By DAN CALLAHAN
SWT Sports Editor
With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter the game was tied, 7-7 and Pulaski County was giving number one ranked Christiansburg all it could handle. Then came a third down pass that was picked off by De’Quan Green-Gause and returned to the Cougar 17. Two plays later the score was, 14-7. Following the kickoff came another third down pass from its own 17-yard line and this time Zach Davis intercepted and returned to the Cougar two. Two plays later the score was suddenly, 21-7 and it was game over.
The final score was, 28-7 Christiansburg in the first River Ridge District game for both teams, but the score was not indicative of the contest at all. Pulaski County took the fight to the Demons for 36 minutes, but in little more than 90 seconds, the issue was decided. The Cougars fell to 0-6 on the season, the Demons move to 6-0.
Obviously, if you’re going to knocked off a number one ranked team, and that was exactly Pulaski County’s intention, you can’t afford mistakes. Both teams made a few, but the Cougars made the two that hurt the most. Pulaski County simply could not make a play through the air. Quarterback Tyler Dotson threw three passes, and Christiansburg caught all three of them.
Once again, it was a frustrated Todd Jones following the game. The Cougar head coach had seen his defense play tough, and battle the Demons nose to nose. Fullback Pierce Rigney attacked the belly of the Demon defense with success, and along with a couple of other big plays Pulaski County was right there, poised to pull the biggest upset of the season, but suddenly the opportunity was gone.
“Both times we were trying to pass in tough situations, but you’ve got to make plays. It’s that simple, if you’re going to win, you must make winning plays. You can’t turn the ball over and and beat a good team.”
Jones was disappointed because he felt his team took the field to win. “The kids played hard. Gosh, they put it on the line. I’m proud of them for that. We played so much better defensively that we have the past few games. The tough competition we’ve played helped us and will continue to help us. I thought the kids battled and battled, and then in just a couple of minutes it all went away. We all just feel so bad, but we’re going to come back Monday, and begin to prepare for Cave Spring and the goal is to get that first win next Friday,” said Jones.
The first quarter was scoreless. Christiansburg got on the board with 7:05 left in the first half on a Brenden Motley pass of 25 yards to Kevin Thompson. The Demons tried to threaten again just before the half, but Corky Hall picked off Motley and it was 7-0 Demons at the break.
It looked as if Pulaski County would turn the ball over on downs with the first possession of the third quarter, but Motley was called for roughing the kicker, and the Cougars got a first down at the 49. Two plays later Rick Cobbs looked to be wrapped up in his backfield, but spun free, reversed his field, and rambled 39 yards to a first down at the CHS 13. Five plays later Marcus McClanahan skirted the left side to the end zone from three yards out and Pulaski County had tied the game, 7-7.
The game remained deadlocked until Green-Gause made his pick, the Demons had a first down at the Cougars’ 17, and two plays later Zach Snell scored from the eight. Then following the kickoff came another third down pass from the 17, and Davis made his pick and it was first and goal at the Pulaski County two, and Motley sneaked over two plays later and suddenly a deadlocked game had turned into a, 21-7 Demon lead.
The Cougars would not threaten again, and midway through the fourth quarter Motley broke free down the sideline and ran 43 yards to score for the final, 28-7 tally. Motley led the Demons with 117 yards on 15 rushes and he completed six of 10 passes for 82 yards. Hall picked him off and Corey Dobbins also recovered a fumble for the Cougars when Snell was knocked loose from the pigskin. Thompson had the third interception for Christiansburg. The Demon offense, kept in check much of the game, totaled 296 yards. Motley was responsible for 199 of those yards. The Demons finished with 16 first downs.
Pulaski County rushed for 185 yards and that was the total offensive output as Dotson was 0-3 passing with all of them being interceptions. Rigney ran 18 times for 90 yards, Cobbs eight times for 64 yards, and McClanahan 15 times for 31 yards. The Cougars finished with 10 first downs, but none in the last 17 minutes of the game.