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. The LIGHT

    October 28, 2013 at 9:51 am


  2. Voice of the Opposition

    October 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

    You had better watch out LIGHT. The “Voice of Reason” WILL let you know how wrong your are! I got it last week for calling the coach out. ha ha

  3. 94NOVAHokie

    October 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I was in town for the Hokie game and came over to Pulaski to watch this game. I was at a prospect camp this summer with my son that is a receiver and was extremely impressed with your QB. First of all, Pulaski definitely has a great stadium and the field is very well taken care of for a high school! I have been reading through these articles and I have seen a lot of negative postings about the coach/coaches and one that still has me in question about the QB. As an outsider, I saw a lot of issues during the game. Yes the QB was off on a few passes and right on with the majority but this is normal for a QB. If all QB’s at all levels made 100% completions that would change the whole game of football! I was impressed with how well the QB did when just about every snap he was having to pick the ball up off of the ground and the line missing blocks. He can also run the ball well. There are definitely some adjustments that need to be made with the center and the offensive line. On defense, if the players would wrap up on their tackles that would make a huge difference. I was near a group that had negative comments if the ball was passed and negative comments if a run didn’t get any yards so I don’t think people are going to be happy regardless. Once the coach started calling plays where there was a pass on more than 3rd down, the team started to move the ball. Everyone expects a pass if it is 3rd and long so mix the plays up some, come out with some short slant passes and long passes with a few runs mixed in. Based on the size alone of the kids I see on the field for Pulaski I would think a passing game would be much more productive. If you are going to consistantly run the ball and run over people you would need your whole back field the size of your QB and bigger. I don’t know this team well enough to say if a whole coaching staff change is needed or if someone behind the scenes has control but I would definitely look into it if the center continues to have low snaps, the offensive line missing blocks and defense not wrapping up. When you don’t have time to get a pass off or your running backs don’t have time to get the ball and make a move, your line is not getting the job done!

    • the truth

      October 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Wow. You are brilliant with your obvious observations. You are no doubt a outsider looking in. Why you are even sharing your opinion in this forum is beyond me. You have no clue of the history of the football program at PC. Just saying.

      • Lola

        October 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

        Really? Someone offers insight and your reaction is to call him an outsider? I was not aware that one needed a full understanding of historical events to be allowed an opinion on current news. Just saying.

        • the truth

          October 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

          Well Lola you should IMO at a minimum have some what of a understanding or knowledge of the program and what made it at one time a respected program state wide before you interject what you think should be done to correct it. I do not think sitting in on a couple of games just because you happen to be in the area qualifies the expert analysis and again just my opinion. I actually happen to agree with some of what was stated by 94novahokie. And yes the forum is certainly open to all and he or anyone for that matter certainly has a right to express his or their views as well as do I. Bottom line is the program is and has been headed in the wrong direction and will continue to do so with the current staff. You may be happy with mediocre results year in and year out but I think the kids deserve at least the opportunity to be better coached so at least they can be more competitive. I would say most of the parents past and present since Jones has been there are not happy at all and I certainly have heard it countless times. I will close by saying 4-6 (w/ the weakest schedule PC has played in 20 yrs). End of discussion.

  4. Jay

    October 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Wow, you really hit the nail on the head! PC is not the massive size that they were in Coach Hicks or Turners tenure. PC does not do many tackling drills, especially the JV team. The passing game is a joke due to coaching. They won’t allow it, and it starts from the JV level.According to the most recent article, the QB had just two attempts in a close game that was suppose to be a blowout. The JV team needs to be coached by Coach Taylor who shows passion and concern for the kids. Coach Allen would be a better head coach than what we have. The current coaches need to recruit from within the PE classes for there is lots of size and talent there.

  5. Niel

    October 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks Lola I was thinking the same thing. I too thought this was an open forum. I think Pulaski Countians should just be thankful the man thought enough of the County and our football program to take the time to come watch. Heaven forbid we do anything to try and welcome people to our County and enjoy our amenities; what few we have anymore. ‘The Truth’ seems like a fine spokesperson for Pulaski County and sadly pretty much what people outside of PC have come to expect.
    Thanks 94novahokie for spending time in my home county and you are welcome anytime.

