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Cougars best Bobcats in Battle of the Bridge

By DAVID GRAVELY
sports@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD – Pulaski County started the game sloppy but gained momentum in the second half to earn a 27-12 win over the Radford Bobcats Friday night in Radford.

The Bobcats got on the board first when junior quarterback Chris Shay bobbled a snap and was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Radford the 2-0 lead with 3:15 remaining in the first quarter.

Pulaski County struck back with a 36-yard pass from Shay to senior Noah O’Dell with 11:45 remaining in the second quarter. Senior Ryan Castle was good on the point after kick to put the Cougars up 7-2.

Radford answered immediately, scoring just 30 seconds later on a 41-yard run by sophomore PJ Prioleau. Conner Lytton was good on the PAT to put the Bobcats back up 9-7.

“We came out flat in the first half and played like we were tired,” Cougar Head Coach Stephen James said. “We had a talk at halftime and went back to work. We seemed to go out and do our jobs the remainder of the game.”

Radford drew first blood in the second half when Lytton connected on a 33-yard field goal to put the Bobcats up 12-7 with 8:41 remaining in the third.

The Cougars answered with 3:25 remaining the third when junior quarterback James Jackson connected with senior E.J. Horton on a 13-yard touchdown pass. The two-point run was no good, leaving the Cougars up 13-12.

With multiple substitutions coming in and out through most of the game, the backups took over in the fourth quarter. With 11:18 remaining in the game junior Luke Russell rambled into the end zone from 14 yards out to put the Cougars up 20-12 after another PAT by Castle. With 3:23 remaining freshman quarterback Drew Dalton connected with sophomore Xavier Cobbs for a two-yard touchdown pass. The final kick by Castle put the final score at 27-12 Pulaski County.

Sophomore running back Jakari Finley led all rushers with 19 attempts for 127 yards. Junior Gage Mannon ran the ball 11 times for 49 yards, but had a long touchdown run called back due to a hold at the end of the third quarter. Wes Riddle ran six times for 35 yards. Russell ran two times for 23 yards and Jackson ran four times for 21 yards. Shay was tagged with a loss of 18 yards on three carries.

Shay completed five of seven passes with one interception for 68 yards and a touchdown. Jackson completed four of 10 passes with one interception for 49 yards. Dalton competed two of three pass attempts for 29 yards and a touchdown.

Horton caught six passes for 67 yards and a score. O’Dell caught one touchdown pass for 36 yards. Cobbs was good for two catches for 29 yards. Junior Logan Burchett caught one pass for 10 yards. Senior Cody Gibbs caught one pass for four yards.

Prioleau led the Bobcat rushing attack with 13 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown and completed four of 11 passes for 57 yards.. Senior Zane Rupe carried the ball 10 times for 64 yards. Junior Justice Marshall ran three times for five yards.

Pulaski County finished the night with 28 first downs compared to 16 by Radford. The Cougars had 419 total yards. The Bobcats earned 204 total yards.

“We woke up a little in the second half, but we some of our guys found out they still have work to do tonight,” James said. “If we come out like we did tonight next week against Northside, we’re going to have some problems. We’ll take a look at the film and make some adjustments this week. I was pleased with our efforts in the second half.”

The Cougars will head to Roanoke next week to open the regular season against the Northside Vikings. The Bobcats will head to George Wythe to take on the Maroons.

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