On Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs hosted the opening round of the state football playoffs. The Bulldogs’ opponent would be the Pineville Mountain Lions.
Hazard started their first possession a little prematurely as they recovered an onside kick to start the game. Moments later, Cole Ratliff broke through the line on a run that would rack up 32 yards, and end in the end zone. After Tyler Collins’ extra-point, Hazard had the 7-0 lead.
The Bulldog defense stood strong on the Mountain Lions’ ensuing drive, giving Hazard excellent field position for their next attack. This time the Bulldogs would go through the air for the score as Cole Ratliff hooked up with Jason Johnson on a pass and run play that covered 45 yards. The extra-point moved the tally to 14-0.
No sooner that the second period began, Hazard was knocking on the door again. On the first play from scrimmage, Cole Ratliff hit Bailey Blair on the run. Blair would not stop until he had covered 60 yards, giving the Bulldogs the 21-0 lead.
Just before the half, Ratliff found another receiver streaking toward the end zone. Skylar Pelfrey hauled in the pass and covered 61 yards in route to the touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
The Bulldogs opened the second period with the touchdown that would set the clock in continuous motion. Hazard’s Corey Smith broke through the defense for a 57 yard run to the end zone. They would not be able to convert the extra-point, giving the Bulldogs the 34-0 advantage.
Hazard finished their offensive barrage late in the third period as Bailey Blair caught his second touchdown pass from Cole Ratliff. This time the play would cover 25 yards, and give the Bulldogs the 41-0 lead.
With time running out in the game, Pineville managed to avoid the shutout with a short pass for the touchdown. The score set the final tally at 41-6, putting Hazard in the second round. The Bulldogs will take on Harlan on the road next Friday.
Hazard stats: Rushing: Bailey Blair 2 for 4 yards, Jacob Brown 3 for 15 yards, Matthew Francis 3 for 5 yards, Cole Ratliff 2 for 38 yards and 1 td, and Corey Smith 12 for 152 yards and 1 td. Passing: Cole Ratliff 13 of 17 for 307 yards and 4 tds. Receiving: Bailey Blair 3 for 100 yards and 2 tds, K.P. Hastings 2 for 14 yards, Jason Johnson 4 for 92 yards and 1 td, Skylar Pelfrey 3 for 84 yards and 1 td, and Trey Pollard 1 for 17 yards. Interceptions: Andy Baker 1, Robbie Davidson 1 and Cole Ratliff 1. Fumble recovery: Joe Hurt 1. Tackles: Andy Baker 4, Bailey Blair 4, Jacob Blanton 10, Jacob Brown 4, Trevor Coots 4, Robbie Davidson 4, Will Epperson 1, Cade Fletcher 4, Daniel Grigsby 2, KP Hastings 2, Dawson Hill 3, Jordan Hill 2, Joe Hurt 2, Dalton May 4, Skylar Pelfrey 4, Cole Ratliff 4, Austin Smith 2, Corey Smith 1 and Isaiah Stupart 2.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.