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Cougars struggle, fall to Titans




Pulaski County came out of the gates slow Friday night, but slowly battled their way back into the game before falling 20-28 to the Hidden Valley Titans on the road.


With score tied at 7-7 at the end of the first, the Cougars continued to battle into the second half. Mistakes proved costly however, and the Titans took a 21-14 lead into the halftime break.


Hidden Valley scored first on a 49-yard pass from Sam Dragovich to Ashton Carroll with 9:09 remaining in the opening quarter. The Cougars drove into Titan territory but failed to score after a missed field goal attempt.


The Titans completed a pass from Dragovich to Carroll, but a big hit by Trevor Burton forced a fumble. JJ Gulley scooped up the loose ball and raced into the endzone for the score. Nathan Pratt hit the PAT to tie the score at 7-7.


Pulaski County took a 14-7 lead when Chris Gallimore found John Lyman open for a 20-yard passing score. Pratt hit the PAT to put the Cougar up.


Dragovich hit DJ Banks on a 34-yard scoring strike with 5:42 remaining in the half. Joey Strong ran the ball in from four yards out with 3:43 remaining. Both PAT’s were good to give the Titans the 21-14 lead.


The Titans got the kickoff to start the second half. It took the entire quarter before either team got on the board. Dragovich ran the ball in from one yard out with six seconds remaining in the third. The PAT put the Titans up 28-14.


Gallimore put the Cougars back in the hunt with 6:08 remaining in the game. He connected with Lyman on a nine-yard pass, but the PAT was no good, leaving the Cougars down 20-28.


Despite two solid efforts late in the game, the Cougars couldn’t put the ball into the endzone to tie the game.


“Our offensive game plan wasn’t up to standard, that’s my fault,” Cougar Head Coach Mark Dixon said. “Our offense will be better next week. Our defense is another story. I expect more out of them and I expect more out of our offensive line. We just didn’t perform tonight. We knew we were going to be catching up on offense, but we needed more from our line and our defense. I thought our effort was good, but we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. We’ll get the film ready and go from there. This one falls on me for the game plan though. I’ll do better and we’ll do better.”


The Cougars earned 305 yards of offense while the Titans earned 352 yards. Gallimore completed 10 of 24 pass attempts with two interceptions for 106 yards. Dragovich completed 21 of 35 pass attempts with two interceptions for 265 yards through the air.


Pulaski County earned 199 yards on 42 carries. The Titans had 87 yards on 25 carries. The Cougars had 12 first downs and the Titans had 18.


Trevor Burton ran 19 times for 158 yards. John Lyman had six carries for 27 yards. Keyontae Kennedy ran seven times for 23 yards. Lyman caught six passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Kennedy caught two for 34 yards.


For the Titans, Banks had 12 carries for 73 yards and Dragovich ran eight times for 12 yards. Carroll had nine catches for 152 yards. Banks caught six for 52 yards. Braxton Dunnings caught two for 44 yards and Joey Strong caught four for 17 yards.


Brett Jones and JJ Gulley each added an interception for the Cougars. Alan Fernandez and Caleb Yelton also recovered a fumble each.


“We’ve got a lot to work on before next week, but I think our effort was good out there tonight,” Dixon said. “We’ve been young all season and it seems like we’re getting younger as we go sometimes. We hate losing, but we had plenty of opportunities tonight. Hidden Valley played a great game, but we were right there in the fight at the end. We’re going to get this thing together.”


Pulaski County will take on the Salem Spartans this coming week. The game will be a home game for the Cougars with a 7 p.m. kickoff.



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