Hornets took over on their own 45.  After an RJ Stratton interception was called incomplete on the sideline, CR ran for seven of the next nine plays as they marched towards paydirt.  Included in the drive were a 19 yard gash by James Rader and a 25 yard jaunt by Alspach on a broken play.  Rosendale again scored, this time on a two yard rush to make it 21-0 Hornets with 6:48 left in the third.  

Bluffton put together a solid drive to open the fourth quarter, mixing the run and pass.  Backup quarterback Hunter Joseph found Gudakunst on a swing pass and Guda made it work, scoring from 10 yards out to make it 21-6 after the PAT was no good. CR then deflated all hopes of a Pirate comeback by eating up eight minutes and scoring on a 27 yard field goal with just 1:25 left.  On the drive, CR converted three third downs and two fourth downs.  The last bright spot for BHS came on the ensuing kickoff when Brandon Deeds sped up the left sideline, juked two Hornets and covered 84 yards as he scored a touchdown.  Joseph found the ever busy Deeds for the two point conversion to make it 24-14. 

The statistics were not pretty for Bluffton fans as CR outgained Bluffton 294-160 including a 187-47 advantage in the air.  Gudakunst (30) and Basinger (29) were Bluffton's leading rushers as the Pirates amassed 113 ground yards.  Hunter Joseph and Levi Gleason combined to go 8/20 for 47 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions through the air.  Basinger was busy on the evening as he also led the defensive corps with 12 tackles, including two for loss.  Keshaun Hughes, Deeds, Moser and Logan Sturgill all chipped in with six tackles each.  Christian Koch punted five times for a 27.6 average including a 39 yard boomer.  

Coach Dennis Lee hopes this week served as a wake up call for the Pirates.  "The things we didn't do correctly aren't physical things.   We will be working this week to correct the mistakes that were made and come out ready for Carey this Friday."  Carey blanked Upper Sandusky 30-0 to open their season.  

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