Hidden Valley Hands Pulaski First Loss In 35-14 Takedown

Hidden Valley running back Matt Strong (#20, center) barrels into the end zone for a score as Shawn Christian (#57), Silas Fitzgerald (#55) and Kelly Mitchell (#10) open the hole. (Bill Turner photos).
Many Pulaski County fans were late arrivers at Dwight Bogle Stadium Friday night after a major traffic backup on I-581.
Once things got going on the field, they had to endure another series of mishaps.
Taking advantage of early Pulaski miscues, Hidden Valley scored the first two touchdowns of the game and never looked back as the Titans rolled to the 35-14 River Ridge District win, handing the Cougars their first loss of the season. Hidden Valley improved to 4-2.
Hidden Valley’s Matt Strong (#20) breaks into the open field on the Titan’s first drive as Pulaski cornerback Layne Suthers (#7) pursues.

Hidden Valley wasted no time getting on the scoreboard on their first possession. Taking advantage of a long run by junior running back Matt Strong and a key completion by Titan quarterback Grayson Carroll, Strong barreled into the end zone from 1-yard out with 8:32 left to put Hidden Valley up 7-0 after the point-after by sophomore kicker Sam Dragovich.

Pulaski County turned the ball over on the second play after the ensuing kickoff when Cougar junior quarterback A.J. McCloud’s pass into the right flat was picked off deep in Pulaski territory, setting the stage for another Strong scoring run from 1-yard that pushed the Titan lead to 14-0 with 6:28 left in the opening frame.
Pulaski looked ready to get back in the game when it drove for a touchdown on the next possession, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass from McCloud to senior Logan Burchett that cut the Titan lead to 14-7 with 1:10 to go in the first.
Hidden Valley handed the Cougars a great opportunity to get the equalizer when it turned the ball over on downs at its own 38-yard line, but junior cornerback Jacob Pardon picked off McCloud along the left sideline to extinguish the Pulaski County drive. The Titan followed with a long drive that ended when Carroll found junior wide receiver Cross Thompson in traffic across the goal line for a 17-yard touchdown toss with 2:09 left in the half that sent the teams to the locker room with Hidden Valley up 21-7.
Titan quarterback Grayson Carroll (#3) looks to throw as the Hidden Valley offensive line secures the pocket.

The Titans put the game away in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by Strong and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Carroll to junior wide receiver Tyler McDaniel that had the Titans on cruise control 35-7 heading to the final 12 minutes. Pulaski finished the night’s scoring midway through the fourth quarter when Cougar sophomore running back Kyontae Kennedy carried it in from 3-yards out.

Strong proved to be the workhorse for Hidden Valley, rushing for 171 yards. Carroll threw for 141 yards, and the Titan defense rose to the occasion, limiting McCloud’s accuracy to well under 50% in addition to the pair of key interceptions that led to Hidden Valley scores.
Bill Turner – Story / Pics