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Cougars open with 27-7 win

DUBLIN — Pulaski County opened the 2008 football season at home in Dobson Stadium Friday night with a convincing 27-7 win over the Vikings of Northside.
The most convincing aspect of the game had to be the Pulaski County defense which limited Northside to just 66 total yards of offense and five first downs in the game. The Vikings gained more yards because of the Cougars’ 69 penalty yards than its offense managed.
But it was an interesting game. Pulaski County did enough good things offensively to make it interesting, and also made enough mistakes and penalties to keep it even more interesting. It’s a shame for such an outstanding defensive effort, but without three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the same play, the Cougar defense would have almost certainly posted a shutout.
“We’re certainly proud of that defensive effort tonight,’’ said head coach Jack Turner. “I’m a little disappointed in that we had some opportunities offensively early to take control of the game, but we didn’t. We made some good plays, but we didn’t have the consistency we’re after. I also thought the kids showed some toughness and good character when the game was tied because we took the fight right back to Northside.’’
Turner realizes that you get all sorts of things in a season opener. Teams just don’t play perfect the first time out, but some things were nonetheless disturbing.
“We remain disappointed about the dumb penalties, but I promise you, that will be fixed. It feels good to start the season with a good win. I think the kids were a little nervous. We had 15 kids get their first start in a football game tonight. You could see how tense they were in the locker room before the game. I’m sure they are happy, and it’s nice to start the season like that. Last year we were lucky  to get past Northside by two points down there, so from a numbers standpoint anyway, it looks like we’re a little better,’’ said Turner.
Pulaski County received the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards in 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Halfback Nubian Peak scored on a five-yard sweep and Matt Songer kicked the conversion at the 5:46 mark of the first quarter as the Cougars kept the ball on their first possession over half the clock time of the first quarter.
That was about all the excitement in the first half other than Pulaski County overcoming miscues like high punt snaps, but it didn’t matter because regardless of how good field position Northside was presented with, the Vikings could not move the ball against the Cougar defense.
The first half ended in confusing fashion. The Cougars were driving behind the scrambling runs of quarterback Luke Walton. But Pulaski County decided to run a play on third and one at the Viking seven with just 20 seconds left to play before half and no timeouts. Fullback E.J. Dobbins was stuffed, but Walton hurried his team to the line of scrimmage and he tried to hit Peak with a pass. It missed, but Walton was roughed on the play and the Cougars were going to get an untimed down.
It gets even more bizarre. It appeared Northside jumped off sides when Songer tried a 22-yard field goal, but while whistles blew and officials’ arms waved, no flag was ever thrown. Songer’s kick was blocked. Northside seemed uncertain as to what to do and started running with the football only to stop a couple of times. Officials continued to toot the whistles and wave the arms.
Considerable discussion followed and both head coaches, Turner and Northside’s Burt Torrence were called to the field. The play was botched. There was an inadvertent whistle. Turner felt the play should be run over, but that didn’t happen and the two teams went to the locker rooms and nobody was very happy.
The two teams traded possessions to start the second half before suddenly, with the ball around midfield, Pulaski County was flagged three times for unsportsmanlike conduct following a play. There was an ejection from the game and the Cougars were penalized all the way to the four-yard line. Northside fullback Jonathan Anderson scored on the next play, and suddenly the game was tied 7-7.
The Cougars didn’t move following the kickoff either, but Logan Haynes’ punt was fumbled by kick returner Isaiah Martin and Brandon Hazzard recovered for Pulaski County at the Northside six where fullback Seth Parris quickly ran for five and one for the go-ahead score. Songer’s kick was good and the Cougars led, 14-7.
It was over for Northside. The Vikings were helpless to move the football and went three and out and in came Parris, the old throwback fullback for the Cougars. He carried six times in nine plays as the Cougars drove 54 yards. Parris got 39 of those yards and E.J. Dobbins scored from a yard out. A bad hold resulted in a 20-7 Cougar lead.
