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John Hardin’s Class 5-A, District 3 reign continues.
The Bulldogs won their fifth consecutive district championship with a 40-7 rout of the Grayson County Cougars on Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
John Hardin has won 26 consecutive games over district foes since a 27-21 loss to Louisville Doss on Oct. 24, 2008. Since the KHSAA went to six classes in 2007, the Bulldogs have won six district championships with the only exception coming in 2008.
The Bulldogs forced a season-high six turnovers. Sophomore Thomas Lloyd and junior C.J. Hill each had an interception, and seniors Matt Elam, Austin Laing and Chris Smith and freshman Trayvon Wright each recovered a fumble.
Grayson County managed only 103 yards of offense, with 54 coming on its final drive against John Hardin’s second string. The Bulldogs held Grayson County to just 66 rushing yards.
John Hardin senior halfback Khalil Frazier rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. It’s the third time in the last five games Frazier has topped the 100-yard plateau. Junior Elijah Smith added 54 yards and three scores on seven carries.
On Grayson County’s first possession, John Hardin senior Dimitri Cooper bobbled a pass and it landed in the arms of Lloyd, who returned it 6 yards to the Cougar 26. Four plays later, Smith scored on a 6-yard run to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 8:40 remaining in the first quarter.
John Hardin’s offense struggled on its next three possessions because of self-inflicted mistakes. The Bulldogs had four penalties, including three false starts and a hold.
After a Grayson County punt, the Bulldogs put together a four-play, 67-yard drive with Smith breaking free for a 38-yard run to stretch the lead to 14-0 with 7:04 left before halftime.
The Bulldogs fumbled on the Cougar 4 to end a scoring threat, but after forcing a punt, they took a 20-0 lead when senior Patrick Anderson hooked up with Cooper on a 26-yard touchdown with only 5 seconds remaining in the first half.
That seemed to spark the Bulldogs, who scored on their first play from scrimmage in the third quarter as Frazier raced 50 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 27-0.
Grayson County fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and Frazier weaved his way for a 20-yard touchdown on the first play to build a 34-0 lead with 11:30 left in the third quarter.
Smith added a 5-yard touchdown run to start the running clock with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter.
UP NEXT: John Hardin plays at Louisville Western at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Chuck Jones can be reached at 270-505-1759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.