On Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs hit the road for the third round of the Class A state playoffs. The Bulldogs would hit the gridiron against a familiar foe in the Pikeville Panthers. The Panthers won the regular season contest 56-28.
Hazard started the game strong, recovering an onside kick to start the game. The Bulldogs quickly drove the ball into the “red zone”, but failed to capitalize, turning the ball over on downs.
Pikeville would not take long to reach the end zone, as Daric Pugh broke off a 40-yard run for the score. The Panthers took possession again after a Bulldog miscue, this time they would have short yardage ahead of them. Pugh punched in a second touchdown to give Pikeville the 14-0 lead after one period.
Just as the second period began, Pugh ran 68-yards for his third touchdown of the evening (21-0). A second turnover would set up the Panthers’ fourth score. This time they would get it through the air as Battalle hit Jarrell on an 18-yard route (28-0).
With less than a minute remaining in the half, Hazard was driving, and looking to put something on the board before the half. Unfortunately, Pikeville picked off a pass and returned it 44 yards for the score. The Panther’s completed the drive with a 2-pt conversion, setting up a continuous clock for the second half (36-0).
Pikeville scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, one in the third period (Vanderbeck 6-yard run), and one in the fourth (Blake 2-yard run). With about 20 second left on the clock, Hazard was able to avoid the shutout as Jacob Blanton pulled in a 3-yard pass from Cole Ratliff. There was not enough time left on the running clock to get off the conversion, setting the final score at 50-6.
*** No stats were provided for this game.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.