Last week in a loss to White Plains, Ranburne managed a total of 30 yards of offense on the ground. Friday night against Wadley, Ranburne's Tylor Cornwell surpassed that on his first carry of the night.
Ranburne used a handful of big plays early to take the lead, then rode a smothering run defense to a 33-12 win over Wadley Friday in Ranburne.
Cornwell broke free for a 40-yard gain on Ranburne's second play from scrimmage, and it was the start of a big night for the senior running back. He finished with 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught four passes for 63 yards and another score to pace the Ranburne attack.
Ranburne quarterback Jaxon Langley was nearly flawless in the passing game as he completed 13-of-17 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Langley's first touchdown strike went to Tyler Craft for 21 yards with 7:48 left in the first quarter to give Ranburne a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs added to that lead with a 54-yard touchdown run by Langley on their next possession before Wadley's defense finally settled in and started slowing Ranburne down.
In fact, it was the Wadley defense that accounted for their first points of the night. Ranburne was on the move when Wadley linebacker Issac Minnifield forced a fumble on a Langley run, and the ball bounced into the arms of Wadley's Lakevion O'Neal, who raced 71 yards the other way for a touchdown that cut the Ranburne lead to 13-6.
Cornwell got to work again just before halftime, however, and stretched the lead to 20-6 with a 12-yard touchdown run with a 1:53 left.
He then opened the second half with a 29-yard touchdown catch that put Ranburne up 26-6. With the way that Wadley's offense was struggling to move the ball on the ground, that 20-point lead proved to be insurmountable.
Wadley amassed just 85 rushing yards on 30 carries as a team and had only three first downs in the game. Jacob Marable was the workhorse for the Bulldogs as he carried 18 times for 56 yards.
Ranburne pushed the lead to 33-6 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Kaleb Benefield early in the fourth quarter.
Wadley provided the final score on a beautiful 59-yard touchdown pass from O'Neal to Wyatt Smith on what was the only pass completion of the game for the Bulldogs.
Craft finished with four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown for Ranburne.
Wadley will start region play next week at Talladega County Central, while Ranburne will travel to Vincent for its region opener.
Handley 36, Beauregard 6 – Tae Meadows rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, and Handley quarterback Evan Cofield completed 9-of-16 passes for 168 yards and a score as Handley won its season opener against Beauregard.
RCHS 28, Woodland 6 - RCHS scored three times in the third quarter to break open what was a 7-6 contest at the half. J.D. Till had two long touchdown runs (55 and 57 yards) for the Tigers and finished with 177 rushing yards on 15 carries. Brock Edwards accounted for Woodland's only points with a 49-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Benjamin Russell at Clay Central - Postponed until Saturday at 7 p.m.
Be sure to check out the print edition of the Randolph Leader next week for full coverage of all these games.