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O’s rally falls short, 20-18 at Blacksburg

The Pulaski Middle School Orioles football team has found the going rough so far in their 2010 season. The Orioles lost both of their first two games 14-0, and things were looking like they were headed the same way last Thursday on the road in Blacksburg. While they didn’t get the win in the 20-18 loss, they did find a way to mount a comeback in the second half to put the game in question before it finally ended.
Blacksburg got on the board first, as Korbin Hendricks broke through the Oriole defense and went 63 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was stopped by Pulaski, leaving the Titans up 6-0. The rest of the first and second quarters continued to be a back and forth defensive struggle, but the Orioles were able to put together a late second quarter defensive stop to get the last possession of the half. The Orioles were able to pass the ball well, but found themselves held back by penalties on two occasions, but in the end they were able to move the ball 63 yards for the score. The touchdown came on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Walters to Marcus Burks on the last play of the quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score tied at 6-6 at the half.
The scoring play apparently lit a fire under the Orioles, and on the opening kickoff of the second half Austin Leeper was able to recover a Blacksburg fumble to get the Orioles back in business. Unfortunately they were unable to move the ball effectively, and were forced to punt.
Blacksburg was able to up their lead on the next drive when Hendricks took the ball through the line again and headed 50 yards to paydirt. The two point conversion was again no good, leaving the score at 12-6 Blacksburg.
Hendricks would also score the final Blacksburg points of the night on the following Pulaski drive in the fourth quarter. The Orioles lost the ball on a fumble, and Hendricks scooped it up and ran 82 yards. The two-point conversion put the Titans up 20-6.
The Orioles put things into overdrive, and Hesus Hickman got things started when he caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Harrison. The two-point conversion was no good, and the Orioles trailed 20-12. Taking advantage of their momentum, the Orioles attempted and recovered an onside kick. With the clock ticking away, Pulaski moved the ball down the field and finished off the drive with a 10-yard TD pass from Brandon Walters to Tyler Harrision. The two point-conversion was no good, leaving Pulaski behind 20-18. The Orioles again attempted an onside kick, and were able to recover the ball. The officials flagged the play however, and said that the ball was touched by a Pulaski player before it went 10 yards. Blacksburg was awarded possession, and took a knee to end the game.
The Orioles finished the game with 153 yards rushing and 157 yards passing. Brandon Walters led the rushing attack with 24 attempts for 97 yards. Tyler Harrison added 7 attempts for 29 yards, Jared Smith had 3 carries for 8 yards, and Marcus Burks had 5 carries for 16 yards. Tyler Harrison had 4 catches for 43 yards, Marcus Burks had 4 catches for 53 yards, and the leading receiver for Pulaski was Hesus Hickman who had 2 receptions for 61 yards. Walters was 9 for 14 passing for 106 yards and two touchdown passes, while Tyler Harrison was 1 for 4 passing for 51 yards and a touchdown. The problem area for Pulaski was penalties, and they finished the game with 8 for 75 yards.
The Orioles go back into action on Thursday, Sept. 16 when they travel to Giles to face the Giles Middle School Spartans. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

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