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As expected the Hardin-Central Homecoming game was over at halftime – literally.
The outmanned Union Star Trojans were no match for the Bulldogs as Hardin-Central routed the visitors 45-0 in a game that was called at the end of the second quarter.
“Union Star played us hard and didn’t quit,” Bulldog Coach Kirk Thacker said. “They had a good drive they put together and got inside our 10, but we held them on downs.”
The Bulldog reserves did get plenty of time on the field as Hardin-Central moved back to the break-even point at 3-3 for the season.
“It was a very good game for our young players,” Thacker added. “We would have like to have gotten them more playing time, but Union Star wanted to call it at half. It was a total team effort and our execution was good. We have to work hard this week to prepare for Heartland and our first district game.”
Hardin-Central scored on each possession as the Dawgs posted 266 rushing yards while quarterback Patrick King went to the air just 3 times and completed all three for 9 yards. The defense put up a brick wall against the Trojans as they recorded 6 sacks, 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries while allowing just 43 yards on the ground and 22 more through the air.
Chris Wilson got the scoring parade started for the Bulldogs as he raced for 27 of his 53 rushing yards to cap the first possession of the game. King ran the conversion, and later scored on a 29-yard run and passed to Wilson to give the Dawgs a quick 16-0 lead. The defense put Hardin-Central on the board the next two times with Chris Herring returning an interception 14 yards for a score, and King bringing another one back 15 yards for another Hardin-Central touchdown and a 32-0 bulge at the end of the first period. King, who ended the night with a pair of interceptions, completed both 2-point conversion passes to Scott Spencer and Mark Carpenter.
The Bulldogs added two more touchdowns in the second quarter with Randy Estenbaum scoring on an 8-yard run, and Jake Harris adding the finishing touches with a 57-yard run. Lukas Milligan booted the conversion following the second touchdown to complete the scoring.
Harris led the Bulldog rushing with 64 yards on 3 carries with King running for 49 yards on 3 attempts. Grant Wheeler added 46 yards to the rushing total on 4 plays, with Joe McMichen running for 19 yards on 3 carries.
Wheeler also added a sack and a fumble recovery for the defense, with Herring in on a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery to go along with his interception. Daniel Carpenter made a team-high 5 tackles with King, Wilson and Milligan making 4 stops each.
Photo: Hardin-Central’s Jacob Harris and Joey Gorham smother visiting Union Star quarterback Dylan Klawuhn. RIGHT: Chris Wilson sprints for a first-quarter Bulldog touchdown. (Photos by JoEllen Green/The Daily News)