The Pulaski Academy Bruins are known for going for a conversion on every fourth down and kicking onside kicks on every kickoff. This special teams challenge proved to be greater than the second half comeback of the Warren Lumberjacks, who came up short and fell 42-30 on Thursday.
On the second play of the Bruins’ opening drive, Darveon Brown intercepted a pass off a trick play from wide receiver Lawson Jones. However Warren quarterback Drake Jones was off to a slow start as he was sacked on the ensuing drive.
Both quarterbacks on the opposing teams got off to a slow start with overthrown passes. Pulaski Academy sophomore quarter Tre Bruce started in place of starting junior quarterback Will Hastings. With 8:21 left, Bruce completed a first-down pass to Zack Kelley on fourth-and-7 to the Warren’s 44 for a gain of 32 yards.
Bruce scored the first score of the game with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Grant Pickle with 1:32 left in the first quarter.
But things started to heat up in the second quarter as Warren, which was held scoreless in the first half, started to pressure and go four-and-out on defense. Offensively, Darveon Brown scored 28 of Warren’s 30 points.
On fourth-and-4 Bruce was brought down by Aaron Bruce, forcing a fumble, and Drake Jones recovered at the 13. Brown took a direct snap and ran left to the end zone untouched.
But on second down Bruce answered back with a 63-yard touchdown strike to Zack Kelley with 8:15 left in the third quarter.
On the second play of their next possession, Brown beat the Pulaski Academy secondary and caught a 51-yard bomb from Drake Jones.
Pulaski Academy recovered four onside kicks.
“They got two onside kicks in a row. I’m going to get (Drake) Jones healthy for conference but I think our kids played hard”, said Warren head coach Bo Hembree.
Jones was 13 for 21 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Brown caught eight passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns, and Jaylon Marshall caught seven psases for 123 yards.
Bruce was 25 for 48 for 345 yards and three touchdowns.
Brown understood the importance of special teams.
“We just have to get better. Now I know that special teams can hurt you in a game. We need to do a better job on protecting the ball,” Brown said.