Mustangs bring three-game winning streak to HC in Homecoming matchup

By Russ Green-Sports Editor

The Hardin-Central Bulldogs dodged the upset bullet last week when they survived a 42-40 nail-biter with St. Joseph Christian. After a tough stretch where the Dawgs have faced teams ranked in the top 10, Hardin-Central will entertain Northwest-Hughesville for Homecoming Friday night at Lee Meador Field.

All five of Hardin-Central’s opponents are in the latest 8-man poll. The Dawgs will bring a 4-1 mark into Friday night’s 7 p.m. kickoff, but coach Kirk Thacker said his team is not taking any team lightly.

The Bulldogs got a lesson in battling back in last week’s win over the Lions as Christian jumped out to a 16-0 lead after the visitors ran just three plays from scrimmage. The Lions also pushed their lead to 22-6 before the Bulldogs came back to outscore the visitors 22-6 in the third period.

“We had very little success offensively in the first half and I wasn’t real happy about what was going on,” Thacker said. “They were dictating the game to us. So we scrapped the game plan, scrapped the offense and switched to a more power offense. We switched line alignments and was able to spread out their defense a little more to open up better running lanes.”

Rhyler Estenbaum took advantage of those lanes to pick up 276 yards and five touchdowns on 41 carries. Thacker added he would like to get others involved in the Bulldog running game and spread the workload around. Thacker also like the way his team battled.

It’s not that we’ve ever given up before, we’ve always been down in the dumps and feeling sorry for ourselves when we got behind, but this time was different,” he said. “They kept fighting. This is one of the most exciting games we’ve had in a long time.”

The complete story is in the Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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