Maroons edge out Corbin

Darrin Spencer Photo

Pulaski County High School seniors Jake Sloan (left) and Ethan Fuentes celebrate a touchdown in the Maroons' dramatic 23-22 win over Corbin High School on Friday night.

CORBIN — Pulaski County improved to 2-1 on the season with a thrilling 23-22 win over Corbin (2-1) in a wild second-half shootout Friday in Corbin.

After a first half dominated by the defenses that saw the Maroons take a 7-0 lead into the locker room on the strength of an 8-yard Drew Polston to Jake Sloan second-quarter touchdown pass, the second half was an explosive back and forth offensive display.

The Redhounds got on the board on their first drive of the second half, going 69 yards on six plays, capped off by a 6-yard run up the middle by senior running back Nick Yeager.

The Maroons clung to a 7-6 lead after the point after attempt sailed wide right.

It looked like the Maroons were going to have a quick answer of their own, but after using up more than four minutes and driving the ball down to the Corbin seven yard line, they were unable to score and turned the ball over on downs.

Corbin once again marched the ball downfield, with freshman quarterback Cameron Combs hooking up with senior wide receiver Jacob Steely on a pair of long passes to cap off a 13-play scoring drive.

A jump-pass from Yeager to Ethan Wine for the two-point conversion gave the Redhounds their first lead of the game 14-7 early in the fourth quarter.

That’s when the game really began to heat up.

In the battle of young quarterbacks, Polston showed he was up for the challenge.

The sophomore came up huge in a 10-play drive on the Maroons’ next possession.

Polston had a pair of runs for 14 yards and connected on three passes to Sloan and Oakes to get the Maroons down to the Corbin 32 yard line.

Then on fourth down and two, he rolled to the right, pulled up and hit Oakes with a 27-yard strike to get Pulaski to the 7-yard line. One play later, Tristan Cox dove over a pair of Corbin defenders into the end zone for a touchdown to pull PC to within 14-13.

Polston finished off the drive by running untouched into the end zone for the two-point conversion to once again put the Maroons on top 15-14 with just under seven minutes remaining in the game.

The lead was short lived though.

After being bottled up by the Pulaski defense all night long, Corbin standout running back Treyveon Longmire finally made an impact on the game.

The lightning quick sophomore took the ensuing kickoff and after getting hemmed in on the left sideline, broke a tackle, reversed across field to the right sideline and raced untouched for a 94-yard TD to put Corbin back on top 20-15 after a failed two-point conversion.

Before the Redhounds crowd had a chance to catch its breath, the Maroons once again were on the attack.

Junior Jacob Shepherd put the Maroons in great field position at the 46-yard line with a big return of his own.

From there, Polston once again marched the Maroons downfield.

Passes to Kaleb Adams and Cox and a 22 yard run by Cox quickly got Pulaski down to the Corbin 11-yard line.

One play later, Polston hit Cox over the middle for an 11-yard TD to make it 21-20 Maroons. Adams connected with Oakes with the two-point conversion pass to make it 23-20 Maroons with 4:32 remaining.

From there, the Pulaski defense took over.

The Maroons forced Corbin into a quick three-and-out to force them to punt with under three minutes remaining.

And after a Cox fumble three plays later, the defense came up with another huge stop.

With less than a minute remaining and the Redhounds on the Pulaski 28-yard line, Caleb Adams picked off a Combs pass intended for Patterson at the 10-yard line to end the threat.

The Maroons tried to run the clock out by downing the ball but eventually elected to have Polston run out of the end zone for a safety with less than a second on the clock to cut the margin to 23-22.

After downing the ball on the ensuing kickoff at the 44-yard line, the Redhounds had one final play, but Combs was chased down after scrambling for a short gain to end the game.

On the night, the Maroons 426 total yards, 286 yards and two touchdowns passing and 140 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Polston had a great night. He was 25-35 through the air for 286 yards and two touchdowns and added 74 yards rushing.

Oakes had eight catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, Sloan added seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown and Cox had 35 yards and a touchdown receiving and 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Corbin finished with 318 total yards, 122 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 196 yards and a touchdown through the air.

The Maroons continue their road swing to open the season next Friday in Lexington at Henry Clay.

Steve Cornelius has worked as a journalist at the Commonwealth Journal since 2001, and has been the CJ Sports Editor since 2005.

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