The difference between a 4A school and a 2A school was the telling story as Pulaski Co. Cougars wore down the Radford Bobcats for a 27-12 benefit win in front of a big crowd.
The Cougars Jakari Finley rushed for 125 yards on 19 carries to lead the ground game. E J Horton caught six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown from QB James Jackson. Gage Mannon chipped in with 60 yards rushing on 12 rushes.
Radford was led by P J Prioleau as he carried the ball 11 times for 85 yards and scored on a 41-yard run that looked like it was stopped for a loss before two unbelievable spin moves by him. Radford scored first in the game as defensive lineman Jacob Alley sacked Cougar QB Chris Shay in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter.
Pulaski Co. would answer as they would drive the ball down to the Radford 36 yard line and on fourth down Noah O’Dell out jumped a Bobcat defended for six and Ryan Castle pat made it 7-2 with 11:45 left in the first half.
Radford would strike back on their next drive as Prioleau took the handoff around left end and it was all bottled up but he made two spins moves and somehow broke loose down the Pulaski Co. sideline for a 41-yard touchdown and Conner Lytton’s point after put the Bobcats up 9-7 with 11:12 before intermission.
Pulaski Co. would drive the ball and with 1:42 left in the first half Castle attempted a 23-yard field goal but the kick hit the left upright.
Radford would then drive to the Cougar 34 and Lytton would try a 51-yard field goal that fell just short to end the first half.
The second then saw Radford drive and Lytton would hit a 31-yard field goal to take a 12-7 lead with 8:43 to go in the third quarter.
Pulaski Co. would then drive the ball 70 yards and scored on a 13-yard pass to Horton from Jackson but their two-point run was no good but they had taken the lead 13-12, with 3;25 left in the quarter. They would then dominate the fourth quarter scoring on a Luke Russell 14-yard run and a Xavier Cobb 2 yard pass from Drew Dalton.
Pulaski Co. finished with 430 yards of offense, with 239 of those coming after intermission. ” We played better the second half said Cougar head coach Stephen James. We best play better next week against Northside. I thought Radford played extremely well tonight.” The Cougars had 24 first downs and had seven penalties for 63 yards.
Radford had 234 yards of offense, with 15 first downs. They were whistled six times for 56 yards. ” I’m very proud of how we played tonight. We did what we needed to do and we evaluated a lot of our players. We got no one hurt and that’s important, said Radford head coach Matthew Saunders. He then added,” I thought we got some really good performances from our offensive and defensive lines. We got to take a look at our halftime and make some changes.”
Pulaski Co. will travel next week to Northside to open the season and Radford will travel to Wytheville to take on George Wythe. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:00 pm. next Friday, August 24.