By Shawn Roney-For The Richmond News
A few injuries and a patchwork lineup couldn’t stop Hardin-Central’s offense from steamrolling over visiting Stewartsville Friday night in eight-man football action.
Unofficially, the Bulldogs (2-0) amassed 406 yards on 39 carries during their 78-18 rout at Lee Meador Field. Terry Barron paced Hardin-Central with 127 yards on 11 carries, followed by Rhyler Estenbaum with 113 yards on six carries and Gage Marshall with 101 yards on 10 carries.
Senior Evan Griggs, who contributed a touchdown run and three two-point conversion runs to the win, attributed the Bulldogs’ rushing success partly to their work on blocking during practice.
“We work on our (blocking) technique all the time,” Griggs said. “And we’re in really good shape.”
In ripping through Stewartsville’s defense, Barron, Estenbaum, Griggs and Co. ran behind an offensive line that Bulldogs coach Kirk Thacker called “a little makeshift.” That “makeshift” line included sophomore center Tommy Burton, a first-year starter; junior Jett Gabert, who was a reserve in 2012; and sophomore Alex Collingham, who started at tight end for the first time.
In addition, the Bulldogs were without two key players Friday because of injuries: lineman Michael Carpenter, a returning all-state selection; and tight end Chase Sims, a returning all-district pick.
“We can get better if we get them back,” Thacker said. “But the guys that are filling in for them are doing a fabulous job. And they are the future (of our program), so this is getting them plenty of time in (game situations) that … will pay off next year.”
The playing time Hardin-Central’s players of the future got on Friday night paid off in points for the Bulldogs, who scored on all eight of their first-half possessions and built a 60-12 halftime lead. Barron’s 28-yard TD run and Estenbaum’s two-point conversion pass to Matthew Hymiller gave Hardin-Central an 8-0 opening lead with 8:41 left in the first quarter. Estenbaum’s 14-yard TD run made it 14-0 with 5:30 remaining.
The complete story is in the Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 Richmond News.