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Cordova handles Southwind to remain undefeated

Marcus Wimberly knows how to get a team ready for a game — just look at his past 4A state championship win as proof. The former East Mustangs head coach, taking over for Anthony Jones who left to become the running backs coach at the University of Memphis, is now steering the Cordova Wolves to a hopeful 6A state playoff run.

The first rung in that wins ladder was secured with a 42-0 shutout win over Southwind last week. The Wolves did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard. Senior wide receiver and kickoff return man Damario Richards went 85 yards in the opening seconds of the game, and the two-point conversion was successful when quarterback Austin Wiley found Joshua Hastings to make it 8-0.

Entering the game, the Wolves had to replace their starting kicker and punter due to an injury. Wiley took over the punting duties and had a replacement for kickoffs as well. As a result, the Wolves were forced to go for the two-conversion after every score.

Southwind’s Steve Guy (1), who usually plays running back, had to take snaps at quarterback when injury sidelined the team’s QB. Photo: Terry Davis)

The Jaguars were injury prone as well and had to convert their running back Steve Guy to the quarterback position. Guy, a junior, attempted four passes completing only one of those. He was the leading rusher with 81 yards on 18 rushing attempts, with Southwind rushing for 158 yards.

Southwind had an opportunity to tie the game on a Guy pass to an open receiver but the ball was dropped as he went into the end zone. The Jaguars attempted a 24-yard field goal attempt in an effort to get on the scoreboard, but that attempt was missed.

Cordova took advantage of the momentum from the missed field goal and marched 79 yards to take a 14-0 lead. A touchdown was secured when Wiley found Richards on a 31-yard reception, but the extra point was not good. After Cordova blocked the punt, the Wolves were on the move again. Two plays later, Wiley found Hastings on a 32-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 20-0.

Wiley was not done with the touchdown passes — he caught sophomore receiver Falandis Norry Jr. on a 25-yard touchdown reception, but that extra point was no good either. Cordova took a 26-0 lead into halftime and continued their domination in the second half. Cordova scored early in the fourth quarter on a 99-yard interception return by Kristopher Williams and a two-point conversion.

“They played well effort-wise, but we had way too many penalties,” said Wimberly.

When asked how his team has progressed under his system, Wimberly said, “They have progressed very well. They are full of confidence. They believe in what we are doing and we are making a lot of plays.”

Cordova’s emphasis on playing well on special teams in order to play on offense or defense has paid off with great special teams work this season.   

Southwind head coach Rahnmann Slocum said, “We have to get back to practice and put in some more work. We had some opportunities, but we are still not able to finish off plays and drives. One of our things this week was to focus and finish. We had way too many penalties.”

Southwind will travel to Melrose to play the winless Kingsbury Falcons on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Wolves (2-0) will have to continue their scoring ways when they face the Whitehaven Tigers on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Whitehaven Stadium. This could be a possible preview of a state playoff matchup.

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