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The North Hardin Trojans remained winless this season, but this one was the most painful.
The Trojans suffered a heartbreaking 24-23 double overtime loss to Jeffersontown on Friday in a Class 5-A, District 3 game at Ray Story Stadium.
With the loss, the Trojans (0-7, 0-2 district) are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. They need a win against Louisville Iroquois to keep their hopes alive. If they lose and John Hardin wins, the Trojans would be eliminated from playoff contention.
North Hardin had its best chance to snap its 11-game losing streak. The game was tied at 10 at the end of regulation, forcing overtime in which both teams get a possession starting at the 10.
In the first overtime, the Chargers, who had the ball first, scored on their second play when junior Tyrius Porter had a 6-yard run, but North Hardin answered as senior Andrew Rugerio connected with senior Dominique Gully for a 10-yard touchdown to send it to another overtime.
North Hardin sophomore Taven Graves ripped off a 9-yard run to start the second overtime and then plunged in from a yard out to give the Trojans a 23-17 lead. But on the extra point, the snap was mishandled and the conversion pass failed.
Porter scored on Jefferstontown’s first play on a 10-yard run and senior Tyler Aubrey added the point after to secure its first of the season.
Rugerio completed 24-of-35 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Graves rushed for 74 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards. Senior Dante Johnson made a game-high seven receptions for 54 yards.
After senior D.J. Lee recovered a Jeffersontown fumble on the Charger 17, North Hardin took a 7-0 lead when Rugerio hooked up with senior Kevin Dyer on a 17-yard scoring strike with 47.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Chargers cut the lead to 7-3 on Aubrey’s 30-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining before halftime, but North Hardin responded with a 25-yard field goal by freshman Martin Marlin on its opening possession of the third quarter.
Jeffersontown put together an eight-play, 63-yard drive with Porter capping it with an 18-yard run to tie it at 10 with 1:07 left in the third quarter.
The Trojans had their chances in the fourth quarter. They turned the ball over on downs at the Charger 30, had to punt after a penalty negated a 42-yard touchdown run by Johnson and had a 44-yard field goal on the final play of regulation come up short.
UP NEXT: North Hardin hosts Louisville Iroquois at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Chuck Jonescan be reached at 270-505-1759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.