By Shawn Roney-For The Richmond News
For Hardin-Central fullback/linebacker Evan Griggs, Friday night’s eight-man Class 1 District 4 football final against Southwest of Livingston County/Breckenridge didn’t remove the nasty taste of 2012’s district loss to Southwest.
It added to it.
The reason was that Southwest handed the Bulldogs a 26-0 season-ending loss Friday at Lee Meador Field. It was tough for Griggs to take because “we’re kind of … rivals,” he said.
However, Bulldogs coach Kirk Thacker suggested Friday’s loss wasn’t as tough to swallow as last season’s had been.
“Last year, they blew us out pretty bad,” Thacker said of the 50-8 loss in 2012. “This year was not a complete blowout.”
One reason the 2013 district final didn’t feel like “a complete blowout” to Thacker was because of Hardin-Central’s multiple scoring chances. The Bulldogs got inside the Southwest 20-yard line during three first-half possessions, but came up empty.
Early in the third quarter, Sean Utley ripped off a 39-yard run on first-and-10 from midfield, but lost the ball near the Southwest goal line.
To some, it might have appeared the ball went out of bounds around the 1-yard line. But the officials ruled the fumble had crossed the goal line, making it a touchback and giving Southwest the ball at its own 15.
“We were able to move the ball, just like we have (done) all season,” Thacker said. “We just were not able to finish.”
For the Wildcats (9-2), who’ll face Stanberry this Friday in the state semifinals, the victory washed away the nasty taste of losing to the Bulldogs in Week 2 of the regular season, according to Southwest coach Tyler Anderson.