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Cougars to host James Wood Friday

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

 

Scott Vest is without a doubt one of the top AD’s in the Commonwealth of Virginia. After announcing the cancelation of the Cougar game against Bluefield Friday due to COVID-19 issues in the Bluefield program, Vest was forced for a second week in a row to scramble to find the Cougars an opponent.

 

Unfortunately for James Wood and Skyline High School, Skyline was also forced to pull out of their game against James Wood this Friday due to COVID. That left the door open for Vest and the Cougars.

 

Pulaski County will now host James Wood Friday, Sept. 10, in the home opener for the Cougars. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Cougars and Colonels have never played each other in football.

 

“Pulaski County has been fortunate in finding a replacement game for this Friday,” Vest said in a statement late Wednesday. “Sincere thanks to the James Wood Administration for working with PCHS to make this game possible.”

 

James Wood High School is located in Winchester at the northern tip of the Shenandoah Valley. It is a part of the Frederick County Public School system. The Colonels are currently 1-0 after an exciting 34-20 road win over the Sherando Warriors Aug. 27. Last week they enjoyed a bye week. Other teams currently scheduled for the Colonels season include Brensville District, Kettle Run, North Hagerstown, Jefferson County WV, Liberty-Bealton, Fauquier, Millbrook and Handley.

 

The Colonels are coached by Head Coach Ryan Morgan. Coach Morgan is in his fifth season with James Wood. In 2017 they finished 2-8. In 2018 they improved to 4-6. In the 2019 season the Colonels finished 6-4. Since their opening in 1950, James Wood has an overall record of 305 wins, 380 losses and 14 ties.

 

Their school colors are Navy Blue and Gold. Their current enrollment is 1,500 students in grades 9-12, just below what we have here at Pulaski County High School. The Colonels are a part of Class 4, Region C and are members of the Northwestern Region.

 

The school was established in 1950. In 1970 they earned a state championship in football, their only state title to date in that sport.

 

During the COVID-19 spring season, the Colonels were only able to play two games. They defeated Sherando 36-20 and Millbrook 55-42.

 

Against Sherando two weeks ago, James Wood found themselves in a dog fight from the start. The two teams found themselves tied 13-13 at the halftime break. The Colonels took the 20-13 lead on a 13-yard scoring run by Wes Brondos, but Sherando tied the game again after a 49-yard run down the right sideline.

 

James Wood answered with a 37-yard scoring run by Jaden Ashby, taking a 27-20 lead after the extra point. A big defensive stop forced a punt that pinned the Colonels deep inside their own territory. They answered by putting together a clock eating drive for the final score. They started at their own 4-yard line and on their first two plays earned nothing. A 17-yard run by Ashby put them back in business. Two big plays later, Ashby scored again from the Wildcat Formation from 20-yards out to seal the win.

 

Senior Wes Brondos (5’8”, 180) helped lead the Colonels to a win with 221 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Senior Jaden Ashby (6’, 183) added 103 yards and three scores on 13 carries.

 

The Colonels defense held the Warriors running attack in check for most of the game. Other than a 49-yard TD run, the Colonels allowed just 94 yards on 25 carries and kept pressure on the Sherando quarterback throughout the game.

 

For the Cougars, the lineups will be much the same as last week. Pulaski County was able to put together enough firepower to earn a 49-16 win over the Jefferson Forest Cavaliers. That included Cougar touchdowns on offense through the air and on the ground, as well as a defensive score. Pulaski County accumulated 452 yards of offense, but the Cougar defense gave up 341 yards, mostly through the air. With the solid run defense by James Wood last week against Sherando, the Cougars could be forced to go back to the air. The Cavalier pass rush could also cause problems for Pulaski County if the offensive line isn’t on its’ toes.

 

Kickoff for the game Friday at Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium/Joel Hicks Field is set for 7 p.m.

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