Parris was physically spent following the game. He also plays outside linebacker and he carried the football from his fullback slot 21 times during the game for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
“On that scoring drive I got hit in the stomach a couple of times and actually got a little sick. It was tough going, but I love to get the ball late in a game. I’m an old fashioned fullback. Nubian has all those moves, but I just run north and south,’’ smiled Parris.
Peak made a few of those moves just a couple of minutes later when he popped clear and ran 54 yards to paydirt. Songer’s kick closed out the scoring with a 27-7 victory for Pulaski County. Peak ran 13 times for 120 yards.
Josh Miller was asked about the Cougar defensive play and his two sacks, and he said it was a great overall effort.
“I think we got good play from everybody on the defense. I felt like we got real good linebacker play. That’s the way we want to play defense. We haven’t slammed the door on people very much the past few seasons, but we feel like we’ve got the stuff we need and we want to be the best defense around,’’ said Miller.
Hazzard didn’t want to talk much about his big fumble recovery either, he was just thrilled with his defensive buddies.
“I think we did a great job of containment. Northside wanted to run the corners, but our guys came up real good and we just tried to play them real tough across the front. The Cougars can play defense and we’d love to see some zeros up there this season,’’ smiled Hazzard.
Pulaski County rushed for 299 yards on 53 attempts, and Walton hit three of seven passes for 30 for 329 total yards of offense. Antwyn Calfee had a catch for nine yards, Jolly Martin one for seven, and Peak one for 14. The Cougars chalked up 17 first downs. Northside could rush for only 48 yards on 30 attempts, and hit only two of seven passes for 18 yards and 66 total yards of offense with just five first downs.
Dobbins also ran for 33 yards on eight carries, Martin got 28 yards on seven tries, and Walton ran for 26 yards on three attempts. Anderson was Northside’s leading rusher with 24 yards on seven carries.
Pulaski County will have an open date next Friday before traveling to Roanoke to face Group AAA Patrick Henry in their new stadium on September 5. 

Cougars open with 27-7 win

DUBLIN — Pulaski County opened the 2008 football season at home in Dobson Stadium Friday night with a convincing 27-7 win over the Vikings of Northside.
The most convincing aspect of the game had to be the Pulaski County defense which limited Northside to just 66 total yards of offense and five first downs in the game. The Vikings gained more yards because of the Cougars’ 69 penalty yards than its offense managed.
But it was an interesting game. Pulaski County did enough good things offensively to make it interesting, and also made enough mistakes and penalties to keep it even more interesting. It’s a shame for such an outstanding defensive effort, but without three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the same play, the Cougar defense would have almost certainly posted a shutout.
“We’re certainly proud of that defensive effort tonight,’’ said head coach Jack Turner. “I’m a little disappointed in that we had some opportunities offensively early to take control of the game, but we didn’t. We made some good plays, but we didn’t have the consistency we’re after. I also thought the kids showed some toughness and good character when the game was tied because we took the fight right back to Northside.’’
Turner realizes that you get all sorts of things in a season opener. Teams just don’t play perfect the first time out, but some things were nonetheless disturbing.
“We remain disappointed about the dumb penalties, but I promise you, that will be fixed. It feels good to start the season with a good win. I think the kids were a little nervous. We had 15 kids get their first start in a football game tonight. You could see how tense they were in the locker room before the game. I’m sure they are happy, and it’s nice to start the season like that. Last year we were lucky  to get past Northside by two points down there, so from a numbers standpoint anyway, it looks like we’re a little better,’’ said Turner.
Pulaski County received the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards in 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Halfback Nubian Peak scored on a five-yard sweep and Matt Songer kicked the conversion at the 5:46 mark of the first quarter as the Cougars kept the ball on their first possession over half the clock time of the first quarter.
That was about all the excitement in the first half other than Pulaski County overcoming miscues like high punt snaps, but it didn’t matter because regardless of how good field position Northside was presented with, the Vikings could not move the ball against the Cougar defense.
