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Titans run over Cougars on senior night

1415100_756967040996343_449506512_oBy DAVID GRAVELY

SWT Sports Editor

Hidden Valley High School came to Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium Friday night and ran the ball 49 times for 342 yards in a convincing 28-7 win over the home standing Cougars.

The game started with a bang, as Damon Akers popped the Titan return man on the opening kickoff and knocked the ball loose.  Marcus Payne collected the ball out of mid-air, giving Pulaski County the ball at the Titan 30-yard line.

The Cougars would struggle from the start, losing 11 yards in three plays before being forced to punt.  That would be the story of the night, as the Cougar offense ran sixteen plays for negative yardage during the contest.

After Pulaski punted the ball to the 9-yard line, Hidden Valley put together a fourteen play drive that covered 91 yards.  The scoring play came with 3:44 left in the first quarter, when Walker Brand powers the ball into the end zone from two yards out.  Landon Dermott hit the point after touchdown to put the Titans up 7-0.

The Cougars earned their first first down of the game on the first play of their next drive, with Marcus Johnston keeping the ball for twelve yards on the ground.  The next three plays again resulted in a loss of eight yards, forcing another Cougar punt.

The Titans didn’t take as long with this drive, covering fifty yards in six plays.  Mason Dermott crossed the goal line this time, and the Landon Dermott PAT put Hidden Valley ahead 14-0 with 11:16 left in the first half.

The two teams exchanged several punts, but finally the Cougars began to put a drive together late in the half.  A combination of runs and short passes underneath the Titans secondary moved the ball to the Titan 41-yard line, but on third down a Pulaski fumble was recovered by Massi Flici for the Titans.  A long pass attempt by Hidden Valley was intercepted by Malik Eaves, and the Cougars ran one play to end the first half.

The Cougars ended the first half with minus four yards rushing, while Hidden Valley had gained 180 yards on the ground.  The second half would prove to be much the same.

Pulaski took the second half kickoff, with Eaves returning it to the 28-yard line.  Senior Quincy Rollins, who injured his ankle last week, was given a chance to run the ball, but it was clear his ankle was still not ready.  Johnston hit Tyler Ervine, who was also nursing a sore ankle, for a 7-yard pass completion on second down, and then went back to the air to Dillon Alley for a 25-yard gain on third down.  Unfortunately, the ball was knocked loose at the end of the play and the Titans recovered.

The Titans went to the air as well, with Jake Smiley hitting Dean Sayers for a 10-yard pass and a first down.  Brand took over on the next play, rumbling 45 yards for the score.  Dermott hit the PAT to give Hidden Valley the 21-0 lead with 10:13 left in the third quarter.

The Cougars gained four yards before losing ten yards on third down, forcing another punt.  A 15-yard personal foul face mask penalty moved the ball even further for the Titans, giving them the ball at the Cougar 39-yard line.  A steady dose of Mason Dermott running the ball, mixed in with two carries by Nate Atkins put the Titans back in the end zone.  The scoring play came on a 2-yard run by Atkins with 4:40 left in the third quarter.    Another Landon Dermott PAT put the Titans up 28-0.

The Cougars found some success through the air on their next drive, with Johnston connecting with Ervine for 11 yards, Eaves for 5 yards, and Ervine again for 16 yards.  Again, negative yardage plays on three straight plays forced a Cougar punt.

The Titans ran for a 3-yard gain on first down, but another 15-yard face mask penalty moved them to the 46-yard line.  Logan Brand took over the running back duties, gaining 15 yards on his first carry.  J.D. Sutphin gave Cougar fans something to cheer about the next play when he sacked Smiley for a 6-yard loss.   The Titans turned the ball over on downs two plays later.

Desperate to put together some offense, the Cougars again went to the air.  Johnston completed a 15-yard pass to Ervine before running for a 4-yard gain, and then hit Ervine again on an 8-yard pass.  Johnston ran for gains of 5 and 22 yards on the next two plays, but then the Titan defense stepped up to tackle the ball carriers for a loss on three straight plays.  On fourth down Johnston ran out of the pocket looking to pass, but was stopped after gaining five yards, short of the first down.

The Titans took over at the 12-yard line, and Logan Brand ran for a short gain he lost control of the ball.  Justin Trail pounced on the ball and was able to hold on at the bottom of the pile, giving Pulaski a chance.  Four plays later, another Pulaski punt gave Hidden Valley the ball at the 24-yard line.   The Titans moved the ball to the Cougar 24-yard line before Smiley fumbled and Elliot Brewster came out of the pile with this one.

With 2:07 left in the game, the Cougars finally got on the board when Cody Semones broke free through the middle and scrambled 75 yards for the touchdown.  With Shane Chrisley injured on the opening kickoff, Tyler Harrison was called on to kick the PAT.  Harrison put the ball through the uprights to put the final score at 28-7 after the Titans took a knee.

