PREP FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Shelby QB gives Bulldogs extra motivation (11/17)

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By Chuck Jones

The John Hardin Bulldogs don’t need extra motivation, but Shelby County junior quarterback Dalton Thompson gave them a little added incentive.

On Monday, Thompson tweeted: “The thing is I just don’t believe the hype of John Hardin!”

That didn’t sit well with the John Hardin defense, something Thompson might be aware of after the Bulldogs routed Shelby County, 47-6 in the second round of the Class 5-A playoffs.

“There was a lot of social media talk and I think that fired them up,” John Hardin coach Chad Lewis said. “They didn’t like someone talking about them. I think they fed off that and they played with a chip on their shoulder.”

The Bulldogs sacked Thompson six times, including four by senior defensive end Marcus Goree. Senior linebacker Harrison Boswell and senior defensive end Austin Laing also had a sack. They constantly harassed Thompson, forcing him to throw the ball away several times.

Goree, who now has a team-best 14 sacks, also had a tackle for a loss and stripped Thompson twice to end third-quarter scoring threats. The Bulldogs recovered both fumbles, one by senior defensive tackle Koufax Stephens and the other by Boswell.

“I just try to do my best all the time,” Goree said. “I just want to play with my brothers. We’re trying to get our offense the ball so we can score points. I’m trying to help with that any way I can.”

POOR GUY. John Hardin junior cornerback C.J. Hill can’t seem to catch a break. For the second time this season, Hill had a touchdown negated by a penalty.

Hill intercepted Thompson early in the second quarter and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown, which would have been a John Hardin playoff record. But it was nullified by a block in the back.

“Every time I score, there’s a penalty,” Hill said. “I still got the interception.”

Hill has three picks in the last four games and he’s tied for the team lead with senior cornerback Patrick Anderson.

GETTING HIS KICKS. Senior Jacob Drexler added his name to the John Hardin record books when he booted a school-record 42-yard field goal in the second quarter. He also had a 26-yarder in the first quarter.

“I thought it was wide left but then I saw it curving back,” Drexler said of his record kick. “When I saw it curve back, I knew I got it. It’s lovely to have (a record).”

Drexler, who has 58 points this season, has made 6-of-7 field goals and 40-of-49 extra points. It’s a far cry from last season when he attempted only one field goal.

“Dallas (Holcomb) has been helping me this year and that’s helped me improve a lot,” Drexler said.

NOTES & NUMBERS. With their win Friday night, the Bulldogs are 8-1 in the second round of the playoffs. Their only loss came in 2006. … John Hardin is 2-0 against Shelby County, with both wins coming in the playoffs. The other came in 2011 in the first round. … Senior Khalil Frazier rushed for 62 yards to give him 1,021 for the season. It’s the seventh consecutive season John Hardin has had a halfback top the 1,000-yard plateau. … Senior defensive tackle Matt Elam blocked a punt in the second quarter, his third of the season. He has blocked nine kicks in his career. … John Hardin has reached double digits in wins for the seventh straight season and the eighth time in the last nine years. … The Bulldogs limited Shelby County to 24 rushing yards. It’s the ninth time they have held an opponent to less than 100 yards this season.

Chuck Jones can be reached at 270-505-1759 or cjones@thenewsenterprise.com.