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Cougars rally, stay unbeaten

Quarterback Luke Watson rolled left and found a wide open Antwyne Calfee as the two hooked up on a 34-yard touchdown pass with just 1:09 left to play as Pulaski County remained unbeaten on the season with a 28-16 victory over visiting Hidden Valley in Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium Friday evening.
The win upped the Cougars’ overall record on the season to 6-0 and it was the first River Ridge District game of the year. It was also the first time that Pulaski County has ever defeated the Titans in Dobson Stadium. In an odd twist, HV has never beaten the Cougars at home either.
Pulaski County jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when Watson zipped 60 yards off an option keep on the third play of the game. Matt Songer’s conversion kicked made it 7-0 early.
But Hidden Valley made it obvious that it would not be an easy night for the Cougars as quarterback Alan Castro teamed up with wideout Matt Aiken on a 65-yard pass and run play to tie the count at 7-7 following the ensuing kickoff.
Pulaski County retook the lead following a third down quarterback sack by Jared Cole that resulted in the Cougars getting possession of the pigskin at the 37 and stopping a Titan threat.
Fullback Seth Parris had two runs totaling 13 yards, Watson took off for 21 off the option again, Parris came back for two more carries for 21 more yards, and after Nubian Peak got six to the one, Parris bulled it over from there for a 14-7 lead.
It would stay that way until the half even though the Cougars would rush for 196 first half yards, but the tide turned early when Aiken returned the second half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick was missed so the Cougars retained a slim, 14-13 lead.
Pulaski County continued to move the football, but couldn’t finish off a drive. Then following a 48-yard Castro to Aiken connection, Chad Earhart connected on a 30-yard field goal and the Titans led 16-14.
It was on to the fourth quarter and it was the first time all season that Pulaski County had trailed in a game during the late stages.
Linebacker Tahrick Peak tried to get the Cougars rolling when he stepped in front of a receiver in the right flat to pick off a Castro pass and sped down the sideline to the Hidden Valley 18.
After three plays it was fourth and three at the 11. Pulaski County went to the long count do try and draw the Titans off sides. It appeared the ploy had worked when linemen obviously crossed the line of scrimmage, but after a discussion among the officiating crew it was determined that HV had called timeout. So instead of it being first and goal at the six, it remained fourth and three at the 11. Songer tried a 28-yard field goal, but somebody broke through for the Titans and got a hand on the kick. Songer’s kick was true and passed between the uprights, but it was short and under the crossbar.
Things were looking bleak, but Pulaski County’s defense forced HV to go three and out when a third and short play was stuffed by the Cougar front. What would almost certainly be Pulaski County’s final possession of the game would start from its own 42 with just 2:22 remaining to be played.
As time wound down the possession went like this. Watson passed to Nubian Peak for nine yards to the HV 49. Jolly Martin ran for three and a first down at the 46. On first down Watson’s pass misfired. Then on second down he found Zane Quesenberry on the visiting sideline for 12 yards to the 34.
Two plays later Watson rolled left and lofted a 34-yard aerial over the Titan secondary to a wide open Antwyne Calfee for the winning touchdown with just 1:09 left to play and Dobson Stadium was up for grabs. Songer’s extra point kick was good, and the Cougars were back on top 21-16.
Quesenberry added another score in the final seconds for the Cougars when he picked off Castro and zoomed 45 yards to paydirt to put the final count at 28-16. Quesenberry also picked off his sixth pass interception of the season on the game’s final play.
Sometimes teams learn a lesson about being emotionally and mentally ready to play a football game during a season, but usually that lesson is learned with a painful defeat. The Cougars may have gotten a little lucky this time in learning that valuable lesson, but were still good enough to win, and make the clutch plays.
Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner was proud of his team, and thrilled with its never-say-die attitude.
“I’m not sure if we were as focused as we needed to be. We can’t reach our goal as a team if we are not totally focused every week. We made too many mistakes, we left the ball on the ground, and we had too many penalties. We won, and I’m tickled with that, but we cannot be satisfied. It’s River Ridge time. All the games are district games, and all of them are going to give us their best shot. We’ve got to be focused and ready to go. I’m not sure we were tonight, or at least, not until late.’’
But any coach would have to be happy with such a winning rally, and Turner is no exception.
“I’m so proud of our team. There’s not an ounce of quit in that locker room. We kept coming up short, but we kept coming back. I love the attitude we have as a team. We just have to keep our focus and not give teams opportunities. Hidden Valley came after us tonight. The rest of them will do the same. I don’t mind that. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I just want Pulaski County to be ready to meet those challenges, and I think we can. I like Pulaski County’s team,’’ said a happy Turner.
Watson led Pulaski County with 99 rushing yards on 12 carries. Nubian Peak had 89 yards on 16 tries, Parris 62 on 14, E.J. Dobbins 27 yards on five runs, and Jolly Martin 26 yards on three attempts. The Cougars ran for 303 yards on 52 rushes. Watson was five of 13 passing for 71 yards. Quesenberry caught two for 21 yards, Calfee one for 34 and a TD, Parris one for nine, and Nubian Peak one for eight. The Cougars had 374 total yards, and 17 first downs.
Hidden Valley was able to rush for just 45 yards on 21 tries. David Turner managed 38 yards on 18 carries. Castro was 11 of 28 passing for 217 yards. Aiken caught five of those aerials for 157 yards, and Turner had a catch for 33. The Titans had 262 total yards and nine first downs. 

