Maroons trounce North Laurel in playoff opener

STEVE CORNELIUS | CJ

Pulaski County High School junior receiver Chandler Godby hauls in one of his four touchdowns on the night in the Maroons' win over North Laurel High School in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs. Godby had a career-high 221receiving yards in the win. 

Behind an 11-catch, 221-yard, and four-touchdown career-best night from junior wide receiver Chandler Godby, the Pulaski County High School Maroons (7-4, 4-1) rolled to a 40-14 win over North Laurel (8-3, 2-3) in the Class 4A District 8 playoffs Friday at PC Field.

The win sets up a second-round rematch with crosstown rival Southwestern next week at the Reservation at Southwestern. The Warriors defeated the Maroons 42-14 two weeks ago at PC Field.

As they did in the first matchup against North Laurel, in London a month ago, the Maroons took control of this one early.

Pulaski County took the opening kickoff and marched 70-yards in 13 plays to take a 6-0 lead on a one-yard touchdown run by junior Aiden Wesley.

With the Maroons offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage, senior quarterback Drew Polston and Godby then took over the game.

Following a Cade Sullivan interception on North Laurel's first offensive possession of the night, it only took Polston one play to find Godby for a 33-yard touchdown strike to put the Maroons on top 13-0 inside the first six minutes.

It remained that way until the first play of the second quarter when Godby made a spectacular leaping grab of a Polston pass over a North Laurel defender in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 19-0 Pulaski.

With the Maroons defense completely shutting down the Jaguars' offense, Polston and Godby hooked up for the third time in the half. This time the Godby scored from 23 yards out to give the Maroons a 26-0 lead at the half.

The Pulaski defense held the Jaguars to only 89 total yards and four first downs on 24 plays in the first half and came up with a big goal-line stand inside the final minute to preserve the shutout.

Neither team could get anything going offensively in a penalty-filled third quarter, but that quickly changed in the fourth.

Polston capped off a 53-yard scoring drive for the Maroons with a 6-yard touchdown pass to senior Braden Gipson on the third play of the quarter to give Pulaski a 33-0 lead.

Godby's fourth TD of the night, this time from 39 yards out made it 40-0 in favor of Pulaski County. That score put the game into a running clock situation inside the final seven minutes.

With Pulaski coach Johnny Hines emptying his bench, North Laurel finally got on its offense on track on its next possession.

Sophomore running back Christian Larkey took a short pass and from quarterback Tucker Warren and rambled 66 yards for a touchdown to snap the shutout and cut the deficit to 40-7

After the Jaguars recovers an onside kick at the PC 46-yard line, North rounded out the scoring five plays later when Warren found senior Gavin Hurst for a 21-yard touchdown strike to make the final 40-14.

Pulaski County will battle Southwestern at the Reservation for the Class 5A District 8 title and a shot at the regional championship game.

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