Central Hardin capitalized on a pair of turnovers and totaled 394 yards of offense in Friday’s 42-30 victory over visiting Meade County in the opening round of the KHSAA Class 6-A playoffs.
The Bruins’ rematch with North Hardin is set for next week in Radcliff.
Central Hardin’s Shaun Hay recovered a fumble and Deonco Wilkerson scored from the 9 with 7:30 left in the second quarter, one play after a 20-yard completion from Chase Elmore to Andrew Ibarra.
The Bruins’ Trent Ferguson recovered a fumble on Meade County’s first play on the next possession.
Kyler Lee scored from the 5 four players later and Central Hardin held a 21-6 lead 5:32 before halftime.
The Green Wave answered with a nine-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Trent Mofield. He found running back Austin Oppel for the two-point conversion to trail 21-14.
Central Hardin answered the answer with a five-play 52-yard drive. After Elmore scrambled for 14 yards, he found Hay with a nine-yard pass and Gavin George with back-to-back completions, the second covering 19 yards for six. Evan Jones’ PAT gave the hosts a 28-14 lead at the break.
Meade County’s Jacob Stull recovered a fumble on the Bruins’ first possession of the second half, but it could not convert a fourth-and-3 from the 31 to capitalize.
Central Hardin took the ball and drove it 70 yards in eight plays with Elmore sneaking in from the 1 for a 35-14 lead after Jones’ PAT with 5:42 left in the quarter.
The key play was a 35-yard completion to George on third-and-6 from the 37.
The Green Wave came back with a 26-yard touchdown drive after an excellent kickoff return by Mason Burnett.
Mofield found JJ Richardson with a 4-yard touchdown pass and Oppel’s conversion run made it 35-22 with 2:28 showing on the clock.
Meade County drove from its 18 to Central Hardin’s 31 — the big play a 25-yard run by fullback Myran Page — but George intercepted Mofield’s fourth-down pass with 9:02 left in the contest.
The Green Wave got the ball at midfield on their next possession, but only got five yards on four downs and the Bruins took over.
A 35-yard pass to George took the ball to the 20 and three straight runs by Wilkerson, the last from 3 yards out, have the Bruins a 42-22 advantage after Jones’ sixth PAT.
Meade County scored with 1:11 left in the game on a 20-yard pass from Mofield to Richardson to close the scoring.
Oppel was the Green Wave’s workhorse. He ran it 31 times for 162 yards. They ran the ball 53 times for 261 yards.
Elmore was 16-for-22 for 269 yards and the two scores. George caught eight passes for 173 yards.
Central Hardin ran the ball 33 times for 125 yards.