Hazard stops Bears running game in Dawgs win

Published 3:00 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

The Bulldogs of Hazard racked up 434 yards of offense and stopped the Harlan County run attack in a 40-20 victory at Coal Miners Stadium on Friday.

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Senior Max Johnson gained 230 yards on 21 carries while scoring three touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore quarterback Max Pelfrey threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns on 12 of 22 passing.

Senior fullback Landon Smith caught four passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie after one quarter,

Sophomore fullback Jayvon White opened the scoring early in the second period on a 14-yard reception from Pelfrey. Mia Rouse kicked the extra point for Hazard.

The Black Bears fought back as senior running back Thomas Jordan went in from the 5-yard line. Jordan’s two-point conversion gave HCHS an 8-7 edge.

Pelfrey connected with Smith for a 12-yard touchdown pass with under three minutes left in the first half. Rouse’s kick was perfect as the Bulldogs led 14-8.

Hazard added another touchdown just before halftime as Johnson raced 56 yards for the score. The kick by Rouse gave Hazard a 21-8 advantage at the break.

Johnson opened the second-half scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run, making it 27-8.

With 5:52 remaining in the third quarter, Josh Sergent intercepted a Pelfrey pass and went 47 for the TD.

Four minutes later, Hazard found the end zone again as Johnson went in from the 5. Rouse added the extra points as the Bulldogs led 34-14.

Smith scored his second touchdown of the night when Pelfrey found the senior for a 53-yard reception. The extra point attempt failed.

Harlan County closed the scoring as junior quarterback Ethan Rhymer connected with sophomore receiver Luke Kelly for a 19-yard TD.

Rhymer completed just three of 11 passes on the night for 33 yards and two interceptions.

Jordan led the Bears with 48 yards on 15 carries. James Howard followed with 38 yards on nine rushes.

The Black Bears lost two starters on offense and defense in the first half due to injuries.

Johan Swanner left the game in the opening quarter and never returned. Jordan was hurt in the second period and didn’t play again.

The officials might’ve called the game too closely as Hazard was called for 130 yards in penalties while the Black Bears were whistled for 110 yards.

Neither coach was available for comments.

Harlan County (1-1) will travel to Whitley County (0-2) on Friday.

The Colonels have won the last four meetings.

On Friday, the 2-0 Bulldogs will visit Breathitt County (2-0).

Hazard has posted five consecutive wins over the Bobcats.