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One half enough for Cougars

ROANOKE — This one was over in a hurry. Pulaski County’s football team had an open date late week, but the Cougars didn’t get to play a whole lot of football Friday at Patrick Henry either.
The final score was 49-14 and 42 of those points came in the first half for the Cougars as they ran their record to 2-0 on the season. PH is now 0-2 on the season.
The first half numbers were almost unbelievable. Pulaski County ran the football 26 times for 177 yards, and passed it three times, completing all three, for 84 more yards. PH tried to rush the pigskin 15 times and lost 34 yards, yep, minus 34. The Cougar defensive front which many of them like to call the “Gold Swarm’’ completely dominated the line of scrimmage.
In the first half, PH had a total of 17 plays, and lost yardage on seven of them. This Cougar defense likely should have two shutouts already, and this bunch gets to the football in a hurry.
The defensive front of E.J. Dobbins, Josh Miller, Brandon Hazzard, Langston Lewis, Kody McDaniel and the linebacking corps of  C. J. Burleson, Tahrick Peak, Seth Parris and Steven Jones hammered PH, and the secondary continues to make plays like an interception by safety Zane Quesenberry.
The Cougar defense gave the Cougar offense a short field to work with and they took advantage of it.  At the half, Pulaski County had 13 first downs, and PH had none. The Cougars had 261 total yards of offense, and PH had the minus 34. Domination might not be an adequate description. In the first two games of the season verses Northside and Patrick Henry, the Pulaski County defense has allowed only one first down in the first half, and minus 10 yards in total offense.
“I was very pleased with how our team played in the first half,’’ said Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner in what had to be the understatement of the night. “I thought the kids were really ready to go. We looked sharp offensively and we got a lot of players involved quickly which we will always hope to do, and of course, we’re so thrilled with how that defense is playing. We played physical and were quick to the football. It was an outstanding first half, but I wish our two-deep units had played a little better in the second half, but they need time, they’re good kids, and they work hard too. I was glad to get so many of our players in the game,’’ said Turner.
The Cougars received the opening kickoff. Nine plays and 59 yards later the first marker was on the board after a one-yard plunge by fullback Parris who carried six times for 22 yards, and slotback Jolly Martin got 40 yards on just two carries. The extra point attempt was botched, but PC was on top 6-zip at the 7:57 mark of the first quarter.
The next score came on a five-play 48-yard drive with the big play being a 28-yard pass from quarterback Luke Walton to slotback Nubian Peak. Fullback Dobbins bulled over from the three. Peak got the two-point conversion on a quick pitch for a 14-0 lead.
The next time the Cougars had to just move 37 yards because of that good field position given it by the PC defense.  Walton threw just three passes, but completed all three, and all three were big plays. This time he hit wideout Taylor Akers on a third-down completion for 13 yards to the PH 24. Peak scored on a 10-yard sweep. Matt Songer’s point after was good and it was 21-0.
The next scoring drive, and Pulaski County scored on all six of its first half possessions, started with a 15-yard punt return by Peak. Three plays later he swept right from 20 yards out to the end zone. Songer was good again for a 28-0 lead with 8:24 still to play in the first half.
PH was backed up deep following the kickoff and forced to punt from its own 12. PH never crossed the midfield stripe until the second half, and didn’t get a first down until midway in the third quarter.
This time Kyle Smith had his punt blocked by Tahrick Peak and Antwyn Calfee jumped on it at the 11 for the Cougars.
Dobbins carried it twice, the first time for seven, and the second time he barreled into the end zone from two yards out. Songer was good again and it was 35-0.
The Patriots were helpless to move the football, and had to punt again. This time Pulaski County moved 60 yards in only five plays. The possession featured the third big pass play of the game as Watson hit wideout Zane Quesenberry on the near hash, he stepped clean of a tackle attempt and ran 43 yards to the PH 22. Slotback Trey Smith then scampered 18 yards to the four. Following an off-sides penalty two plays later, Smith dove over the goal line at the right corner of the end zone to complete a seven-yard run. Songer’s kick made it 42-0 Pulaski County with 51 seconds left in the first half.
The second half featured a continuous clock which is the option of the two head coaches depending on the nature of the game. With the help of two penalties, PH did score with a 49-yard drive when Darren Thomas passed nine yards to tight end Kyle.
But Pulaski County came right back following the kickoff and moved 70 yards in nine plays to tally again. Martin had a big run of 24 yards, Smith got one for 12, and Watson kept off the option and zipped 16 yards to paydirt with 11:53 left to play. Songer was good again and the score was 49-7.
It was evident at that stage that Pulaski County was really not going to try and score anymore and the Cougars ran on and off the field the rest of the game. Zach Cochran scored on a 25-yard run late for the Patriots and the final score was 49-14.
Pulaski County finished with 249 yards rushing on 40 attempts and Watson’s three-for-three passing went for 84 more yards, and the Cougars finished with 333 total yards and 19 first downs. Martin had the biggest rushing numbers with 87 yards on nine carries, Nubian Peak who did not play in the second half, had 54 on five runs, Smith had 39 on five, Parris 35 on 10, Watson 22 on three, and Dobbins 17 yards on four carries.
PH finally managed to finish with 93 total yards, and seven first downs. Thomas had 48 yards rushing, Cochran 34, and Smith caught three passes for 29 yards.
The Cougars return home next Friday to Dobson Stadium to face Franklin County, a Group AAA, Western Valley District school, that narrowly defeated PC in Rocky Mount last season. It will be a very special evening at the stadium as the playing surface will be named in honor of former head coach Joel Hicks. 

