By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
CORINTH – Belmont’s football team has been known for its offensive production thus far in 2010.
Friday night at Warrior Stadium, however, it was Belmont’s defense that put on a show.
The Cardinals gave up only 53 total yards against Corinth on their way to taking a driver’s seat in Division 1-3A, defeating the Warriors 28-3.
“The total team effort on defense, I thought our kids played extremely hard,” said Cardinals’ head coach Kerry Moody, “Our defensive line got some push and our defensive backs were in position all night.
“I was real proud of their effort.”
Belmont’s defense, led all night by seniors Zack Daniel and Brody Rogers, held Corinth – the Daily Journal’s third-ranked 3A school – to only five first downs the entire game.
“They’re a good sound defense,” said Corinth coach Jamie Mitchell. “We made a lot of mistakes, and you can’t do that against an experienced team.”
The Cardinals’ offense didn’t miss a beat Friday night either.
Belmont, the Daily Journal’s second-ranked 3A team, had three 90-plus yard rushers, led by Cody Sartain’s 131 yard performance.
“We’re very fortunate to have three good backs that can hard and break tackles.” said Moody of Sartain, Dustin Poole (16 carries, 94 yards) and Jordan Powell (17-94).
Poole scored the Cardinals’ first touchdown early in the second quarter on a 15-yard run to put Belmont up 8-0.
Two drives later, it took Belmont (7-0, 2-0 in Division 1-3A) only one play for its second touchdown of the night.
After Jordan Parker’s punt to the Belmont 33 yard line, Sartain took the next play 67 yards for his first touchdown to help the Cardinals take a 15-0 halftime lead.
The Cardinals were held scoreless in the third quarter, but broke the game open midway through the 4th.
Belmont iced over six minutes of clock over the course of two quarters in their 2nd drive of the half.
Poole capped the 95-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to extend Belmont’s lead to 22-3.
Belmont put a finishing touch on the game three plays later.
After Rodrick Gaines fumbled the ensuing kickoff on the Corinth 44, Sartain capped the game with a 29-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals their final points of the night.
Belmont added a safety near the end of the firstst quarter when Parker recovered a high snap during a punt attempt in the end zone.
Parker scored the only points for the Warriors (2-5, 1-1) in the third quarter, using his powerful leg to boot a 39-yard field goal.