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Cougars end Abingdon streak in 42-14 win

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

There were people who had doubts about the Pulaski County Cougar football team heading into Friday night’s contest against the Abingdon Falcons. Those doubts were erased in a convincing 42-14 win over the Falcons, their first loss of the season.

 

The Cougars (2-1) seem to have bought in to what Head Coach Stephen James has preached at practice since their season opening loss to Northside two weeks ago.

 

“We’re not going to focus on who we’re playing as much as we’re focusing on doing our jobs better every play,” James said. “We’re going to focus on competing against ourselves each play and doing things in a fundamentally sound way. If we do the little things right, the bigger things tend to take care of themselves.”

 

Pulaski County scored first when junior Gage Mannon rambled into the endzone from six yards out. With 5:11 remaining in the opening quarter, Ryan Castle hit the point after to put the Cougars up 7-0.

 

Abingdon answered in the second quarter on a 19-yard run by Lucas Martin. Graham Griffith hit the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.

 

The Cougars closed out the first half with two scores. First came a one yard run by quarterback Kade Akers with 8:47 remaining. Then Mannon scored his second touchdown of the night with an 11-yard run at the 1:56 mark. Castle was good for both of the PATs to put Pulaski County up 21-7 at the halftime break.

 

Abingdon took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together a solid drive, ending in a one-yard scoring run by William Seymore. The PAT by Griffith put the score at 21-14.

 

At that point the Cougars decided to put the issue to rest. Akers scored on a 20-yard run with 5:56 remaining in the third. Senior EJ Horton took a pitch, made several ankle-breaking moves and raced 20-yards for another score just over a minute later. Castle connected with both PATs to leave the Cougars in charge 35-14 at the end of the third quarter.

 

The Cougar defense manhandled the Abingdon offense for much of the remainder of the game, attacking the quarterback and leaving them flustered on multiple occasions. With 1:29 remaining in the game, Mannon bulled over the goal line from one yard out for his third touchdown of the night. Castle remained perfect to leave the Cougars up 42-14.

 

“I thought we executed better tonight, but the big thing I’m looking at is that we still have plenty of room for improvement,” James said. “This was a good win against a good team. I think we took another step forward in this game. We’ll break down the film and go over some teaching points with the guys now and start getting ready for next week. It’s always good to get a win, but we can’t be satisfied.”

 

The Cougars will now prepare for their second home game of the season, which will bring the Carroll County Cavaliers to Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium. The Cavaliers are under the direction of their newest head coach, former Cougar player and head coach Jack Turner.

 

Game time Friday is set for 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Game Stats

Rushing
PC: 43 att/272 yards
AH: 47 att/128 yards

Passing
PC: 4-9-0/124 yards
AH: 12-18-0/41 yards

Total Yards
PC: 396
AH: 169

First Downs
PC: 19
AH: 15
Penalties
PC: 4/40 yards
AH: 6/45 yards

Punting
PC: 3/21.0 avg (1 blocked)
AH: 6/32.0 avg (1 blocked)

Fumbles/Lost
PC: 2-1
AH: 0-0

Interceptions
PC: 0
AH: 0

Individual Stats
Rushing
PC: Finley 21/160, Akers 12/52, Mannon 7/38, Horton 2/21
AH: #23 19/137, #15 3/-4, #9 12/-41, #41 9/40, #18 1/-1, #3 2/-1

Receptions
PC: Horton 2/54, Burchett 1/32, Nannon 1/38
AH: #15 8/26, #23 1/-3, #5 1/11, #14 1/10, #35 1/-3

Passing

PC: Akers 4-9-0/124 yards
AH: #9 12-17-0/41 yards  #23 0-1-0

 

 

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