By MIKE WILLIAMS
The Pulaski County Cougars travel to Blacksburg on Friday night to take on the Bruins.
The game comes on the heels of a 49-13 loss to rival Salem last week in Dobson Stadium.
The loss dropped the Cougars’ record to 1-5 on the season.
In Blacksburg, the Cougars face a 2-4 team – already an improvement for the Bruins who entered the season on a 27-game losing streak. They hadn’t won a football game since 2019.
Their improved season, however, took a hit last week when they fell hard to Christiansburg in the “Battle of the Burgs,” 71-7.
Head coach Zack Leonard, in his second season at Blacksburg, employs a shotgun offense led by quarterback Ethan Karpa who went 4 of 6 last week against the Blue Demons for 31 yards.
Isaiah Lewis was the Bruins’ top rusher against Christiansburg, carrying the mail 17 times for 33 yards.
Blacksburg will use a 3-4 defensive scheme to try and stop Pulaski County.
The Cougars are looking to get back in the win column in Montgomery County Friday night.
Against Salem, the Cougars’ night got off to a bad start from the get-go.
A fumble on the opening kickoff return gave the Spartans the ball deep in Cougar territory and three plays later Salem scored to take an early 7-0 lead.
The Cougars were able to tie the score on a six-play (all rushes), 80-yard drive with Trevor Gallimore covering the final four yards for the score.
Bryant Nottinham booted the PAT and the score was tied at 7-7.
From there it was pretty much all Salem with the Spartans’ stars Peyton Lewis and Jayveon Jones leading the way to a 28-7 lead.
The Cougars got on the board again for the final time in the game prior to halftime when Gallimore scored from one yard out with 52 seconds left in the half.
The 14-play scoring drive covered 74 yards and included three pass receptions by Isaiah O’Dell along the way.
The snap on the PAT was bobbled and the Cougars trailed 28-13.
The second half was all Salem as they built their lead to the final, 49-13.
Salem rolled up 364 yards on the ground on 29 carries, while the Cougars amassed 176 yards on 39 rushes.
Pulaski County had 222 total yards in the game, while Salem piled up 461.
Gallimore had 84 yards rushing on 22 carries to lead the Cougars. Chase Lawrence went 5 for 59 on the ground. O’Dell was 5 for 26 yards rushing and caught three passes for 30 yards. Nottingham added 5 yards on 4 carries, while Savion Thompson chipped in 2 carries for 3 yards.
Nottingham was 4 of 8 passing for 46 yards.
Salem went to 6-1 on the season with the win.
Gametime Friday night in Bluefield is 7 p.m. There is a small chance of showers Friday night, so bring some rain gear just in case.