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Radford was plagued by miscues, committing five turnovers and giving up 80 yards on penalties.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Pulaski’s Dillon Alley runs up the middle during the first half against Radford on Friday. Pulaski defeated the Bobcats 31-13 in Radford.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
RADFORD — Pulaski County’s high school football team was harder on Radford than the Bobcats were on themselves. That’s saying something.
The Cougars played at a dizzying offensive pace, avoided huddles, and rolled up 264 yards on the ground while also playing effectively on special teams to upend error-prone Radford 31-13 before a standing-room-only audience at Bobcat Stadium on Friday night.
The Bobcats (0-2) played well at times on both sides of the line of scrimmage with quarterback Marcus Finley being particularly productive. In the end, they couldn’t get out of their own way at critical moments, fumbling four times in the first half alone and ending with five turnovers to one for the Cougars (1-1). Radford also was assessed 80 yards on eight penalties.
The hurry-up attack just added to the Bobcats’ discomfort.
“We’ve been trying to push the pace of the game and get a bunch of our guys in there,” Pulaski County coach Todd Jones said. “A lot of seniors and juniors and sophomores played and I don’t think anybody played both ways. We wanted to push the pace as fast as we could get it going.”
Radford still had a chance going into the fourth quarter with a 21-13 deficit. A little over a minute into final period, Shane Chrisley capped a 60-yard scoring drive with a 25-yard field goal. Chrisley capped all four TDs with conversion kicks and followed three of the scores by belting unreturnable kickoffs. Johnston’s punting (4 for a 35-yard average) effectively kept Radford in its end of the field.
“Our special teams really helped us out,” Jones said.
Johnston only threw one pass, a 19-yard strike to Dillon Alley. Along with his 108 yards on 13 carries, Johnston added a 10-yard first quarter scoring run the first time he carried the football.
“All we worked on all week was running up and down the field,” Johnston said. “We could see they weren’t going to be in the right place at the right time because we were snapping it as fast as we could.”
The other half of the Cougars’ two-headed attack was strong but hard to find 5-foot-6running back Quincy Rollins, who had a game-high 141 yards on 24 carries. He crossed the goal line after a 22-yard rumble that made it 14-0 in the first quarter and again on a 15-yarder that closed the scoring.
“I was taught to concentrate on running to that touchdown,” he said. “You play that mind game and that’s what drove me to get that score and the yards I gained.”
Radford kept it interesting thanks to sophomore quarterback Finley. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 108 yards and an interception and ended with 156 yards total offense and the Bobcats’ first TD, a 2-yard second quarter burst.
“Finley’s a heck of a football player,” Jones said. “He’s going to get his.”
Radford had 213 yards on the ground, 57 of that coming in one Alex Wright sprint toward the goal line that came up just short. That set up Radford’s last score, a 1-yard plunge by Heth Grant.
The game was a costly one for the Bobcats. Middle linebacker Eric Benitez was rushed to a specialist in the Roanoke Valley after sustaining an injury to his groin. Grant was sent to the hospital with signs of a concussion.
“We played our butts off but we’re really banged up now,” Radford coach Matthew Saunders said.
Pulaski County 14 0 7 10—31
Radford 7 0 6 0—13
PC — Johnston 10 run (Chrisley kick
PC — Rollins 22 run (Chrisley kick)
RA — Finley 2 run (Levison kick)
PC — Alley 20 run (Chrisley kick)
RA — Grant 1 run (Kick failed)
PC — Chrisley 25 field goal
PC — Rollins 15 run (Chrisley kick)
First downs 13 15
Yards rushing 264 213
Passes C-A-I 1-1-0 11-13-1
Yards passing 19 108
Penalties-yards 8-78 8-80
Fumbles-lost 1-1 5-4
Punts-average 4-35 1-42
RUSHING — Pulaski County -- Rollins 24-141, Johnston 13-108, Jones 4-14, Alley 5-1; Radford -- Wright 1-57, Carter 14-54, Finley 10-48, Jordan 7-34, Cook 5-11, Grant 3-8, Thompson 1-1.
PASSING — Pulaski County -- Johnston 1-1-0 19; Radford -- Finley 10-12-1 100, Baylor 1-1-0 8.
RECEIVING — Pulaski County -- Alley 1-19; Radford -- Jordan 5-71, Cook 2-19, Baylor 1-11, Howard 1-6, Gallimore 1-1.
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