Early on, not many expected the Cordova Wolves to be a factor this season. They entered with one of the most difficult schedules in the city and they did not generate any buzz as the season approached.
And now? Sporting a 3-1 record with their recent 41-22 victory over Lausanne, and there’s a buzz around the Cordova Wolves.
Defeating the state champion Lausanne Lynx so handily means the Wolves will not be catching anyone by surprise anymmore. Cordova dominated all three phases of the game to seal the win.
Cordova was led by their defense. They held sophomore RB Cade Cunningham to 101 rushing yards and did not allow sophomore QB Kyle Lowe to get into any type of rhythm in the passing game. The Lynx rushed for 160 total yards, but could not convert on key third and fourth downs.
The turning point in the game came early in the second quarter. While the Lynx were down 7-3 and on the Cordova 22-yard line, Cunningham mishandled a handoff and Dylan Reynolds recovered the loose ball, returning it for 57 yards to Lausanne’s 10-yard line.
“I wish they would have blocked for him,” said Cordova Head Coach Marcus Wimberly about Reynolds’ fumble recovery. “He is one those guys that is buying in to what we are doing. He is going full speed on every play. He is having fun out there and you can see it.”
From there, Cameron Wimberly (Coach Marcus Wimberly’s son) rolled into the endzone on a quarterback keeper to push the score to 13-3. Cordova took a 20-3 lead into the half.
In the third quarter, Wimberly moved the Wolves back down field on a 61-yard clock timing drive and rushed for his second touchdown of 3-yards (27-3).
Lausanne finally got into the endzone in the quarter. Sparked by a great kickoff return by freshman AJ Dilworth for 49-yards, the Lynx scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Lowe to Nick Floyd (27-9).
Cordova quickly put an end to the celebration, however. Airyon Paige returned the ensuing kickoff 90-yards for a heartbreaking touchdown to end the quarter, sending Cordova into the final quarter with a commanding 34-9 lead.
“We have some dynamic guys that we have been trying to work in Airyon Paige is one of those guys,” said Coach Wimberly. “He has moves and he took it the distance. We have to find everyone’s little niche where they can help the team.”
Lausanne never seriously threatened after that.
“We got whipped,” said Lausanned Head Coach Kevin LaCastro. “We did not help ourselves any. We did some things offensively that we could not finish. They whipped us upfront on both sides of the ball.”
Lausanne has a very young football team. Many of key players are either sophomore or juniors.
“We played a lot of ninth and tenth graders and their youth showed up today,” LaCastro said. “They don’t know how to fight off adversity right now. That is something we will have to work out in practice. I thought we finished the game. Our kids fought hard for four quarters. We just didn’t quit in the third quarter.”
Cordova had a rough game last week, suffering their first and only loss to South Panola (Miss.), which Coach Wimberly attributed to a week of subpar practices. But he turned that into a coachable moment by showing his team if you practice bad you are going to have a bad game.
“If we keep balanced we can be very dangerous,” Coach Wimberly said. “We proved that we can throw the ball efficiently. That has been a knock on us the last few games. We are getting better. We are a work in progress.”
Next up for Cordova is the also surprising Bartlett Panthers (3-1) in the first district game of the season. The Wolves will travel to Bartlett for a 7 p.m. game on Friday September 20. Lausanne will try to get back to winning when they host a conference game against Harding Academy. That game will also be at 7 p.m. on September 20.