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When the Central Hardin Bruins lost to the Meade County Green Wave last season, they let it carry over to the following week and lost to Nelson County in one of the team’s worst games of the season.
The Bruins had no such issues against the visiting Muhlenberg County Mustangs on Friday night.
Central Hardin piled up 34 first-quarter points and allowed just 39 total yards to cruise to a 47-0 win over Muhlenberg County at Bruin Field.
Central Hardin (8-1, 1-1 district) clinched the second seed in Class 6-A, District 2 and a fourth straight season with a home playoff game.
The Bruins may have lost out on the chance at a district title last week, but they left little doubt with second place in the district up for grabs.
Central Hardin needed just 10 plays on its five first-quarter scoring drives and took just 2:03 off the clock. When junior Chase Hicks caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Justin Rouse with 7:11 left in the second quarter to give the Bruins a 40-0 lead, the running clock was in full effect.
The game didn’t start smoothly as Muhlenberg County (5-4, 0-2) recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. But after forcing a three-and-out, Central Hardin sophomore Xavier Arnette ran 29 yards before junior Koree Krupinski dashed 42 yards for a touchdown with 9:43 left in the opening quarter.
On the third play of Central Hardin’s next possession, Arnette sprinted 38 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Krupinski, who ran twice for 72 yards, connected with junior Stephen Lindsey on a 49-yard scoring strike just minutes later before Arnette plowed in from six yards out on the team’s fourth possession.
Rouse added an 18-yard score with 43 seconds left in the first quarter and finished with 77 yards on seven carries. He was also 9-of-9 passing for 58 yards.
The first-quarter flurry was more than enough for Central Hardin’s defense.
Led by senior linebacker Ryan Kelly, senior defensive lineman Josh Krupinski and sophomore safety Gavin Krupinski, the Bruins allowed just 14 yards on 26 plays in the first half. Muhlenberg County didn’t get a first down until 3:57 before halftime.
Central Hardin senior Noah Douglas added a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to set the final margin.
If the Bruins win next week at Greenwood, it would be the team’s best regular season record in school history. The 2010 team went 8-2.
UP NEXT: Central Hardin plays at Greenwood at 8 p.m. Friday.
Ryan O’Gara can be reached at 270-505-1754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.