One half enough for Cougars

ROANOKE — This one was over in a hurry. Pulaski County’s football team had an open date late week, but the Cougars didn’t get to play a whole lot of football Friday at Patrick Henry either.
The final score was 49-14 and 42 of those points came in the first half for the Cougars as they ran their record to 2-0 on the season. PH is now 0-2 on the season.
The first half numbers were almost unbelievable. Pulaski County ran the football 26 times for 177 yards, and passed it three times, completing all three, for 84 more yards. PH tried to rush the pigskin 15 times and lost 34 yards, yep, minus 34. The Cougar defensive front which many of them like to call the “Gold Swarm’’ completely dominated the line of scrimmage.
In the first half, PH had a total of 17 plays, and lost yardage on seven of them. This Cougar defense likely should have two shutouts already, and this bunch gets to the football in a hurry.
The defensive front of E.J. Dobbins, Josh Miller, Brandon Hazzard, Langston Lewis, Kody McDaniel and the linebacking corps of  C. J. Burleson, Tahrick Peak, Seth Parris and Steven Jones hammered PH, and the secondary continues to make plays like an interception by safety Zane Quesenberry.
The Cougar defense gave the Cougar offense a short field to work with and they took advantage of it.  At the half, Pulaski County had 13 first downs, and PH had none. The Cougars had 261 total yards of offense, and PH had the minus 34. Domination might not be an adequate description. In the first two games of the season verses Northside and Patrick Henry, the Pulaski County defense has allowed only one first down in the first half, and minus 10 yards in total offense.
“I was very pleased with how our team played in the first half,’’ said Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner in what had to be the understatement of the night. “I thought the kids were really ready to go. We looked sharp offensively and we got a lot of players involved quickly which we will always hope to do, and of course, we’re so thrilled with how that defense is playing. We played physical and were quick to the football. It was an outstanding first half, but I wish our two-deep units had played a little better in the second half, but they need time, they’re good kids, and they work hard too. I was glad to get so many of our players in the game,’’ said Turner.
The Cougars received the opening kickoff. Nine plays and 59 yards later the first marker was on the board after a one-yard plunge by fullback Parris who carried six times for 22 yards, and slotback Jolly Martin got 40 yards on just two carries. The extra point attempt was botched, but PC was on top 6-zip at the 7:57 mark of the first quarter.
The next score came on a five-play 48-yard drive with the big play being a 28-yard pass from quarterback Luke Walton to slotback Nubian Peak. Fullback Dobbins bulled over from the three. Peak got the two-point conversion on a quick pitch for a 14-0 lead.
The next time the Cougars had to just move 37 yards because of that good field position given it by the PC defense.  Walton threw just three passes, but completed all three, and all three were big plays. This time he hit wideout Taylor Akers on a third-down completion for 13 yards to the PH 24. Peak scored on a 10-yard sweep. Matt Songer’s point after was good and it was 21-0.
The next scoring drive, and Pulaski County scored on all six of its first half possessions, started with a 15-yard punt return by Peak. Three plays later he swept right from 20 yards out to the end zone. Songer was good again for a 28-0 lead with 8:24 still to play in the first half.
PH was backed up deep following the kickoff and forced to punt from its own 12. PH never crossed the midfield stripe until the second half, and didn’t get a first down until midway in the third quarter.
This time Kyle Smith had his punt blocked by Tahrick Peak and Antwyn Calfee jumped on it at the 11 for the Cougars.
Dobbins carried it twice, the first time for seven, and the second time he barreled into the end zone from two yards out. Songer was good again and it was 35-0.
The Patriots were helpless to move the football, and had to punt again. This time Pulaski County moved 60 yards in only five plays. The possession featured the third big pass play of the game as Watson hit wideout Zane Quesenberry on the near hash, he stepped clean of a tackle attempt and ran 43 yards to the PH 22. Slotback Trey Smith then scampered 18 yards to the four. Following an off-sides penalty two plays later, Smith dove over the goal line at the right corner of the end zone to complete a seven-yard run. Songer’s kick made it 42-0 Pulaski County with 51 seconds left in the first half.
The second half featured a continuous clock which is the option of the two head coaches depending on the nature of the game. With the help of two penalties, PH did score with a 49-yard drive when Darren Thomas passed nine yards to tight end Kyle.
But Pulaski County came right back following the kickoff and moved 70 yards in nine plays to tally again. Martin had a big run of 24 yards, Smith got one for 12, and Watson kept off the option and zipped 16 yards to paydirt with 11:53 left to play. Songer was good again and the score was 49-7.
It was evident at that stage that Pulaski County was really not going to try and score anymore and the Cougars ran on and off the field the rest of the game. Zach Cochran scored on a 25-yard run late for the Patriots and the final score was 49-14.
Pulaski County finished with 249 yards rushing on 40 attempts and Watson’s three-for-three passing went for 84 more yards, and the Cougars finished with 333 total yards and 19 first downs. Martin had the biggest rushing numbers with 87 yards on nine carries, Nubian Peak who did not play in the second half, had 54 on five runs, Smith had 39 on five, Parris 35 on 10, Watson 22 on three, and Dobbins 17 yards on four carries.
PH finally managed to finish with 93 total yards, and seven first downs. Thomas had 48 yards rushing, Cochran 34, and Smith caught three passes for 29 yards.
The Cougars return home next Friday to Dobson Stadium to face Franklin County, a Group AAA, Western Valley District school, that narrowly defeated PC in Rocky Mount last season. It will be a very special evening at the stadium as the playing surface will be named in honor of former head coach Joel Hicks.