By CHRISTIAN CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Friday night’s second annual Southwestern-Pulaski County Alumni Bowl football game, just like the 2012 game, was not a disappointment as it came right down to the wire. Pulaski raced out to a 20-0 lead in the opening half, but homestanding Southwestern made things interesting, as they cut the lead to 20-14.
The Maroons, who fell in the opening to the Warriors in the first annual game by a last-second score, held on to win the 2013 game by a score of 20-14, evening the Alumni series up at 1-1.
Alex Abner, a 2010 graduate from Pulaski, scooped up a fumble and took it 40 yards down the field to give the Maroons 1st and 10 at the Warrior 15-yard line. Blake Gumm, on 4th and 1, took the ball up the middle for the Maroons’ first score of the night. Zach Eastham ran in the ball for the two-point conversion, putting Pulaski ahead, 8-0.
In the second quarter, Pulaski scored on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Eastham to Ralph Letner. The Maroons would get one more score in the frame from 2004 graduate Jonathan Denham, who took a one-handed interception to the house to put Johnny Hines’ team out front, 20-0.
Southwestern tallied 14 straight points to cut the Pulaski lead to six points at 20-14.
G.J. Wooldridge, after a few passes to Taylor Mote, scored the Warriors’ first touchdown of the evening on a run on 2nd and goal. After a forced fumble from Harrison Wells, Jared Flynn picked up the ball and raced 40 yards down the field for a touchdown. Dustin ‘Reggie’ Powell added the two-point conversion to make the score, 20-14.
With Pulaski attempting to score again 2006 Southwestern graduate Josh Walters intercepted a pass off Eastham giving the Warriors one last chance to put a drive together, however Pulaski’s defense held strong, and prevented Southwestern from scoring. Pulaski would eventually run out the clock, and secure the win
“It felt really good playing with the old teammates and friends, and their was no way to describe the feeling,” Denham said. “It felt good coming over here and beating Southwestern.
“It was awesome to be playing again,” Gumm said.“It’s been since 2009 when I played in college and it was absolutely amazing. I was really out of shape scored me a touchdown and had a couple of tackles for losses - it was really fun.”
Shane Miller, who was the oldest player in the game graduating in 1995 from Southwestern High School, was more than happy to be playing on the gridiron again.
“It felt good playing with people I haven’t seen in 15 to 20 years, and also felt good playing at my home — the Reservation,” told Miller.
“It’s football, it’s Southwestern and PC, and it’s fun to strap the pads back on and have fun,” Wooldridge said. “Win or lose, we are all still here within the community passing the torch to the future athletes. It’s a good way to bring excitement for the fall, I loved it and never turn down some competition.”