It was the district tune-up that Hardin-Central Coach Kirk Thacker was looking for from his Bulldogs Friday night. The Bulldog defense held Heartland to 86 rushing yards and 59 more passing, while the offense rumbled for 484 yards on the ground and added 9 more through the air in a 64-6 dismantling of the Mustangs.
The Dawgs will take a 4-3 record into the beginning of district play Friday night at Miami.
“We played very hard and executed our offense very well,” Thacker said. “I am very pleased with our blocking and tackling this week. We have been focusing on those things plus pass defense the last few weeks and it looks like it will pay off for us.”
Thacker was a bit concerned about his team looking ahead to the start of district competition, but a 30-point first-period Friday night at Lee Meador Field quickly put his concerns to rest.
Thacker added that he hoped his team was starting to hit its peak.
“Teams want to peak at this time of the season and it looks like we are,” he said. “We do not want any let downs, so we are preparing for each week’s opponent as if it were a playoff game, which in essence it is. We are looking past no one and now turning all our attention to Miami this week.”
It took just one play for Hardin-Central to change the scoreboard. After the defense forced a three and out on the opening possession of the game, Patrick King scored on a 37-yard run and then passed to Daniel Carpenter for the 2-point conversion and the rout was on. King would add three more touchdowns, along with 132 rushing yards to his nightly total. King also completed three of his four pass attempts.
A two-play drive ended the next Bulldog series as Chris Wilson, who ran just 11 times for 189 yards, scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 13-yard run. Mark Carpenter caught the conversion pass for a 16-0 lead. King and Wilson closed out the first period with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Chris Herring, who carried 5 times for 56 yards scored his lone touchdown on a 3-yard run to open the second quarter, and Joe McMichen, who had 2 carries in the game, picked up 57 of his 61 yards to boost the Bulldog halftime bulge to 44-0.
The Bulldogs got third-period touchdowns from King on a 17-yard run, and a 73-yard burst by Wilson. Heartland got on the board early in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run from Daniel Delaney. King ended the scoring parade with a 17-yard run, followed by the second conversion kick of the night from Lukas Milligan.