Commonwealth Journal

Local Sports

September 22, 2012

Pulaski upends Lincoln Co., 35-17

Somerset — Last night may have been homecoming for the Pulaski County Maroons, but it was Lincoln County who was feeling right at home early on in the district opener for both.

The Patriots raced out to a 9-0 lead over Johnny Hines and crew less than five minutes into the contest, but after that quick deficit, it was Pulaski County that was enjoying ‘Home Sweet Home’.

Pulaski County — after falling behind the Patriots 9-0 with 7:18 left in the opening stanza — reeled off 28 consecutive points, got three fourth quarter touchdowns from Aaron Smith, and as a result, cruised to a district-opening, 35-17 win over the Pats.

“We didn’t start well tonight — we gave them the safety, and then we set them up in good field position for their first touchdown,” stated Hines, after his team moved to 1-0 in district play and to 3-2 overall with the victory.

“The thing that I like about this team and the attitude of it, was they were kind of irritated at that point when we got down by that 9-0 score,” continued the PCHS coach. “I like to see that in them. Their intensity picked up and nobody panicked because we were behind.”

Much like last week’s win over Rockcastle County, the Maroons fell behind early due to allowing a safety.

After a three and out deep inside their own territory to begin the game, Pulaski was guilty of firing the snap over punter Jacob Denney’s head, and he kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone, giving the Patriots a quick, 2-0 lead with 10:03 remaining in the first quarter of play.

After the ensuing PC kickoff, Lincoln County took over the ball at the Maroons’ 47-yard line, and a few plays later, Connor Patterson scored on a 1-yard plunge, and with the PAT, Lincoln County led PC 9-0 with 7:18 remaining in the first stanza.

However, at that juncture, Hines’ club produced arguably its biggest drive of the night.

Pulaski County methodically drove the ball downfield, chewing up 4:44 off the clock, going 80 yards for a score.

That drive culminated with Riley Hall hooking up with Aaron Hall on a 13-yard scoring toss , cutting the deficit to 9-7 with 2:34 left in the opening stanza.

Pulaski County then took the lead for good early in the second frame, thanks to an 8-yard scamper by tailback Tyler Goins, giving the Maroons a 14-9 lead with 11:07 remaining in the first half of play.

At that point, Pulaski’s defense dug in, and much like in last week’s win over Rockcastle County, the Maroons ‘D’ held the Pats at bay until the midway point of the fourth quarter.

For the game, Lincoln County ran 59 plays for a total of 213 yards — good enough for just an average of 3.6 yards per play.

Not a bad night indeed for a Pulaski County defense that seemingly is getting better and better with each passing week.

“This was a very good effort by our defense and I’m really, really proud of them,” pointed out Hines.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Lincoln County — they’ve got a lot of pride and played hard the whole game — but toward the end of the game our intensity slipped a little bit when we thought we had the game already in the bag,” Hines remarked.

Leading the Pats 14-9 at the intermission, the score remained that way until late in the third period when Riley Hall raced virtually untouched for a 69-yard touchdown run that would have put the Maroons up by a 20-9 margin.

However, that score was nullified thanks to a holding call, meaning PC only led the Pats by that 14-9 margin headed into the fourth quarter of play.

And that’s when junior Aaron Smith took the game over for Pulaski County.

In a three-play sequence, Smith caused a turnover and scored two touchdowns, taking a close, 14-9 PC lead out to a 28-9 bulge.

With 11:08 left in the contest, Smith hauled in a 10-yard pass from Hall for a score that did count, extending the Pulaski County lead out to 21-9.

After the ensuing Maroon kickoff, on the first play from scrimmage, Smith intercepted Logan Hubble’s pass and returned it 23 yards down to the Lincoln County one-yard line.

On the very next play, Smith scored on a 1-yard run, giving the Maroons a 28-9 advantage with 10:53 left in the contest.

At that juncture, the Maroons were eyeing a 1-0 district start, and Lincoln County was in big-time trouble.

After Lincoln County’s Marvin Robinson scored on a 40-yard run, and added the two-point conversion run, Smith tallied his third TD of the fourth quarter with 4:16 remaining in the game, on a 33-yard score giving the Maroons the 35-17 victory.

“The touchdown that Aaron caught right before his interception was just huge,” stated Hines. “It was 14-9 at that point and it was still anybody’s game. That was a big, big drive.”

“Aaron’s (Smith) a very good football player,” continued the Maroons head coach. “He can play a lot of positions. He played quarterback last year and did a great job, and he can still do that as he showed tonight on the one-yard run. He can play a lot of positions and does a lot of things for us.”

With the win, PC improved its record to 3-2 on the season, but more importantly, the Maroons held serve in their district opener, by winning a crucial game at home over the Patriots.

Pulaski County will be on the road in back to back games, beginning next Thursday night at North Laurel in a game that has been moved up a day.

With back to back road games at North Laurel, and the next week at Madison Southern, Hines was quick to point out how important the win over Lincoln County was to his club, considering what the PC coach perceives as a great deal of parity within the Maroons district.

“We said to our players that after tonight everybody in the district will either be 0-1 and looking up, or 1-0 and looking down, and we wanted to be one of those 1-0 teams, so this game was huge,” Hines pointed out.

“We got that accomplished, and I was really pleased with the way our guys responded tonight and got a big win for us,” added the PC coach.

Pulaski County will face North Laurel next Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in another pivotal district contest for both clubs.

First place within the district will be on the line, as both teams will bring 1-0 records in district play into that game.

The Jaguars picked up a win last night, by knocking off South Laurel by a 35-10 score.

That PC-North Laurel game is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday night in London.

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