On Friday, the Hazard Bulldogs (1-0) hosted the Fairview Eagles (1-0) in what has become kind of a rivalry game of late. The Bulldogs, despite being -5 in the turnover department, was able to pull out a stellar come from behind 41-28 win.
Fairview got on the board first with a pick-six that covered 54-yards. The Eagles missed the extra-point, giving them the early 0-6 lead.
Hazard quickly countered with a short series of plays that netted them a touchdown. Corey Smith concluded the drive with an 8-yard run. After Tyler Collins’ extra-point, the Bulldogs had the 7-6 advantage.
A see-saw match then ensued as the Eagles and the Bulldogs traded touchdowns. Fairview struck next with a 3-yard run, only to be reciprocated by Hazard’s 4-yard run by Corey Smith (13-all).
Big plays would account for the next pair of touchdowns. The Eagles struck with a 72-yard run, while the Bulldogs’ Corey Smith broke off a 34-yard run to tie the game at 20.
With only seconds to go in the half, the Bulldogs were able to turn the tide in their favor. Smith would go for his fourth touchdown of the half, carrying the ball over from 3-yards out. Hazard went into the break sitting on a 27-20 lead.
The Eagles took their turn early in the third quarter as they scored on a muffed punt attempt. Fairview was able to get off a pass that went 49-yards for the touchdown and the 28-27 lead.
Later in the period, Hazard went back on top. This time the Bulldogs would turn a broken play into a touchdown.
The Eagle defense shut down the left side of the field, forcing Bailey Blair to reverse directions. Blair then found Skylar Pelfrey on a short pass, and Pelfrey turned the play into a 72-yard score (33-28).
The one and only score of the fourth quarter belonged to Hazard. With time running out, the Bulldogs sealed the deal when Matthew Francis broke through the Eagle defense for a 61-yard dash to the end zone (41-28).
The Bulldogs remained perfect on the season at 2-0 with the 41-28 win.
Hazard stats: Rushing: Bailey Blair 1 for 10 yards, Matthew Francis 4 for 68 yards and 1 td, Skylar Pelfrey 1 for 5 yards, and Corey Smith 29 for 232 and 4 tds. Passing: Bailey Blair 7 of 12 for 170 yards and 1 td. Receiving: Jason Johnson 2 for 27 yards, Skylar Pelfrey 4 for 95 yards and 1 td, and Braxton Whitaker 1 for 48 yards. Interception: Isaiah Stupart 1. Tackles: Andy Baker 5, Isaiah Bentley 1, Jacob Brashear 4, Ethan Caldwell 4, Trevor Coots 2, Robbie Davidson 4, Reese Fletcher 2, Matthew Francis 4, Jordan Hill 6, Kade Holland 6, Cheikh Ndiaye 3, Skylar Pelfrey 10, Bryson Sayers 2, Austin Smith 8, Alec Taylor 1 and Braxton Whitaker 7.
Tony McGuire can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.