On Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs traveled to Harlan to take on the Green Dragons in the second round of the state’s Class A playoffs. The Bulldogs started slowly, and depended on their defense to keep them ahead of the Green Dragons. A strong showing in the second half lifted Hazard to the 35-14 win, and a rematch with the Pikeville Panthers.
Hazard got on the board first, putting together a strong drive in the first quarter. The Bulldogs finished with a 3 yard run by Cole Ratliff (7-0).
Harlan tightened the score with a touchdown early in the second half. The Green Dragons were unable to tie the score as they failed on the extra-point attempt (7-6).
Before the half ended, Hazard drove the field for a neutralizing score. Corey Smith broke the plane with a 1 yard run that pushed the Bulldogs halftime lead to 14-6.
The third period would be all Bulldogs. Hazard completed a pair of drives with runs into the end zone. Corey Smith completed both drives with carries through the defense. The first went for 18 yards and the second 1 yard (28-6).
The two teams traded touchdowns in the final period. Hazard would go up 35-6 on a 5 yard pass from Cole Ratliff to Jason Johnson. With time running out, Harlan would put the final score of the game on the board. The Green Dragon broke off a 51 yard run and conversion to set the final at 35-14.
Hazard’s Tyler Collins booted through all five extra-points in the game. The Bulldogs will traveled to Pikeville for round three on Friday.
Hazard stats: Rushing: Bailey Blair 1 for 6 yards, Cole Ratliff 13 for 68 yards and 1 td, KP Hastings 2 for 51, and Corey Smith 17 for 220 yards and 3 tds. Passing: Cole Ratliff 9 of 16 for 150 yards and 1 td. Receiving: Jason Johnson 6 for 131 yards and 1 td, Skylar Pelfrey 2 for 6 yards, and Trey Pollard 1 for 13 yards. Tackles: Andy Baker 6, Bailey Blair 7, Jacob Blanton 13, Jacob Brown 4, Trevor Coots 2, Robbie Davidson 1, Cade Fletcher 7, Dawson Hill 1, Jordan Hill 5, Kade Hollard 6, Dalton May 5, Dkylar 2, Cole Ratliff 4 and Isaiah Stupart 4.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.