Pulaski County closes out its 2021 regular season this Friday night when it hosts Christiansburg at Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium.
The Cougars (4-5, 2-3) are holding on to the slimmest of playoff hopes as the Blue Demons roll into town.
The top eight teams in each region qualify for the Virginia High School League Playoffs, and currently the Cougars are on the outside looking in.
Pulaski County sits in ninth place in the region after last week’s loss to Patrick Henry with a 21.00 rating.
Just ahead in the eighth and final playoff spot is Amherst County at 21.50.
Amherst has a tough finale on Friday against Heritage (Lynchburg) of the Seminole District. The Pioneers (7-2) are currently ranked No. 2 in Region 3C behind powerful and undefeated Liberty Christian Academy.
One would think Amherst is a big underdog in that contest, which might bode well for the Cougars.
With only half a ratings point standing in the Cougars’ way, a Pulaski County win coupled with an Amherst loss might be enough to put the Cougars in the playoffs.
“I’m not sure, but I would think if we won and they (Amherst) lost we would be in,” Cougar Head Coach Mark Dixon said earlier this week.
“I think it would come down to rider points. How the teams we beat finish up,” said PCHS Athletic Director Scott Vest.
If the Cougars win Friday night and Amherst does indeed lose, someone will have to do the math to see if Pulaski County can squeak into postseason play.
First, though, the Cougars have to take care of business by beating Christiansburg.
That won’t be easy.
The Blue Demons improved last Friday to 8-1 on the season by whipping the Cave Spring Knights, 37-14 behind the rushing of senior Stephan Myrthil (155 yards) and Kenyon Johnson-Buchannon (115 yards).
Christiansburg’s defense limited Cave to just 151 total yards of offense with only 21 of that on the ground, while the Blue Demons rolled up 314.
Prior to last week’s win, the Blue Demons the week before beat up on Patrick Henry, 37-14.
Christiansburg is led at quarterback by Casey Graham, but the Blue Demons do most of their damage on the ground.
Against those same Patriots last Friday night, Pulaski County took it on the chin, losing 42-13.
The Cougars were without the services of starting quarterback Chris Gallimore and opted for most of the game to go with a “wildcat” offensive formation with different Cougars taking direct snaps from center.
Freshman Johnny Anderson did see action during the game, completing one of six pass attempts for 20 yards and throwing one interception.
John Lyman and Trevor Burton led the Cougars’ attack. Lyman rushed 34 times for 136 yards, while Burton carried 21 times for 138.
According to Dixon, Gallimore will be back for this week’s game.
Senior Keyontae Kennedy added 31 more yards on three carries.
Kennedy and Lyman each caught a pass in the effort.
The Patriots rolled to a 35-0 lead at halftime before the Cougars got on the board midway through the third quarter when Kennedy scored on a 7-yard run. Nathan Pratt added the point after to make it 35-7.
The Cougars scored again early in the fourth when Lyman scored from one yard out. The PAT was no good and the score stood at 35-13.
Moments later PH scored on a 39-yard pass play to close out the scoring for the 42-13 win.
Friday night’s game begins at 7 p.m.
Veterans Get In Free!
Pulaski County Public Schools will be recognizing local veterans Friday night by allowing veterans into the game free of charge with a valid military ID (military ID, veteran’s ID card, or DD 214).
The PCHS Advanced Concert Choir will also be performing a medley of songs to honor all veterans in attendance.
“We look forward to recognizing these heroes,” commented Vest.
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot