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Field position and special teams cost Orioles

By DAVID GRAVELY, SWT Sports Editorswtsportslogo copy

When your offense out gains the other team by a large amount, most of the time you’re going to come out of the game with a win. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for Pulaski Middle School Monday evening as the Orioles fell to the Cavaliers by a final score of 30-16.

Both teams had trouble holding on to the ball, but the Orioles seemed to get butter-fingers deep in their own territory throughout the game, setting the Cavaliers up with an easy score on several occasions.

The Cav’s and Orioles exchanged fumbles on each of the teams first two drives. The first quarter ended with Carroll County driving the ball, but good plays by the Oriole defense forced a punt attempt. The punt was fielded by an Oriole, but the catch was muffed and Carroll County recovered on the Pulaski 20-yard line. Two plays later the Cavalier quarterback rambled into the end zone for the first score of the game. The two-point try was good, putting Carroll County up 8-0.

Pulaski would hold the Cavaliers on their next drive, but they were unable to add any points to the scoreboard before the halftime break.

The second half started with the teams holding on to the ball better, but both being forced to punt. Pulaski Middle School was forced to punt on their second drive of the second half, and a good block and some fast running turned into a 36-yard punt return touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, leaving the Cav’s ahead 14-0.

After taking the kickoff out to the 37-yard line, another Oriole fumble was recovered by Carroll County on the Pulaski 22-yard line. Two plays into the fourth quarter, the Cavalier quarterback picked up a bobbled snap and raced 20 yards for the score. The two-point conversion moved the score to 30-0.

The Orioles kept fighting, and on second down quarterback Alex Dalton faked the handoff and raced right around the side of the Cavalier defense for 63 yards and the first Pulaski touchdown of the season. The two-point conversion was ran in by Westin Harrison, moving the score to 30-8.

A big hit caused another Carroll County fumble that was recovered by John Taylor for the Orioles, who then drove 63 yards on nine plays. Dalton capped the drive off with a 28-yard scoring run. The two-point conversion run by Taylor moved the score to the final 30-16.

Alex Dalton led all rushers with 8 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Blake Alderman ran six times for 12 yards, J.R. Finn ran one time for 11 yards, and Cade Compton ran once for 10 yards. Westin Harrison and Jwaune Finley ran for 5 yards each, while Donavan Decosta and Caleb Kirkner each gained two yards.

Pulaski’s 173 yards of offense was far more than the 50 yards of rushing offense by the Cavaliers. In the end, turnovers, field position, and special teams plays cost Pulaski Middle School the game.

“We killed ourselves with the turnovers,” said Orioles Head Coach Pierce Viers. “If we cut out those turnovers, we were moving the ball well at times. We’ll go back to practice and make a few adjustments, we just need to keep getting better.”

The Orioles head to Christiansburg Thursday to play the Blue Demons at 5:30.

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