By DAVID GRAVELY
SWT Sports Editor
Pulaski Middle School won their second game in a row Thursday night with a 36-20 road win in Carroll County that saw three different players score and every available player getting playing time.
The Orioles kicked off to Cavaliers, and four plays later a big hit sent the ball to the ground where Trevor Kessinger picked it up and rumbled 20 yards before being tackled. On the very next play quarterback Trent Blankenship handed off to Alex Akers, who went 25 yards off of the left side of the line for the first score of the game. The extra-point run was no good, leaving the score at 6-0.
Pulaski kicked the ball back to the Cavs, and four plays later it was a repeat performance as the ball bounced off the ground again, only to be scooped up by Bubba Cook to put the Orioles back in business.
Cook took the next two handoffs to cover 15 yards before Azvya Whittaker ran another 13 yards in the next two carries. Two short runs and an incomplete pass later Akers took his second handoff of the game for 11 yards and his second touchdown of the day. With 1:35 left in the quarter Blankenship hit Noah Kyle for the 2-point conversion pass, moving the score to 14-0 for Pulaski.
Neither team moved the ball far until the Orioles found a hole in the Cavs defense with 6:21 left in the half. Blankenship broke free on the home side of the field, covering 48 yards untouched for the score. The Orioles defense held Carroll County in check, and in the final seconds of the half Blankenship broke free for another 48 yard gain before being tackled with no time left on the clock.
Up 20-0, Pulaski Head Coach Pierce Viers made the decision to work on his running game. Seven plays and 65 yards later, Whittaker went into the end zone from four yards out. He then ran in the 2-point conversion to move the Orioles ahead 28-0.
On the following kickoff, a Carroll County returner broke free to go 65 yards for the long range kickoff return. The extra point try was no good, leaving the Orioles ahead 28-6.
Both teams moved the ball but couldn’t score until Carroll County hit pay dirt on a 26 yard run against the Pulaski backups with 3:04 remaining.
The scoring wouldn’t end there, however, and the Orioles struck next when Blankenship broke free on a 31-yard run for six points just thirty seconds later. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 36-14.
Carroll County would get the final score of the night with just 26.2 seconds remaining on a 19 yard run. The Orioles would take a knee to run out the clock.
Blankenship led the Orioles with seven rushing attempts for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Whittaker carried the ball 12 times for 65 yards and a score. Cook ran four times for 50 yards, and Akers carried the rock just three times for 36 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Dalton carried one time for 12 yards, Ryan Burroughs ran one time for 2 yards, and Donavan Decosta ran one time for 1 yard. Blankenship completed 2 of 5 pass attempts, one for a 12 yard gain and one for a 2-point conversion. The Orioles totaled 212 yards rushing on 32 attempts.
Carroll County ran the ball 33 times for 143 yards, and completed 1 of 5 pass attempts for 24 yards.
The Orioles will be back in action next Thursday when they host Christiansburg at Cool Springs Field.