With a 17-14 victory over the Blacksburg Bruins last Friday, the Pulaski County Cougars advanced to the second round of the Region 4 playoffs.
As it will with every win, the competition gets tougher this Friday. The Cougars will travel to Lynchburg this week to face the EC Glass Hilltoppers.
The Hilltoppers are the region’s number two seed after going 9-1 in the regular season. They advanced to the second round after a 55-21 thumping of Jefferson Forest last week.
EC Glass has dominated this year by riding the back of their record-setting quarterback, DreSean Kendrick. The dual threat signal caller has rushed for over 1800 yards this season, passed for more than 1000, and has 25 rushing touchdowns.
Kendrick uses his 4.4 forty speed to average more than 10 yards per carry. When defenses load the box to contain him, he has the arm to beat them through the air.
Stopping Kendrick will be the biggest challenge Pulaski County faces this week in Lynchburg. Whether or not the Cougars come out with a victory will be determined by their success in shutting down the opposing quarterback.
Controlling the ball on offense and winning the time of possession will go a long way in limiting the high-powered Glass attack. Kendrick and Glass won’t be able to score if they’re stuck on the sidelines watching the Cougars grind out yards and chew up the clock.
The Cougars are experts at using this grind-it-out approach with the running game. All season long they’ve slowly moved the chains and wore down opposing defenses.
On defense, Pulaski County can win using the same formula they have all season. Stop the run with swarming gang tackling, force the quarterback to run for his life, limit big pass plays, and hit so punishingly hard on every play that opposing players lose the will to continue.
The Cougars defense is the best unit in the region, and their morale-killing, bone-crushing hitting style has really carried the team this year.
Pulaski County hasn’t faced a quarterback of Kendrick’s caliber this season. But Kendrick hasn’t stood against a defense as ferocious as the Cougars, either.
There won’t be any reason for the Cougars to experiment on either side of the ball this week. Pulaski County is more than capable of winning this game using the same tried-and-true schemes that have gotten them this far.