By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Hardin-Central scored two late touchdowns Friday night to battle its way past Union Star 44-38 to spoil the Trojan Homecoming activities and snap a three-game losing skid. Rhyler Estenbaum hooked up with Chase Sims for a 20-yard scoring strike and Terry Barron scored his second touchdown of the night with less than a minute to play to get the Bulldogs back in the win column and push Hardin-Central to 4-3 for the season.
The Dawgs spotted Union Star an 18-0 first-period advantage as Nicholas Palmer threw three of his five touchdown passes for the evening – two of them to Jake Mitchell. It was the Hardin-Central defense getting the visitors on the board for the first time as Barron jumped in front of a Palmer pass and returning it 15 yards for the touchdown.
Palmer recovered to keep Union Star on top with a 66-yard pass to Chance Booher to give the Trojans a 24-8 lead midway through the second period. The Dawgs’ offense got its first points of the night on a 13-yard pass from Estenbaum to Evan Griggs to cut the Union Star halftime lead to 24-16.
Hardin-Central battled back to take its first lead of the game in the third period with a 37-yard touchdown run by Barron, followed by a seven-yard scoring strike with Estenbaum hitting Sims. Estenbaum ran the conversion for a 30-24 lead, but another Palmer touchdown pass tied the game at 30-all heading into the final 12 minutes.