After facing back-to-back offensive juggernauts the Hardin-Central Bulldogs will catch a bit of a break Friday night as they host Union Star to cap off Homecoming festivities at Lee Meador Field.
The Bulldogs, who have allowed 62 points to South Holt and 88 points in last week’s scoreboard buster to West Nodaway, face the Trojans who are 0-4 with a forfeit. Last week Union Star lost at Norborne 54-0 and have been blanked seven times over the past two seasons. Union Star, which has not completed a game this season and could co-op with King City in the future, fielded just eight players last week, but could have one more suited up for Friday night.
Hardin-Central Coach Kirk Thacker, while admitting that a game like this does not do much for providing competition, at least allows some younger kids playing time.
“This is a game where we can get people healed up with districts right around the corner,” he said. “It’s good to get experience in. You like to win Homecoming and you like to have a team put up a little bit of a fight.”
While the defense has run into some problems the past two weeks, the offense has had very little problem producing numbers. The Bulldogs ran for 513 yards last week with Chris Wilson pounding away for 391 of those, and Patrick King adding 121 more.
“We spent a lot of time on blocking and getting the execution down, but I didn’t expect anything like that,” Thacker said. “It just took off.”
Hardin-Central is at the exact spot they were at this time last year. The Bulldogs took a 2-3 record into their game at Union Star where a 56-8 win served as the springboard to the 8-man title game.
“That’s in our mind,” Thacker said of his team’s 2-3 mark. “Everybody starts out 0-0 for districts. We’re excited about it and there are a couple of good teams in our district we’re a little concerned about. There’s a lot of good teams playing in the state we’re going to have to go against, so hopefully we can get some people healthy and make another run.”
Hardin-Central will open district play next week with Heartland.