The Pulaski County Maroons (7-3) would have had a tough battle on their hands Friday against visiting Tates Creek (5-4) and Class 6A passing leader Luke Duby and his stable of speedy receivers under normal circumstances.
That task became exponentially harder for the Maroons in the senior night showdown with three of their top offensive threats on the sideline with injuries sustained in last week’s loss to rival Southwestern.
Without quarterback Drew Polston, wide receiver Jake Sloan and tight end Grant Oakes, Pulaski’s offense was no match for the red hot Commodores, who rolled to a 38-7 victory behind Duby’s 537-yard, five touchdown passing performance in the regular season finale for both teams.
Duby threw touchdown passes of 14, 8 and 87 yards in the first half as the Commodores took a 24-0 lead into the half.
The Maroons had a couple of opportunities to put points on the board in the half, but came up empty both times.
On the first, senior Evan Mercer gave the Maroons great field position with a 49-yard kickoff return. A 15-yard horse collar penalty against the Commodores gave Pulaski the ball on the Tates Creek 24-yard line.
But the Commodores’ defense held the Maroons to five yards on four plays to turn the ball over on downs.
Late in the second quarter, PC once again got deep into Tates Creek territory, but linebacker Marcus Bosley picked off quarterback Caleb Adams’ pass over the middle at the 11-yard line to end the threat.
Tates Creek wasted no time getting on the board in the second half as Duby hit Matthew Underwood with a 70-yard touchdown strike 21 seconds into the quarter to extend the lead to 31-0.
Duby’s fifth TD of the game, a 62-yard pass to Miles Thomas, put the Commodores on top 38-0 and sent the game into a running clock situation.
The Maroons avoided the shutout with a touchdown to start the fourth quarter.
A 15-yard Adams to Cainen Daniels pass, an 8-yard pass to Tristan Cox and runs of six and 23 yards by Adams gave Pulaski a first and goal to go at the 6-yard line.
Cox finished off the drive by taking a swing pass from Adams around left end and bowling over three Tates Creek tacklers at the goal line for the 6-yard TD.
Jaxson McAlpins’ PAT rounded out the scoring at 38-7.
Tates Creek finished with 596 yards of total offense on 61 plays. Thomas hauled in seven passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
The Maroons finished with 132 total yards on 45 plays.
Adams finished the night with 64 yards and a touchdown passing and added another 68 yards on 13 carries on the ground.
Cox had four catches for 25 yards and a TD and 8 yards on four carries on the ground.
Evan Cherry added tow catches for 24 yards and Daniels had one catch for 15 yards.
The Maroons take on Southwestern next Friday at PC field in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.