DUBLIN, Va. (WDBJ7) -- It was just like old times tonight at Pulaski County's Kenneth Dobson Stadium where the Cougars hosted Salem with plenty on the line, including a district title and top seed in the Region 4D playoffs.
It's a match up that has closed out the regular season for these two teams since 2003, but for the past 10 years it's been all Salem Spartans. Pulaski County is out to change the narrative with a number one seed on the line here in our spotlight game of the week.
Cougars entering Dobson Stadium on Senior Night, looking to stop the Spartans for the first time in 10 years.
1st quarter, Salem lined up for a field goal, but it's a fake. Spartans are gonna' throw it down near the goal line, but its picked off by the Chris Shay and Salem's trickery is thwarted.
Skip ahead to the second quarter, Cougars driving. Handoff to Shay, gets stopped and then the ball pops loose and into the hands of the Spartans, but the officials blow their whistle.
They say Shay was down. Salem's not happy about it, Let's take a closer look. You can see that ball does indeed pop loose before Shay's knee hits the ground. Cougars catch a break on that one.
And they cash in, as later in that drive, Brock Simpson knocks home a field goal to put Pulaski County ahead 3-0.
Next Salem drive, Chauncey Logan back to punt, but it's a fake, from their own 23-yard line. And he is eaten up in the backfield by Luke Russell.
Cougars take over with great field position. QB Ajani McCloud forced out of the pocket, scrambles and heaves it towards the end zone. Touchdown Cougars, but wait just a minute. Some laundry on the field, and it's all gonna' come out in the wash. Touchdown wiped off. Instead it's another Simpson field goal to put the Cougars up 6-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Salem finally gets on the board, when the handoff goes to Zavione Wood who plows it in to put the Spartans on the board. Two-point attempt was thwarted and we're tied up at 6.
And then on the next Salem drive, first play of the fourth quarter, it's Wood again, taking it to the house. And all the sudden, Salem is out in front after two quick strikes. 12-6 the Spartans lead.
The Cougars had lots of trouble moving the ball until the final drive. Less than two minutes to play, McCloud to Layne Suthers to move the chains.
Less than a minute now, Cougars down near the goal line on third down, McCloud trying to find an option, rolls out to his right, but delivers the wrong kind of dagger as Jorden McDonald makes the game-clinching interception. And the Spartans, like they have for the past ten years, walk away with a win over Pulaski County, 12-6 your final.
In a tight matchup where offense was at a premium, Salem found its running game in the second half and it was just enough to give the Spartans their 11th straight win over the Cougars.
The victory also gives Salem the River Ridge District championship, and the one seed in the Region 4D playoffs which start next Friday. From Pulaski County High School, Anthony Romano, Friday Football Extra.