Pulaski – The Pulaski Middle School Orioles hosted the Andrew Lewis Spartans in the first home game of 2011 at Cool Springs Field last Thursday evening. Andrew Lewis, a powerhouse in Southwest Virginia middle school football, looked to continue their dominance over the Orioles in recent years. The outnumbered Orioles had plans of their own, as the twenty-two student-athletes looked to pull the biggest gridiron upset of the young football season.
The game started with the Orioles defense stalling the potent Spartan offense. The Oriole’s offense wasted little time as Landen Lawson threw a 72 yard touchdown pass to Hesus Hickman. The crowd went crazy as Pulaski was already smelling a possible upset in the making. A stunned Andrew Lewis team quickly regained their composure and scored a rushing touchdown to lead 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the youth of the Orioles and the great depth of the Spartans show up. Pulaski’s quarterback Landen Lawson was sacked twice in the end zone for two safeties, and the Spartans kept incredible field position the entire remainder of the first half. As the rain showers repeatedly visited the playing field, the Spartans quickly built a halftime lead of 31-6.
With their back against the wall, the Orioles came out fighting in the second half. Pulaski took the second half kickoff and scored quickly as Lawson threw his second touchdown pass to Hickman who outran the defense 70 yards. With the score 31-12 in favor of Andrew Lewis, the Oriole’s defense tightened up to give the ball back to their offensive teammates. Lawson quickly connected with Hickman for a school record 93 yard touchdown pass and the third passing touchdown of the game. Zach Reed ran the two point conversion in to help close the score to 31-20.
With the momentum clearly shifted toward the Orioles, Andrew Lewis answered the call with their running attack, scoring two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The final score was 44-20, in favor of the Spartans.
Landen Lawson finished the game with eight completions for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Hesus Hickman had three touchdowns and four receptions for 260 yards. Walker Sharp led the defense with two fumble recoveries and numerous tackles. Tyler Wadell grabbed 3 receptions while Zach Reed had one. After the regulation game, a twenty play scrimmage was conducted for the non-starting members of both teams.
The Orioles will host Blacksburg Middle School next Thursday evening at 5 pm at Cool Springs Field.