By Jonathan Timm
Pulaski- A statement first half had the Red Raiders of Pulaski in good position the rest of the way in their homecoming game on Friday Oct. 6th vs. the Trojans of Green Bay Southwest in a Fox River Classic Conference-North (FRCC) showdown. The 46-12 victory was the fourth of the year for Pulaski, who now sit with an even .500 overall record (4-4, 4-2 FRCC).
“They (the team) were excited to be able to come out and play for a homecoming game,” stated Pulaski Head Coach Jared Marsh. “Realistically probably the last home game we may have for our seniors, and they had a lot of energy and a lot of juice to be successful.”
As for Southwest, the Trojans remain winless under coaches Chad Thiry and Aaron Van Eperen this season.
Upon their touchdown drive on the first possession of the ball game, Pulaski got the ball back after a blocked punt set up the Red Raiders just 25 scrimmage yards away from the end zone. Spencer Hakes would punch it in from four yards out to make it 14-0 about halfway through quarter number one.
The first quarter would serve as just an appetizer to the 25 point second quarter that Pulaski would have.
With 10:35 to go in the half, Ethan Schmidt found Trevor Schuessler from one yard out for Schuessler’s second TD of the night. A blocked Miles Wippel extra point kept things 20-0 Pulaski.
On the following kick off, Wippel would make up for it with perhaps one of the most interesting predicaments of an onside kick. With the wind pushing the football back, a high bounce off the turf was unable to be hauled in by the Southwest special teams. Pulaski senior linebacker Madden Skenandore’s hustle paid off, recovered the kick and set his offense up at the Southwest 17 yard line.
Two plays later, Logan Schultz rushed into pay dirt from two yards out. A failed fake field goal kept Pulaski in front 26-0.
A couple of possessions later, Southwest’s offense had promising field position at their own 48 yard line in efforts to try and put points on the board. Jacari Tidwell lost the football on second down, as Schlutz made his presence known defensively for Pulaski and recovered the football for his offense to take over. Hakes would cross the goal line for a second time to make it 32-0.
The Red Raider offense didn’t stop there. With a minute left in the half, Schultz was able to get the ball in his hands again, and found the end zone from 13 yards out. The score going into the locker room was 39-0 Pulaski.
Given the temperature was around the 45 degree margin with a northeast wind chill, this was the first challenging weather game for many teams in the area. Pulaski head Coach Jared Marsh says his team is prepared for games like Friday.
“We don’t throw it a ton,” Coach Marsh said following the win in response to mother nature. “We try to develop a really well-rounded game…film is never as good as you expect and never as bad as you expect, there will always be things to learn from.”
With the first half being the focal point in an important victory, one more win just might be enough to land Pulaski in the playoffs.
“We really gotta polish things up,” Marsh furthered. “As we head into this second season, Preble is gonna be a good challenge…we’re going to go into their new stadium and we’re excited for that. Those are difficult things to overcome, they’re emotional things and the guys need to be able to go into a hostile environment.”
Despite a tough day of throwing, Southwest quarterback Caleb Sprutles finished with 75 yards on the ground through 8 attempts, including a 59 yard score.
For Pulaski, rushing was a success. Schultz finished with 85 yards and two touchdowns, while his partner in crime Spencer hakes gathered 94 yards and 3 scores.