DUBLIN — When John Lyman is on the field, he is always a threat to score for Pulaski County.
That was never more the case than on Friday night when Lyman scored touchdowns on both defense and special teams to help lead the Cougars to a 42-7 win over Cave Spring on homecoming at Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium.
Lyman got his big night started with 5:20 left in the first quarter. Cave Spring was forced to punt from its end zone and Knights punter Owen Sweeney hit a low kick that Lyman fielded on the Cave 34. Lyman then proceeded to run down the Cougars’ sideline for a score to make it 7-0.
“I haven’t been receiving too many kicks because they haven’t been kicking to me,” Lyman said. “I was just trying to follow my blocks. They set up a great wall. Wouldn’t have happened without my teammates because they set that up for me. I liked that sea of burgundy.”
On Pulaski County’s next offensive possession, Lyman looked like he scored again when Cougars quarterback Cam Cooper connected with him on a 79-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. The play, however, was called back due to an illegal receiver downfield penalty.
Despite the flag, Pulaski County (3-1, 1-0) would eventually reach the end zone on the drive as the Cougars marched 79 yards in six plays capped by a 4-yard TD run from Keyontae Kennedy to make it 14-0 with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.
Cave Spring (1-4, 0-2) tried to respond midway through the second quarter after driving inside the Cougars’ 20, but Knights quarterback Carter Jeffords was intercepted by Lyman near the goal line. Lyman then again headed down the Cougars’ sideline for a 96-yard interception return to increase the lead to 21-0 with 5:06 left in the second quarter.
“He’s electric,” Pulaski County coach Mark Dixon said of Lyman. “Anytime he touches it you have a chance for something big to happen. He’s really made a huge difference in the last two games making plays like that.”
The Cougars closed out the first half with a well-run two-minute drill as Cooper hit wide receiver JJ Gulley on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left before halftime to make it 28-0.
Cave Spring came into the game without starting quarterback Skylor Griffiths, who was out with an illness, but Knights head coach Nick Leftwich was not using that as an excuse.
“It definitely affected the offense for sure,” Leftwich said. “We had a couple other guys out too and we’re still a little banged up, but it’s next man up and we didn’t play well. Pulaski County got the win, and it is what is.”
Cave Spring avoided the shutout in the third quarter when Jeffords hit Sweeney on a 46-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7 at the 1:33 mark of the period.
Sandwiched in between the Knights’ score were touchdown runs of 17 and 24 yards by Pulaski County running back Trevor Burton. Burton led the Cougars with 167 yards rushing.
Pulaski County 42, Cave Spring 7
Cave Spring 0 0 7 0 7
Pulaski County 14 14 7 7 42
PC – Lyman 34 punt return (Pratt kick)
PC – Kennedy 4 run (Pratt kick)
PC – Lyman 96 interception return (Pratt kick)
PC – Gulley 12 pass from Cooper (Pratt kick)
PC – Burton 17 run (Pratt kick)
CS – Sweeney 48 pass from Jeffords (Sweeney kick)
PC – Burton 24 run (Pratt kick)
First Downs 7 17
Yards Rushing 107 298
Passes C-A-I 4-14-2 8-15-1
Yards Passing 76 123
Penalties-Yards 2-18 4-27
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Punts-average 6-36 1-37
RUSHING – Cave Spring, Parker 14-76, Monsour 10-13, Jeffords 5-18, Pulaski County, Burton 15-167, Kennedy 11-64, Lyman 4-31, Cooper 5-26, Foster 3-14, Gallimore 2-(-4)
PASSING – Cave Spring, Jeffords 4-14-2-76, Pulaski County, 8-15-1-123
RECEIVING – Cave Spring, Sweeney 3-69, Geralds 1-7, Pulaski County, Lyman 4-51, Kennedy 2-47, Gulley 2-25