  6. sad

    October 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    My son played for Jones two years. He says they don’t do tackling drills in practice. That is just beyond me.
    But then in the game you see kid after kid hit and not wrap up. Fundamentals aren’t being taught one bit.
    I disagree with anyone that says there is no talent there like in the past. its there. just not being coached up.

  7. Go Watch and see

    October 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Jay – currently there is a jv player who started out as the JV QB but was moved due to another player getting hurt. That player, Lawson, can throw and complete passes. Yet hasn’t been moved back to that position, not sure why! The last few games should have been blowouts and were too close. Word in the stands is he broke records in middle school and started this season out on a mission. But once afain lets not play the kids to their abilities just be a mediocre team. Which varsity is seeing how it is. The season will end 4-6 & whose faukt will that be??

    There are players that should be playi ng varsity but takinh up space . Since the coaches have their favorites and cash flow going to the TD club. Politics aren’t just for elections!

    • Fact Stater

      October 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      What kind of records did he break going 2-6? Get your facts straight instead if being a parent and stating the lies that his parents or grandparents are telling you.

      • shaun lawson

        October 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        Fact stater you obviously no who I am. I would like to know who you are so we could talk a little more before you start calling us out on some forum. I have never commented on any of these stories nor have we asked anyone else to. So I would appreciate if you would leave us out of this.Thank You

      • A True Brother!

        October 31, 2013 at 6:56 am

        I agree. It is an open forum and freedom of speech. With many getting on here and being a parrot and just repeating what you hear in the stands or gather what you want from the radio or newspaper. Trust me, it’s just as hard for me to read some of the garbage too! Jones is out there doing his job. He does what he can to get the kids ready. I believe he has taken responsibility for each loss and not put it on any kid or threw anyone under the bus. He and the rest of the kids and coaches are not hiding behind a hidden alias or screen name. They are set out there for the public to see if it chooses. Don’t have the option to hide behind a cute name that they have created to write what they want in an open forum. If you’re a parent or a “fan” and unhappy, why not set up a meeting and talk face to face. Not shouting in the stands or cussing at the stairs when he is in the middle of his job. Do you think he likes to lose? No one does! You think the kids don’t read this? If you don’t like the guy that’s fine, but getting on here with the possibility of the players reading this garbage is immature IMO. But hey, it’s a free country right?
        If you do like the guy, that’s fine too. Contrary to popular belief on here. Haha. But throwing kids under the bus is not the answer either. They are KIDS. Many seem like men but until they reach that age, they are still KIDS. I agree with some of your points but some are a little too harsh. As a parent, my son is the best! That’s how each parent should feel.

  8. cougarfootball

    October 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    All this is easy to say when all you do for the team is sit up in the stands every Friday night and criticize everything everyone else does. The coaches are good coaches or they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t.

  9. Cougar Fan

    October 30, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I also want to say thanks to 94novahokie for coming to our stadium and speaking your mind. I know that these young men want to win and have the drive and work ethic to do so, some of them not only do the daily through the week workouts but spend additional time on the weekends lifting and such. They are very motivated to win. That being said they would also very much appreciate it if they had the support of the community. I have been to all of the home games and have been wondering where are all the fans? Yes I know last week was really cold but the stands were almost empty, such a shame that the Cougars don’t have more support from the community. Do some changes need to be made, yes. My opinion is they need changing all the way around, from how they are coached and how they play to consistent community support. In the article it would appear that Coach Jones took full responsibility for the team and not many people will do that. How about if we get behind the team and show some support regardless of their record and not just sit back and complain.

  10. Ray

    October 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Pulaski should be better plain and simple, they have more kids coming out, better talent, more support, better facilities. Here is a number comparison from the VHSL for football participation (Former River Ridge Schools)for year 2008-2012:

    BBurg – 80-62-75-78=295
    Cave – 61-74-60-57=252
    CBurg – 85-85-84-88=342
    Hidden – 69-63-73-64=269
    Salem – 87-80-79-92=338
    Pulaski – 118-106-80-104=408

    408 players have been part of this program !! 70 more players vs. the next closet program (Salem). 156 more than Cave, who has beaten PC 4 straight times !! PC is 6-14 against the RRD over that time.

    You be the judge !!!

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