Cosby broke long scoring runs the first two times he carried the ball and the Clay Central Volunteers eventually downed visiting Childersburg 48-12. From the wishbone, Cosby took a toss and swept around left end for a 60-yard touchdown on the Volunteers’ first offensive play. A missed extra point, the only miss of the night for kicker Jaylon Lyles, left Clay Central ahead 6-0 with 9:48 left in the initial quarter.
“As soon as I got it, I really didn’t think I would get a lot of yards,” Cosby said. “When I cut it, I knew it was a touchdown after that.”
Cosby said a block by fullback Travis Smith freed him.
“He made a great block that play,” he said.
The Clay Central defense forced a three-and-out on the following Childersburg possession as nose guard Daniel Henry sacked sophomore quarterback Zack Lightsey for a 5-yard loss on third down. From midfield, the Volunteers picked up two first downs to reach the Tigers’ 25-yard line. Cosby got his second touch there, starting toward right end before making a stutter step and heading through the middle of the line. Seconds later he was in the end zone again.
“As soon as I catch the toss, I’ve got the option to take it outside or cut it back in, and that’s exactly what I did — cut it back,” said Cosby.
With two minutes left in the first quarter, defensive back Anthony Wood intercepted Lightsey at the Childersburg 40 and turned the pick into six more Clay Central points.
Ahead 20-0, the Vols never appeared as crisp — on either offense or defense — the rest of the night. Veteran head coach Steve Giddens took note.
“It felt like mentally we were really done then,” Giddens said. “To their credit, they came out and took care of business early. As a coach, you want to see that type of execution on every play.”
Childersburg recovered a Volunteers fumble at the Clay Central 7 three minutes into the second quarter and scored in two plays, runs of three yards and four yards by junior fullback Kendarius Calhoun, leaving Clay Central up 20-6 when a 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Before the half ended, the Volunteers added two more touchdowns. Justin Cosby scored on an 8-yard run with 4:46 on the clock. Randall Brown recovered a Tigers fumble at the Childersburg 44 to set up the fifth touchdown for the Vols. Quarterback Jamario Lyles found tight end DeAndre Wills wide open in the end zone from 19 yards out, and Clay Central led 34-6 at intermission.
Clay Central scored twice in the first five minutes of the third quarter. The Vols took the kickoff and drove 55 yards in five plays. Smith did the honors up the gut from nine yards out. A minute later, linebacker Payton Reynolds recovered another Childersburg fumble at the Tigers’ 45. Off a play fake, Lyles dropped back and delivered a strike to Jamari Staples on a fly pattern down the home sideline with 8:24 left in the third. The Vols substituted throughout the remainder of the game.
Childersburg got its final points early in the fourth on a 27-yard run by sophomore Tim Tilley.
“I think we grew up some tonight,” said first-year Childersburg coach Adam Fossett of his team composed mostly of underclassmen. “We played well in spots.”
Fossett said his offensive line play showed improvement, as did Lightsey at quarterack. The Tigers host Elmore County next week, and a win would go a long way toward securing a playoff berth.
Clay Central travels to Roanoke for what is expected to be its first true test in region play.
“It’s good that we’re playing Handley,” Giddens said. “Our kids know that they’re a good football team and we’ve got to play food football.