The first half ended in confusing fashion. The Cougars were driving behind the scrambling runs of quarterback Luke Walton. But Pulaski County decided to run a play on third and one at the Viking seven with just 20 seconds left to play before half and no timeouts. Fullback E.J. Dobbins was stuffed, but Walton hurried his team to the line of scrimmage and he tried to hit Peak with a pass. It missed, but Walton was roughed on the play and the Cougars were going to get an untimed down.
It gets even more bizarre. It appeared Northside jumped off sides when Songer tried a 22-yard field goal, but while whistles blew and officials’ arms waved, no flag was ever thrown. Songer’s kick was blocked. Northside seemed uncertain as to what to do and started running with the football only to stop a couple of times. Officials continued to toot the whistles and wave the arms.
Considerable discussion followed and both head coaches, Turner and Northside’s Burt Torrence were called to the field. The play was botched. There was an inadvertent whistle. Turner felt the play should be run over, but that didn’t happen and the two teams went to the locker rooms and nobody was very happy.
The two teams traded possessions to start the second half before suddenly, with the ball around midfield, Pulaski County was flagged three times for unsportsmanlike conduct following a play. There was an ejection from the game and the Cougars were penalized all the way to the four-yard line. Northside fullback Jonathan Anderson scored on the next play, and suddenly the game was tied 7-7.
The Cougars didn’t move following the kickoff either, but Logan Haynes’ punt was fumbled by kick returner Isaiah Martin and Brandon Hazzard recovered for Pulaski County at the Northside six where fullback Seth Parris quickly ran for five and one for the go-ahead score. Songer’s kick was good and the Cougars led, 14-7.
It was over for Northside. The Vikings were helpless to move the football and went three and out and in came Parris, the old throwback fullback for the Cougars. He carried six times in nine plays as the Cougars drove 54 yards. Parris got 39 of those yards and E.J. Dobbins scored from a yard out. A bad hold resulted in a 20-7 Cougar lead.
Parris was physically spent following the game. He also plays outside linebacker and he carried the football from his fullback slot 21 times during the game for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
“On that scoring drive I got hit in the stomach a couple of times and actually got a little sick. It was tough going, but I love to get the ball late in a game. I’m an old fashioned fullback. Nubian has all those moves, but I just run north and south,’’ smiled Parris.
Peak made a few of those moves just a couple of minutes later when he popped clear and ran 54 yards to paydirt. Songer’s kick closed out the scoring with a 27-7 victory for Pulaski County. Peak ran 13 times for 120 yards.
Josh Miller was asked about the Cougar defensive play and his two sacks, and he said it was a great overall effort.
“I think we got good play from everybody on the defense. I felt like we got real good linebacker play. That’s the way we want to play defense. We haven’t slammed the door on people very much the past few seasons, but we feel like we’ve got the stuff we need and we want to be the best defense around,’’ said Miller.
Hazzard didn’t want to talk much about his big fumble recovery either, he was just thrilled with his defensive buddies.
“I think we did a great job of containment. Northside wanted to run the corners, but our guys came up real good and we just tried to play them real tough across the front. The Cougars can play defense and we’d love to see some zeros up there this season,’’ smiled Hazzard.
Pulaski County rushed for 299 yards on 53 attempts, and Walton hit three of seven passes for 30 for 329 total yards of offense. Antwyn Calfee had a catch for nine yards, Jolly Martin one for seven, and Peak one for 14. The Cougars chalked up 17 first downs. Northside could rush for only 48 yards on 30 attempts, and hit only two of seven passes for 18 yards and 66 total yards of offense with just five first downs.
Dobbins also ran for 33 yards on eight carries, Martin got 28 yards on seven tries, and Walton ran for 26 yards on three attempts. Anderson was Northside’s leading rusher with 24 yards on seven carries.
Pulaski County will have an open date next Friday before traveling to Roanoke to face Group AAA Patrick Henry in their new stadium on September 5.