Pulaski Academy Coach Kevin Kelley said his team needed a bench-clearer, and it came Friday night with the Bruins' 67-7 victory over the Beebe Badgers at Hatcher Stadium in Little Rock.
The Bruins used 14 running backs -- including two that normally play on the offensive line. Four Pulaski Academy players threw passes. Three different Bruins kicked off and kicked extra points. It was the type of game Kelley said his team needed after the grind of a 63-61 loss at Little Rock Christian two weeks ago.
"It's always nice to play everybody," Kelley said. "I mean, they all practice and they all work hard. We came out and played very well. Beebe's a lot better than they showed tonight, but we're coming off a couple of losses that we're not used to, so our guys were focused and played very well, so it was kind of a bad time to catch us."
Pulaski Academy (5-2, 3-1 5A-Central) began to pull starters in the first quarter. Most were done midway through the second quarter and the Bruins still managed another first-half touchdown. Six scores came through the game's first 15 minutes.
The scoring began with a 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Braden Bratcher to junior tight end Cooper White with 9:40 left in the first quarter.
First-quarter runs of 52 yards by sophomore Joe Himon and 34 yards by junior Izarius Wood accounted for two scores over the course of exactly one minute. Three minutes passed before Bratcher kept for a 69-yard touchdown run.
With 1:47 left in the first quarter, senior center Thomas Vaughn carried the ball and his 6-5, 285-pound frame for a 6-yard touchdown run that gave the Bruins a 33-0 lead.
Himon scored on a 32-yard run and the lead was 40-0 with 8:56 left before halftime. Late in the half, reserve sophomore quarterback Charlie Fiser passed to sophomore receiver Zack Biagioni for the Bruins' seventh touchdown. Reserve sophomore Vaughn Seelicke's extra-point gave the Bruins a 47-0 halftime lead.
Himon carried 4 times for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead all rushers.
Beebe Coach Chris Gunter said Pulaski Academy's quality gave his team a chance to seek small victories.
"We understand that there's a process with these guys," Gunter said. "We're just trying to build on things, and so they're jacked up and ready to go. I just wish we could've done a little bit more."
Beebe (1-6, 0-4) scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Chad Longing to senior receiver Austin Smith midway through the fourth quarter.
PA's final three touchdowns came on a 13-yard run by senior lineman Logan Bowman, Woods' 4-yard plunge and a 2-yard run by senior Mathew Hugg in the final minute. Sophomore Savannah Goodwin followed Woods' score with a successful extra-point attempt.
"The first quarter, we were able to get some guys in that we think are going to play next year," Kelley said. "They're not playing in big spots this year, but to do that, they need to get game experience. Coaches all say it, and it sounds like a cliche, but there's nothing like game experience."
Gunter said he understood the enthusiasm of PA's reserves.
"Coach Kelley apologized to me for the last touchdown, but I said, 'Man, you coach just as hard with the third and fourth and fifth man as you do with the first,' " Gunter said. "I'll never get mad at any coach for that because I'd do the same."
Sports on 10/19/2019
Print Headline: Bruins score early, often, late in blowout win over Badgers