Wolverines beat Cougars 41-20Published 7:00pm Monday, September 24, 2012
by Fulton Hampton
Jackson scores three, Darden two, Carson intercepts two
Polk County got back to its winning ways Friday night against the Cougars of Mountain Heritage and evened its conference record at 1-1.
In a game that was closer than the final score of 41-20 would indicate, the Wolverines showed several areas of improvements. They solidified their running game with 37 carries for 352 yards, and the defensive secondary played well, particularly in critical situations.
Mountain Heritage scored on its first possession, highlighted by a 65-yard run on the team’s first play from scrimmage. Scoring on a 10-yard pass with 10:12 left in the quarter, the Cougars set the tone for the game and led 7-0.
Polk responded, scoring on its first possession with a 32-yard pass to Anthony Carson and a 30-yard run by Matt Darden, which tied the score at 7–7 at the 7:52 mark of the game.
The Cougars were unable to move the ball on the next possession and Polk took over. On a Polk fourth down, the Cougars’ Jake McClellan intercepted a screen pass by Polk’s Alec Philpott and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. After a missed extra point, the Cougars led 13 to 7.
Early in the second quarter, the Cougars intercepted another pass and returned for positive yardage, but Polk took over on downs. On this key possession, a 17-yard pass to J.C. Suddeth took them to mid-field. Philpott then went on a 56-yard scamper for the score. Gage Stone once again tacked on the extra point and the Wolverines went up 14-13. Later in the quarter Polk recovered a fumble on the Cougars’ 40, eventually resulting in a 5-yard touchdown by Tyler Jackson.
Polk took a 21-13 lead with 1:57 to go in the half. Mountain Heritage was driving the ball down field, but Carson ended that threat, intercepting a pass in the back of the end zone. The half-time score was Polk 21 Mountain Heritage 13.
Taking the second-half kickoff, Polk turned the ball over on downs. However, Philpott then intercepted a pass, which Polk capitalized on as Jackson scored his second time of the night on a 2-yard plunge. This drive consisted primarily of a long run by Jackson and two receptions by Carson. The extra point was blocked, making the score 27-13 with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
The Cougars came back immediately, with Trevor Robinson scoring on an 8-yard quarterback keeper. Polk’s lead narrowed to 27–20. Polk’s next drive was aided by timely runs by Philpott and topped off with a 30-yard run by Darden. Once Darden turned the corner at the 20-yard line he outran the Cougar secondary to make the score 34-20 Polk.
Mountain Heritage took the ball down field to the Polk 18, and on a fourth and 4, Philpott batted down a pass to take over on downs. Taking full advantage, Jackson took the ball 82 yards for his third score of the night. Jackson was untouched thanks to two perfectly executed blocks by Suddeth and Smith, resulting in the final score of 41-20. Carson intercepted his second pass in the end zone to end a late Heritage drive.
Polk is now 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference. The Wolverines travel to Mitchell this Friday, Sept. 28, as their conference schedule continues.