By MASON CLARK
It was Homecoming night in Dublin, always a fun night when many former Cougars return to the school they once called home. And the Cougar football team didn’t disappoint, as they dominated a struggling Blacksburg football team by a score of 48-7. They now move to 4-3 on the year with a tough three-game stretch looming to close out the regular season.
The Cougars found pay dirt quickly. After solid chunks of yards on the drive, it was a familiar player reaching the end zone first, with Trevor Burton scoring a thirteen-yard touchdown less than two minutes in. The Bruins moved the football a little bit on their first possession, but it wouldn’t produce any points. After a Cougar turnover on their second possession, the Cougar defense would get it right back when Zach Parker came up with an interception to set up the Cougar offense in Bruin territory. Burton then found the end zone for a second time, this one from 27 yards, and the Cougs led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was when the flood gates opened for the Cougars. Burton got his third score of the night with about nine minutes left in the half. After Taner Mace recovered a Bruin fumble, Burton suddenly had four touchdowns on the night, and it was up to 28-0.
The Cougar defense would keep Blacksburg out of the end zone in the first half. Then after running the football hard all evening, Gallimore dropped back to pass and launched it deep to junior Marcus Reed, who hauled it in for his first touchdown on the season for a 39-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was no good, but no harm done on this night with the lead being 34-0.
Burton would get one more score in before intermission, giving him his twenty-first of the season as he continues on his quest for 28 which would set a new school record. He will tie with six more scores and would break it with seven more. Time will tell, but what a great accomplishment that would be for Burton.
The score at the half was 41-0 Cougars. Of course, the anticipated announcing of the royalty for Homecoming came. Blaine Reedy won king, Olivia Viers won queen. Then Khalib Horton won prince and Eliza Morgan was named princess. And James Johnson was the duke while Tori Vest was the duchess. Congratulations to all of these seniors!
The Cougars came out and continued to pitch a shutout. Sophomore Taner Mace got his first career touchdown, making it 48-0. The Bruins would find the end zone in the early fourth. Lots of young players got a lot of time on the field, and this will likely be needed down the stretch of the season. With the festivities going on and the big win, it was a good night all around.
Burton finished with 22 attempts for 183 yards and 5 touchdowns. Chris Gallimore ran 8 times for 53 yards. Taner Mace continued to run the ball well for the second straight week with 5 attempts for 46 yards and a score. Brett Jones ran once for 15, freshman Kaden Hatch got his first carry for 12 yards, Tyler Underwood ran 3 times for 8, and Zach Parker ran once for three yards. That gives the Cougs 41 attempts for 342 yards, about 8.3 yards per attempt. Gallimore had maybe his best night passing, going 3 of 4 for 68 yards and a touchdown pass, the first of the year. 6’4” junior Marcus Reed, who is continuing to emerge as a very reliable and consistent option at receiver, caught all three passes. For the Cougar offense, that is 45 plays for 410 yards, over 9 per play, along with 22 first downs. Not bad at all.
Blacksburg got six first downs, ran 28 times for 102 yards, and was 3/9 passing for 6 yards with an interception, the first of the season for the Cougars. That’s 37 plays for 108 yards, less than three per play.
With the sun, the Cougars are now 4-3. They will look to get their first win over a team with a winning record when they travel on Thursday to Bluefield to play 7-0 Graham. PC will be thinking about last year, as Graham set a new record for most points allowed in a game. Come out Thursday!!!