                                                   Hidden Valley 7 0 10 0 —16
Pulaski County 7 7 0 14 —28

Scoring Summary

PC—1st Qtr. 10:23 60 yd TD run Watson (Songer PAT good)
HV—1st Qtr. 7:47 65 yd TD pass from Casto to Aiken (PAT Good)
PC—2nd Qtr. 10:27 1 yd run Parris (Songer PAT good)
HV—3rd Qtr. 11:44 92 yd kickoff return Aiken (PAT no good)
HV—3rd Qtr. 1:30 30 yd FG
PC—4th Qtr. 1:09 33 yd TD pass from Watson to Calfee (Songer PAT good)
PC—4th Qtr. :35 41 yd INT return for TD Quesenberry (Songer PAT good)
PC HV
Rushes-Yards 52-303 21-45
Passing C-A-I 5-13-0 11-28-3
Passing Yards 71 217
First Downs 17 9
Penalties – Yards 8-65 2-15
Fumbles – Lost 1-0 1-0

Individual Stats

Rushing—PC: Watson 12-99, N. Peak 16-89, Parris 14-62, Martin 5-26, Dobbins 5-27.
HV: Turner 18-35, Castro 3-7
Receiving—PC: Quesenberry 2-21, Calfee 1-33, Parris 1-9, N. Peak 1-8.
HV: Castro 5-157

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Cougars rally, stay unbeaten

Quarterback Luke Watson rolled left and found a wide open Antwyne Calfee as the two hooked up on a 34-yard touchdown pass with just 1:09 left to play as Pulaski County remained unbeaten on the season with a 28-16 victory over visiting Hidden Valley in Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium Friday evening.
The win upped the Cougars’ overall record on the season to 6-0 and it was the first River Ridge District game of the year. It was also the first time that Pulaski County has ever defeated the Titans in Dobson Stadium. In an odd twist, HV has never beaten the Cougars at home either.
Pulaski County jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when Watson zipped 60 yards off an option keep on the third play of the game. Matt Songer’s conversion kicked made it 7-0 early.
But Hidden Valley made it obvious that it would not be an easy night for the Cougars as quarterback Alan Castro teamed up with wideout Matt Aiken on a 65-yard pass and run play to tie the count at 7-7 following the ensuing kickoff.
Pulaski County retook the lead following a third down quarterback sack by Jared Cole that resulted in the Cougars getting possession of the pigskin at the 37 and stopping a Titan threat.
Fullback Seth Parris had two runs totaling 13 yards, Watson took off for 21 off the option again, Parris came back for two more carries for 21 more yards, and after Nubian Peak got six to the one, Parris bulled it over from there for a 14-7 lead.
It would stay that way until the half even though the Cougars would rush for 196 first half yards, but the tide turned early when Aiken returned the second half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick was missed so the Cougars retained a slim, 14-13 lead.
Pulaski County continued to move the football, but couldn’t finish off a drive. Then following a 48-yard Castro to Aiken connection, Chad Earhart connected on a 30-yard field goal and the Titans led 16-14.
It was on to the fourth quarter and it was the first time all season that Pulaski County had trailed in a game during the late stages.
Linebacker Tahrick Peak tried to get the Cougars rolling when he stepped in front of a receiver in the right flat to pick off a Castro pass and sped down the sideline to the Hidden Valley 18.
After three plays it was fourth and three at the 11. Pulaski County went to the long count do try and draw the Titans off sides. It appeared the ploy had worked when linemen obviously crossed the line of scrimmage, but after a discussion among the officiating crew it was determined that HV had called timeout. So instead of it being first and goal at the six, it remained fourth and three at the 11. Songer tried a 28-yard field goal, but somebody broke through for the Titans and got a hand on the kick. Songer’s kick was true and passed between the uprights, but it was short and under the crossbar.
Things were looking bleak, but Pulaski County’s defense forced HV to go three and out when a third and short play was stuffed by the Cougar front. What would almost certainly be Pulaski County’s final possession of the game would start from its own 42 with just 2:22 remaining to be played.
As time wound down the possession went like this. Watson passed to Nubian Peak for nine yards to the HV 49. Jolly Martin ran for three and a first down at the 46. On first down Watson’s pass misfired. Then on second down he found Zane Quesenberry on the visiting sideline for 12 yards to the 34.
Two plays later Watson rolled left and lofted a 34-yard aerial over the Titan secondary to a wide open Antwyne Calfee for the winning touchdown with just 1:09 left to play and Dobson Stadium was up for grabs. Songer’s extra point kick was good, and the Cougars were back on top 21-16.
Quesenberry added another score in the final seconds for the Cougars when he picked off Castro and zoomed 45 yards to paydirt to put the final count at 28-16. Quesenberry also picked off his sixth pass interception of the season on the game’s final play.
Sometimes teams learn a lesson about being emotionally and mentally ready to play a football game during a season, but usually that lesson is learned with a painful defeat. The Cougars may have gotten a little lucky this time in learning that valuable lesson, but were still good enough to win, and make the clutch plays.
Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner was proud of his team, and thrilled with its never-say-die attitude.
“I’m not sure if we were as focused as we needed to be. We can’t reach our goal as a team if we are not totally focused every week. We made too many mistakes, we left the ball on the ground, and we had too many penalties. We won, and I’m tickled with that, but we cannot be satisfied. It’s River Ridge time. All the games are district games, and all of them are going to give us their best shot. We’ve got to be focused and ready to go. I’m not sure we were tonight, or at least, not until late.’’
But any coach would have to be happy with such a winning rally, and Turner is no exception.
“I’m so proud of our team. There’s not an ounce of quit in that locker room. We kept coming up short, but we kept coming back. I love the attitude we have as a team. We just have to keep our focus and not give teams opportunities. Hidden Valley came after us tonight. The rest of them will do the same. I don’t mind that. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I just want Pulaski County to be ready to meet those challenges, and I think we can. I like Pulaski County’s team,’’ said a happy Turner.
Watson led Pulaski County with 99 rushing yards on 12 carries. Nubian Peak had 89 yards on 16 tries, Parris 62 on 14, E.J. Dobbins 27 yards on five runs, and Jolly Martin 26 yards on three attempts. The Cougars ran for 303 yards on 52 rushes. Watson was five of 13 passing for 71 yards. Quesenberry caught two for 21 yards, Calfee one for 34 and a TD, Parris one for nine, and Nubian Peak one for eight. The Cougars had 374 total yards, and 17 first downs.
Hidden Valley was able to rush for just 45 yards on 21 tries. David Turner managed 38 yards on 18 carries. Castro was 11 of 28 passing for 217 yards. Aiken caught five of those aerials for 157 yards, and Turner had a catch for 33. The Titans had 262 total yards and nine first downs. 

                                                   Hidden Valley 7 0 10 0 —16
Pulaski County 7 7 0 14 —28

Scoring Summary

PC—1st Qtr. 10:23 60 yd TD run Watson (Songer PAT good)
HV—1st Qtr. 7:47 65 yd TD pass from Casto to Aiken (PAT Good)
PC—2nd Qtr. 10:27 1 yd run Parris (Songer PAT good)
HV—3rd Qtr. 11:44 92 yd kickoff return Aiken (PAT no good)
HV—3rd Qtr. 1:30 30 yd FG
PC—4th Qtr. 1:09 33 yd TD pass from Watson to Calfee (Songer PAT good)
PC—4th Qtr. :35 41 yd INT return for TD Quesenberry (Songer PAT good)
PC HV
Rushes-Yards 52-303 21-45
Passing C-A-I 5-13-0 11-28-3
Passing Yards 71 217
First Downs 17 9
Penalties – Yards 8-65 2-15
Fumbles – Lost 1-0 1-0

Individual Stats

Rushing—PC: Watson 12-99, N. Peak 16-89, Parris 14-62, Martin 5-26, Dobbins 5-27.
HV: Turner 18-35, Castro 3-7
Receiving—PC: Quesenberry 2-21, Calfee 1-33, Parris 1-9, N. Peak 1-8.
HV: Castro 5-157

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