By DAN CALLAHAN
When Pulaski County gets that first victory, it’s going to be a good one. The schedule will demand it.
Three weeks ago the Cougars played the 7th ranked team in the state, last week they played the 11th ranked team, and this week they face the 2nd ranked team for Homecoming in Dobson Stadium/Joel Hicks Field at 7:30 Friday evening.
Just in case you’re looking ahead, in two weeks Pulaski County will face Christiansburg, the top ranked team in the state, in the first River Ridge District game of the 2011 gridiron season. Can such a strong schedule actually help a football team?
Cougar head coach Todd Jones thinks it can.
“It can as long as the kids stay with it, and keep the same work ethic they have today. We’ve got to keep trying to find a spark. We’re getting better. When we win, when it happens, it’s going to be a real good one.”
The 0-4 Cougars take on the 4-0 Warriors and it’s obvious what Pulaski County has to do to put that first win on the board. Magna Vista quarterback Harvey Taylor must be contained.
“He’s very quick. He’s a great player, and he’s the obvious key to knocking off Magna Vista,” says Jones. “He also has good wideouts (Deshaun Penn and Jalen Hayden), both over six feet tall with speed. We must read our keys, and be fundamentally sound.”
Jones also thinks offense is a key to winning. Pulaski County rushed for 272 yards against Richlands last week, and moving the ball on the ground will be crucial against Magna Vista.
“We need to make first downs. Taylor can’t make a play if we have the ball. We must drive the football. I think we showed good improvement last week. We’ve got some things like we need them. We just must come off the football and knock ’em back. If we can do that, we can win this game,” said Jones.
Pulaski County has pretty much returned to a familiar style of offense to Cougar fans, the “wing-T.” The backfield will consist of halfbacks Cody Long and Marcus McClanahan, the fullback will be Pierce Rigney and the quarterback Tyler Dotson.
The offensive front will have Tyler Golden at center, Sammy Songer and Chris Belcher will be the guards, and the tackles will be James King and James Reynolds. Expect Kareem Calfee to also see considerable time at tight end. Zack Akers will be the wideout.
Defensively for the Cougars, King and Rigney will be up front along with Phoenix Ramsey, the linebackers will be Long, Gabe LeBlanc, Adam Allen, Zach Dao, and Corey Dobbins. Brandon Brock, Dillon Alley, Corky Hall, and Keante Houston should see most of the action in the secondary.