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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Last Friday night, the Hardin-Central Bulldogs leaped over their first hurdle in what coach Kirk Thacker called the toughest stretch of the season. The Dawgs held off Southwest Livingston 38-20 in a matchup of top-10 ranked teams.
This Friday night, the task is a bit more daunting as the Bulldogs head to Rosendale to meet the top-ranked North Andrew Cardinals – last fall’s 8-man state runner-up. The Cardinals seemed to have picked up where they left off last year. North Andrew lost just three starters from last year’s team that piled up a 12-1 season and they have rolled through their first two tests, 50-0 over St. Joseph Christian and 50-0 over Pleasanton, Kan.
One of North Andrew’s dozen wins from last year was a 58-0 decision at Hardin-Central. One of the graduated seniors, Zach Officer, paced the offense with 215 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. However, his running mate in the backfield, Quayed Bauman, returns for his senior season. Bauman appears well on his way to his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.
“He’s always been a real tough runner,” Thacker said. “He’s is also an excellent middle linebacker.”
Bauman has chalked up 21.5 tackles, including 2.5 quarterback sacks and an interception in his first two games this season. Thacker adds that both teams are equal in size, but he gives a slight edge to North Andrew for quickness.
Thacker knows his team will have to play a complete four quarters this week. He was a concerned with how the Bulldogs committed five turnovers – four of which came in the second half.