By Dan Callahan
Pulaski County remained in contention for a 4A West Region playoff berth and got its sixth victory of the season at home in Dobson Stadium Friday evening, rolling over Carroll County, 50-7. The Cougars are now 6-2 on the season, the Cavaliers 1-7.
Quarterback and defensive back Bryant Grubb and running back Hunter Thomas had huge games for Pulaski County. Grubb only ran with the football four times in the game, but scored three touchdowns, and also added a 48-yard run with a pass interception. Thomas ran 13 times for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
But Cougar head coach Stephen James was not happy with his team at the half, even though PCHS was up, 22-0. That changed quickly. In the third quarter in nine minutes and 40 seconds, Pulaski County scored four touchdowns and 28 points.
“I was not happy. We’re coming off a disappointing loss at Blacksburg, and we aren’t ready to play. This team needs to play with some emotion. I don’t care who you’re playing, where, or anything, we need to focus up. In the first half, I thought we just went through the motions. I didn’t see any fire in us at all. I was upset.”
Next Saturday in Roanoke, the Cougars face Hidden Valley is what has turned into a huge game. “We played better this week, but if we’re going to accomplish our goal, we need to understand it’s go time. We need to be ready to go at the toss of the coin and go hard for four quarters. We still need to execute much better and we can. We are not close to being as consistent as we need to be. We need to be the best we can be, physically, emotionally, and from an execution standpoint, and we don’t have much time to get that way,” said James.
Pulaski Co. got off to a sluggish start until Thomas popped a 45-yard touchdown run at the 6:55 mark of the first quarter, but just as last week, the extra point kicked was blocked again. J.T. Thompson recovered a fumbled punt attempt for the Cougars at the Carroll 14, but the offense couldn’t punch it in, but this time Ryan Castle nailed a 28-yard field goal for a 9-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
On the first possession of the second quarter Grubb zipped up the middle of the Cavalier defense, turned toward the sideline, and zoomed 78 yards for six. His two-point conversion pass was dropped. The reason for the earlier field goal was a dropped pass in the end zone. On the Cougars’ next possession Thomas marked off runs of 49 and 19 yards on back-to-back plays and on first and goal from the one, Grubb went over. Castle’s pat was good for a 22-0 lead, but the offense didn’t move on its final two possessions of the half.
It moved when the second half started. Thomas run for 32, then 16 and Grubb ran the option for six from seven yards out. Castle was good for 29-0. On the next possession Thomas ran for 33 to the end zone. Castle kicked it good again. Then to the power game and inside running of Jamall Edmonds who bowled over tacklers on a 13-yard touchdown run right up the chute. That was setup by a 21-yard pass completion to right end Jeff McDonald, and a 25-yard Thomas gallop. Then following the kickoff Grubb snatched a Carroll pass out the air and turned it into a 48-yard pick six. Castle got two more conversion kicks, and the Cougars had put up 28 markers in less than a quarter, and there was still 2:20 left in the third stanza, and Pulaski County was on top, 50-7!
That was it for the starting units for the Cougars and the game was put on a continuous clock, and the Cougar coaching staff got all the gold hats possible in the game. Carroll did manage to score in the fourth quarter on a nine-yard run by Colin Wells.
In addition to Thomas’ 217, the 5th time he has gone over 200 yards rushing in a game this season, Grubb finished with 85 on four carries, and Edmonds got 75 on nine runs. Grubb was only two of seven passing, but that number was not all his fault. For the second straight game, Cougar receivers found it hard at times to hold receptions. He did have the big hookup with McDonald good for 21 yards, and also connected with his brother C.C. Grubb for nine. The Cougars ran with the pigskin 31 times for 451 yards, and finished with 481 total yards of offense. Wells was the Cavaliers’ leading rusher with 39 yards on 11 carries. Carroll Co. managed to run for 100 yards on 47 carries out of its wishbone attack, but finished with only 99 yards total offense because the Cavs were one of 10 passing for minus a yard.
Pulaski County travels to Roanoke to face Hidden Valley Saturday, Game time is the usual 7 pm.