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PREP FOOTBALL: Nelson County grounds out 27-17 win over Central Hardin (09/13)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com BARDSTOWN — Any hopes the Central Hardin Bruins had on Friday of rebounding from an emotional loss the week before were grounded early by the Nelson County Cardinals. The host Cardinals ran for 152 of their 255 yards in the first half as they grounded out a 27-17 win over the Bruins in both teams’ Class 6-A, District 2 openers. Up 10-3 in the second quarter, the Cardinals (2-1) scored a pair of rushing touchdowns just 51 seconds apart to start to pull away from the Bruins (1-2), whose rushing attack never got going. After the Cardinals forced the Bruins into a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, Nelson County responded with a 14-play, 64-yard scoring drive which chewed up more than 7 minutes and resulted in John Froman’s 3-yard plunge. Freshman Noah Wiersema, Central Hardin’s back-up kicker, capped off a 10-play drive with a 25-yard field goal with 7:14 remaining in the first half, but the Cardinals answered with touchdowns on their next two possessions. Alex Downs’ 4-yard run ended an 11-play, 74-yard drive, while the Cardinals’ next possession lasted all of one play after Josh Pride returned the Bruins’ ensuing punt to the Bruins’ 1-yard line and Quentin Brooks forced his way into the end zone. Senior fullback William Battle’s 1-yard touchdown run with less than a minute to play in the second quarter kept the Bruins within two possessions entering the second half. After each of the Bruins’ first two drives of the second half ended in punts, they didn’t run another offensive play for more than 12 minutes. Nelson County’s Daniel Mudd hit a 24-yard field goal with 10:02 left in the game to cap off a 14-play, 79-yard possession which chewed up 7:25 off the clock. Mudd’s ensuing onside kick was struck well enough to allow the Cardinals to recover and they ran eight more plays in a little over 3 minutes to allow Mudd, who had three kickoffs go for touchbacks, to kick another field goal. Both teams had one-sided offenses. Nelson County attempted just two passes and misfired on both, while 193 of the Bruins’ 227 yards came through the air. Nelson County had three players run for more than 50 yards as Brooks had 111 yards on 29 carries, quarterback Jordan Keene had 72 yards on 17 carries and Downs carried the ball 14 times for 57 yards. Central Hardin junior Dylan Beger was 12-of-21 passing for 188 yards and a fourth-quarter 4-yard touchdown pass to starting quarterback Lincoln Pyles, who was 2-of-3 passing for 5 yards. Central Hardin junior fullback Jeremy Barr caught five passes for 89 yards, while Pyles had three receptions for 27 yards and Mikey Ward caught two passes for 29 yards. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758