TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / The Endzone Staff
PULASKI COUNTY — The Pulaski County Maroons came into Friday’s game against Whitley County as the only undefeated team in Class 5A at 10-0.
By the end of the first half they showed exactly why they were unbeaten, leading 33-6, en route to the 47-22 win over the Colonels. The loss ended a disappointing season for Jim Black’s squad as Whitley County fell to 1-10.
After the loss, Black stressed the fact that he thought his team’s youth and inexperience were the deciding factors in the game.
“We were close a bunch of times, but we’re just so young and inexperienced,” Black said. “That’s really what hurt us. We were able to move the ball by running it, but we missed the presence of that big fullback that we’ve had in the past.
“The kids played hard, but we’re just not there yet as far as competing,” he added. “We just couldn’t string enough plays together to get anything going and it hurt us.”
Although it took a while for them to get on the scoreboard, Pulaski County took a 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game. Quarterback Riley Hall connected with George Gregory for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 5:45 to play in the first quarter.
It looked like the Colonels could hang with Pulaski County when Zack Mills cut the lead to 7-6 on a five-yard touchdown run with :51 to play in the first quarter.
Despite a strong first quarter, things unraveled for Whitley County in the second period of play.
Pulaski County scored on a 69-yard touchdown run by Caleb Cox, pushing the lead to 14-6 with 8:35 to play in the first half.
An interception by Pulaski County’s Jacob Denny set up a three-play drive, capped by a four-yard touchdown pass from Hall to Gregory to stretch the Maroons’ lead to 20-6 with 6:37 to play in the first half.
Whitley County turned the football over on downs on its next two possessions and the Maroons made them pay both times. Pulaski County scored on touchdown runs of 22 and 10 yards by Hall and Aaron Smith, respectively. When all was said and done in the first half, Pulaski County had jumped ahead of the Colonels, 33-6.
The Maroons wasted no time picking where they left off in the first half, scoring on the opening drive of the third quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run by Smith, making the score 40-6.
Black and company turned the ball over on downs again on its next drive and once again, Pulaski County made them pay. Hall found Smith on a 45-yard touchdown strike, stretching the lead to 47-6, putting the mercy-rule into effect with 7:29 to play in the third quarter.
A safety by Whitley County made the score 47-8, followed by a five-yard touchdown run by Jacob Paul, cutting the Pulaski County lead to 47-15 with 2:50 to play in the game.
A botched snap by Pulaski County’s second-string offense in the end zone gave the Colonels another touchdown as time wound down in the fourth quarter to make the final score 47-22.
Pulaski County will move on to play Perry County Central after the Commodores defeated North Laurel, 28-15.