By Russ Green-Sports Editor
t in for the Hardin-Central Bulldogs as they prepare for their Homecoming game Friday night with Northwest of Hughesville. Bulldog Coach Kirk Thacker knew before the season began that his young team would have a few growing pains as they replaced five starters – four of them All-State performers and another one an All-District honoree.
The Dawgs opened with two wins before facing a stretch that included Southwest Livingston County, North Andrew and St. Joseph Christian.
After defeating Southwest 34-18, the Dawgs then dropped a 58-0 decision to unbeaten North Andrew and then surrendered 40 unanswered points to Christian in a 46-20 loss. Those three teams have a combined record of 12-3.
“At the beginning of the year we knew we would have this tough stretch,” Thacker said. “It wasn’t so far fetched that we would could win all three, or lose all three. The win at Southwest was definitely a big one and the most satisfying if we would have gotten all three, with them being the big rival.”
The Dawgs faced a Lions team last week much better than its 3-2 record indicates. Christian torched the Bulldog secondary for 201 yards and three touchdowns, while the ground game got a boost from Justin Mays who picked up 136 yards on 22 carries.
Thacker said the Lions presented a matchup problem for his secondary.