By Russ Green-Sports Editor
As if dropping their last three games wasn’t bad enough, the Hardin-Central Bulldogs now have some injury issues as they try to regain the winning formula from the first three weeks of the season. Not only did the Dawgs fall 54-24 Homecoming night to visiting Northwest of Hughesville, but they also lost starting quarterback Sean Utley and running back Hank Bowers for this week’s game at Union Star – and possibly longer.
Utley, the sophomore signal caller who has rushed for 328 yards and seven touchdowns, while passing for 252 more yards, suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter. Bowers, with 852 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, hurt his back when scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Those injuries make a young Hardin-Central squad an even younger team with three freshmen on the field for the offense when it takes the field Friday night.
“It will be a learning curve for them,” Hardin-Central Coach Kirk Thacker said. “It will pay off in the long run, but we may take a few lumps right now. The injury bug hasn’t been a problem the last three or four years for us, but it is in full work right now.”
Freshman Rhyler Estenbaum will take over at quarterback, while Terry Barron, a junior, and freshman Marcus Pearon will split tailback duties. Thacker said he will spend this week looking at candidates for fullback. In addition to those injuries, Thacker said another starter will be out with a concussion, but the Dawgs could get another player back in time for Friday’s game.
The complete story is in the Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 Richmond News.