SOMERSET — Madison Southern (2-3) came into Friday’s road matchup with former district rival Pulaski County (4-1) with a lot of confidence and momentum after back-to-back wins over Madison Central and Danville.
And that confidence showed early as the Eagles used the big play to give the favored Maroons a battle before finally falling 56-34 in a high-scoring affair.
Things didn’t look too good for the Eagles early on as Pulaski jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
But after being held in check on their first two possessions, the Eagles finally got their offense going early in the second quarter.
Senior quarterback Tobias Storm led the Eagles on a nine-play, four minute scoring drive to open the quarter that culminated with a 9-yard touchdown run by Storm to pull Southern to within 14-6 with 8 minutes left in the half.
On Pulaski’s next possession, the Maroons looked to be on their way to adding to their lead but sophomore Walt Smith ended the threat when he picked off a Drew Polston pass at the Eagles 15-yard line.
It only took the Eagles four plays to find the end zone once again.
Storm hit Jayshaun Ethridge over the middle for a 34-yard gain. Two plays later, Smith took a swing pass from Storm in traffic near the left sideline. After making a pair of Pulaski tacklers miss, Smith raced untouched 37 yards down the sideline for the first of his two touchdowns on the night to cut the lead to 14-12. Sophomore Braden Carson tied it at 14-14 with the two point conversion.
That began a wild scoring spree over the final four minutes of the half.
Pulaski needed only three plays to regain a 21-14 lead on a 10-yard Tristan Cox run with 2:16 left in the half.
Southern took even less time in answering with a score of its own.
On the Eagles very first play of the ensuing possession, Adrian Jones raced around right end and down the sideline in front of the Eagles bench for a 74-yard touchdown to tie it once again at 21-21 with just under two minutes left.
Pulaski put the final points of the half on the board inside the final minute when Cox bulled his way into the end zone from 17 yards out to give the Maroons a 28-21 edge at the half.
The turning point of the game came after the break when the Maroons defense took over the game.
Pulaski held the Eagles offense to only nine plays in the third quarter.
Southen’s defense, meanwhile, simply couldn’t get the Maroons’ offense off the field in the quarter.
Pulaski mounted scoring drives of seven and nine plays to eat up almost the entire quarter to take a 42-21 advantage into the final period.
PC added another touchdown on an 8-yard Cox run to go dip 49-21 on its first possession of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles refused to quit and tried to fight back into the game.
Smith picked up his second touchdown of the game when he hauled in a 54-yard pass and took it the distance to cut the deficit to 49-28 with 7:11 remaining.
The Eagles looked like they had recovered an onside kick after the touchdown, but the ball was ruled down after being touched my a Southern player before going the required 10 yards, giving Pulaski the ball at midfield.
Six plays later, Polston hit Evan Cherry for a 6-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach.
The Eagles got on the board one last time on a 29-yard Jones run with four minutes left.
Storm was 7-12 passing for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith had five catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones had 154 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
The Eagles had 401 total yards on the night, 153 through the air and 248 on the ground.
The Maroons finished with 539 yards of total offense, 407 yards passing and 132 on the ground.
The Eagles return home to take on Collins next Friday at 7:30 p.m.