For only the second time in school history, the Pulaski County Maroons are regional champions.
Johnny Hines’ club moved to 13-0 on the season last night, by knocking off Madison Southern for the second time this season to win the Region 4 championship in Class 5 A with a come from behind 32-28 victory over the Eagles.
Quarterback Riley Hall threw 3 touchdown passes in the game, while Aaron Smith continued to dominate every team he lines up against, as the senior running back rushed for 146 yards and added two more scores.
PC grabbed a 6-0 lead early in the game, thanks to a 19-yard scoring toss from Hall to George Gregory, but Madison Southern would storm back.
Behind the running of University of Michigan commit Damien Harris, the Eagles responded by taking a 22-12 lead over the Maroons late in the first half -- Pulaski County’s biggest deficit of the season.
Harris scored on a 12-yard run and a 3-yard scamper, while Casey Dionne added a 1-yard run for a third score, putting the Maroons into a 10-point hole.
No problem however, as PC would respond.
Hall led a methodical drive downfield late in the first half, that culminated on a 7-yard scoring strike to Jake Johnson.
Hall’s conversion pass to Gregory trimmed the deficit to 22-20 in favor of the Eagles at the half.
In the third quarter, PC took control of things early on.
Hall hit Johnson for another touchdown pass -- this time on an 8-yard toss, and Smith added a 1-yard touchdown run.
That flurry gave PC a 32-22 lead through three quarters of play, but Harris got the Eagles right back in it with a 76-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Late in the game, thanks to a 61-yard scamper by Dionne, the Eagles had the ball inside the PC 20-yard line with a first and ten, but the Maroons defense tightened up and held the Eagles out of the end zone.
After PC went three and out, facing a fourth down deep inside their own territory, the Maroons got a huge, 51-yard punt from Christian Coots that turned the battle of field position around in PC’s favor, and the Maroons held on from there.
Look for complete game story in Sunday’s sports section.