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Cougars move to 2-0 with win over Bassett

 

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

The Cougar football team jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back Friday in a 42-6 win over a young Bassett squad that moves to 0-2.

 

“We’re always happy to get a win, but I’ve told our guys not to be beating their chests over it,” Cougar Head Coach Stephen James said. “We won. We were supposed to win. We still made too many mistakes, but I was happy to see some improvement again this week. We just need to come in Monday and get back to work with the right mindset because each week it’s going to get harder.”

 

The Cougars took the opening kickoff and watched as junior Layne Suthers returned the ball deep into Bengal territory. With 9:48 showing on the clock senior Gage Mannon took the handoff and raced 14 yards for the first Cougar touchdown of the night. Junior kicker Broc Simpson drilled the extra point to give the Cougars the 7-0 lead.

 

The Cougar defense went into shutdown mode, forcing a Bassett punt. Junior quarterback AJ McCloud, freshly back in the lineup after a shoulder injury, called his own number and crossed the goal line with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. Simpson nailed the PAT again to give Pulaski County the 14-0 lead.

 

“We hit a little bit of a lull there in the second quarter,” Coach James said. “Give Bassett some of the credit, but we also sort of went to sleep for a few minutes. We can’t have that happen.”

 

After a quick talk on the sidelines and another stop by the Cougar defensive “Wrecking Crew,” McCloud handed off to junior Jakari Finley, who bulled his way across the goal line from two yards out. Simpson hit the PAT again to move the score to 21-0 with :35 remaining in the half.

 

Good conversations usually take place during the halftime break. Apparently that was the case this week. The Cougar defense came out and shut down the Bassett offense again, forcing another punt that was blocked by Finley. With a short field to work with, McCloud took charge again, crossing the goal line with 10:50 remaining in the third quarter. Simpson moved the score to 28-0 with his kick.

 

The Bassett offense never crossed the Cougar 40-yard line against the starting defense. On their next offensive series, it looked as though Bassett had fumbled the ball away to the Cougars, but an inadvertent whistle ended the play. On the very next play the Bengal running back was hit hard, losing the ball. It was quickly scooped up by Mannon who raced 34 yards for the score. The kick by Simpson put the Cougars up 35-0 and by rule started a running clock for the remainder of the game.

 

With several fresh faces in the game, the Cougar defense continued to hold Basset in check and forced another punt. Junior quarterback Drew Dalton calmly led the team down the field, handing off to Finley for who delivered a punishing 13-yard run into the end zone over several Bassett defenders. The PAT by Simpson made it 42-0.

 

With all clean uniforms on the defense, Bassett was able to complete a pass to move into scoring position in the final minutes of the game. On the final play of the game, the Bengal quarterback threw up a pass that was deflected into the arms of a lineman standing downfield for the only Bassett score of the game.

 

“I told them earlier in the week that we needed to focus on doing our jobs right and not making mistakes,” James said. “I think our offensive line improved again this week and it was good to have AJ back. That’s going to allow us to do some different things. We’ll get the film broken down and get back to work. I was happy with our effort but we need to keep getting better.”

 

Pulaski County will hit the road next week to face the Abingdon Falcons, who are now 2-0 after defeating Gate City 35-28 this week and John Battle 45-14 in week one. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

 

Game Stats

First Downs
PC: 12
BH: 11

Rushing
PC: 38 att/208 yards
BH: 37 att/77 yards

Passing
PC: 4-7-0/42 yards
BH: 7-18-0/92 yards

Total Yards
PC: 250
BH: 169

Penalties
PC: 7/77 yards
BH: 4/30 yards

Punting

PC: 3/43 yard avg.

BH: 6/22.6 avg.

Return Yards
PC: 90
BH: 53

Individual Stats
Rushing
PC: Mannon 7/77 yards, Finley 13/70, Rollins 2/18, Kennedy 3/8, Shay 4/6, McCloud 4/7, Simpson 1/14, Dalton 1/2, Porter 1/4, #44 2/2

BH: #9 10/37, #2 4/25, #20 3/8, #24 3/16, #4 1/9, #32 1/5, #8 7/-3, #6 6/-15, #1 1/-1, #19 1/-4

Passing
PC: McCloud 4-7-0/33 yards

BH: # 6 4-7-0/33 yards, #19 2-5-0/59 yards

Receiving
PC: McDaniel 2/35, Lyman 2/7

BH: #3 3/27, #2 1/7, #8 1/4, #9 1/6, #59 1/13

 

Scoring Plays

1st Quarter

PC     9:48     14-yd run Mannon     PAT Simpson      7-0 PC

PC     4:33     3-yd run McCloud     PAT Simpson     14-0 PC

2nd Quarter

PC     :35     2-yd run Finley     PAT Simpson     21-0 PC

3rd Quarter

PC     10:50     2-yd run McCloud     PAT Simpson     28-0 PC

PC     1:50     34-yd fumble return Mannon     PAT Simpson     35-0 PC

4th Quarter

PC     8:30     13-yd run Finley     PAT Simpson     42-0 PC

BH     :00     3-yd pass #19 to #59, no PAT       42-6 PC

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