“We made some mistakes, and we made some bad plays,” said Cougar Head Coach Todd Jones.  “As the head coach I put that on me.  I need to have them better prepared.  I need to have the right guys in the right spots, and obviously we haven’t found that yet.  That’s on me.  We’re not going to through in the towel though.  We have a bye week next week.  We’re hoping that will give us some time to heal up a few key players and make some moves.  We need to know who really wants to play.  I’m disappointed in our performance tonight.  I know we can do better than this.”

The Cougars will be back in action November 8 when they travel to face the Salem Spartans.

In other action Friday, Patrick Henry defeated Christiansburg 36-29, G.W. Danville defeated Franklin County 37-35, Lord Botetourt defeated William Fleming 20-18, Salem defeated Carroll County 47-21, Northside defeated William Byrd 27-13, and Blacksburg defeated Gretna 15-7.  For more scores be sure to visit our VHSL scoreboard.

23 Responses to Titans run over Cougars on senior night

  1. Fact Stater

    October 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hey “the light” you talk about discipline that Hicks had right? Why not shed some light on that discipline. 2 players from ’99-’02 were ineligible for showing up to school drunk, during football season. One player from the mighty ’92-’93 season expelled for statutory rape yet allowed to play the next year. Yeah! Real TOUGH! Jones may not be the best choice but he is what Pulaski has. JV’s ate still winning right? So it seems the QB situation is ok. Lol

  2. Fact Stater

    October 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Or maybe you dads should stop thinking your son is the greatest thing since sliced bread when either you weren’t so good or you quit playing but think you know the game cause you are pretty good at video games. But on video games, your line does what they ate supposed to do, your QB throws the ball where it’s supposed to be, and players live up to their expectations. Not in real life my friends. (Expletive deleted), I see a bunch of people here that evidently can turn chicken (expletive deleted) into chicken salad. But I also see that they can’t tell the difference between the 2 so who knows. I just hope all of y’all are on the ballot if Jones does leave. Just my opinion.

  3. A True Brother!

    October 31, 2013 at 7:46 am

    The thing is, I know Jones probably better than anyone. I turn my back on what I hear in the stands because people paid to get in the gates so they can say what they want. At least they paid to get in instead of listening to it on the radio or following it on Facebook or waiting to read the paper on sat and sun mornings. At least up there, they show their face when they say what they say. Sometimes I wonder if people don’t get the “Dr Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde” complex. One person to your face and hide behind something and say other things that could be hurtful, if Jones read this stuff. But you have family just like everyone else. I will be the first to question a play or anything else but will also be the first to take up for the man.
    I read an earlier comment about Jones not knowing how to pass. Seriously? The man won a state championship running the spread offense. Another said he don’t know “smash mouth” football. Umm… He was a state runner up running the Wing-T. Truth be known, I didn’t follow much of Cougar football after High School. I don’t know all of the facts. I would go to the Salem game and usually that was it. Spent most if my time i. Essex. Now I do follow it again. I don’t pay too much attention to what is said or wrote but 4 years of quietness is long overdue. I don’t care who much of you are. You have your opinions, and we all know what is said about those. Maybe even mine. Yes Pulaski County football was good at 1 time. Will it be again? I don’t know. But you should all realize, jones does have family and kids as well. What you say is heard and read. I know you don’t care but like i said before, he doesn’t have the option if hiding behind a screen name. His life is out there in the line for you to criticize. I think mine is a given of who I am as well as someone else’s on this article. But i don’t care what is said. I know who I am as Jones knows who he is. Maybe we should all either post our real names on here or a given of who we are.

  4. A True Brother!

    October 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Fact stater I can’t decide if you are a supporter or someone that just likes to keep an arguement going. One thing is to call out the head coach but to bring up stats of middle school ball or former players? Again, those are were kids. As well as the past. Friend or foe, the kids should not be brought up and definitely not put down. Because without them, there would be no Cougar Football. Especially if you don’t want to reveal anything else. That’s just a moral lesson

  5. OTHER PARENT

    November 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I love how Pulaski County Football being non-competitive is getting everybody in such a fit, when we have some tremendous athletes in other sports. Yes I said OTHER sports. Nothing against Cougar football, but I think the problem runs much deeper than just the success of one sport. I know people will get on here and say blah blah about people in the stands and the revenue generated, but high school sports is not just about the amount of money it makes. I have a child that will play school sports because of her pride of being a cougar, but is much more excited about playing with her “travel” team in the off season, because there she can be coached and play for a successful program.

  6. The man on the sideline

    November 9, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Will Jones step down? What does he have to gane by staying here we already know what he has to offer loosing, low turnout at games if he loves cougar football he will step down before playoff game!!!!!!!!

  7. Concerned

    November 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    What would stepping down do? Teach kids it’s o.k. to quit. Learn how to spell first -it’s gain & losing not gane and loosing before coming on here and bashing someone with a know it all solution. Don’t say it was a typo either… You have other posts with similar spelling. What a joke.