BELFRY - Heading into Friday's matchup against defending Class 3A State Champion Belfry (1-0), coach Johnny Hines knew his Maroons (0-1) would have to slow down the powerful running game of the Pirates if they were going to come away with a tough road win.
Unfortunately for the Maroons, that's easier said than done.
Senior Isaac Dixon picked up where he left off last season in which he rushed for more than 1,100 yards, by racing through and around the PC defense for 194 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Belfry to a 33-13 victory in the season opener for both teams.
"Dixon is a very good running back. He runs hard and is hard to bring down, He reminds us of Braedon Sloan from Wayne County. Belfry was able to hold the ball and run the clock and they took advantage of some of our mistakes, like good teams do," Hines said following the game. "But I'm proud of our kids, they played hard with a lot of intensity and we did some good things tonight. We had some good plays and some bad plays. We've just got to take what we did good and build on that and get better next week."
Belfry jumped out to a 12-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 17-yard TD run by Dixon and a 3 yard score by senior Kyle Webb before the Maroons were able to get their offense untracked.
Pulaski quickly marched downfield behind junior quarterback Drew Polston to get on the scoreboard.
Polston had hit sophomore Barek Williams and senior Jacob Shepherd with a pair of passes and finished off a 10-yard run of his own to get Pulaski into the red zone.
Two plays later, Polston hit sophomore Chandler Godby for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 12-7 with 10 minutes left in the half.
But that momentum was short lived as the Pirates once again drove downfield for a score.
Senior quarterback Brett Coleman capped off a five-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run to put Belfry on top 18-7,
The Pirates closed out the half with a 30-yard Gideon Ireson field goal to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
After the Pirates extended their lead to 27-7 to open the second half, the Maroons showed they were not ready to give up, quickly answering with their second scoring drive of the game.
Polston connected on passes to Williams, Chandler Godby and Donovan Abbott and rushed for 13 yards himself to get Pulaski inside the 15 yard line.
Senior Tristan Cox finished off the eight-play drive with a seven-yard touchdown run to pull the Maroons to within 27-13.
The Pulaski defense then came up with a big defensive stand on Belfry's next possession, stopping the Pirates on four triers inside the five yard line inside the final four minutes to keep the deficit at 27-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
"I'm proud of our kids for how they played and didn't hang their heads with things didn't go our way. Their effort and intensity was there all night," Hines said.
Belfry put the game away early in the fourth quarter as Dixon raced into the end zone from 33-yards out to make it 33-13 to round out the scoring.
"We're going to get better," Hines said. "We've just got to learn from this game and get better for next weeks game. I'm optimistic about this team. We'll be a good team before the end of the season."
Belfry finished the game with 399 total yards, with 388 of those coming on the ground.
Pulaski finished with 279 total yards in the contest.
The Maroons head to Berea next week to take on long-time rival Madison Southern at 1 p.m. on Saturday.