The Hazard Bulldogs started their district play on Friday, hosting the Harlan Green Dragons. The game was close in the early going, with the Bulldogs blowing the game open midway through.
Harlan opened the game with a quick score as Ty Saragas hit Eric Young on a 20-yard pass play (7-0).
Hazard mixed the run with the pass, and soon was setting on the doorstep of the end zone. The Bulldogs finished the drive with a one-yard run by Evan Whitaker (7-7).
The ensuing kickoff saw Harlan run the ball deep into Hazard territory. The Green Dragons needed but a handful of plays to find the end zone. They scored on a four-yard run by Dalton Overbee (13-7).
At that point, the Bulldogs’ offense broke loose. On the first play from scrimmage, Whitaker handed off to Nathan Higgins, and Higgins ran 47 yards to pay dirt (14-13).
Hazard scored a pair of touchdowns in the second period, both on passes to Nathan Higgins. The first came on a 72-yard pass and run, and the second covered 57 yards. The Bulldogs went into the locker room with the 28-13 advantage.
The Bulldogs opened the second half strong, and quickly put the game on ice. Hazard again scored a pair of touchdowns in the quarter, one pass and one run. The first came on a 17-yard pass reception by Jordan Olinger, and the second on a three-yard run by Josh Meehan (42-13).
Hazard continued the two quarter pattern in the fourth period. However, this time there was a touchdown by Harlan thrown into the mix.
The Bulldogs scored first as Nathan Higgins picked up his fourth touchdown of the night. This one came on a 44-yard run (49-13). The Green Dragons then found the end zone on a five-yard run by Tanner Morris (49-19), but would not revisit the end zone again.
Hazard went to their bench to close out the game, and picked up their final touchdown late. Cole Ratliff found Cade Fletcher on a short pass, and Fletcher turned it into an 80-yard scoring play. The touchdown brought the final count to 56-19.
Hazard stats: Rushing: Kody Arnett 4 for 12 yards, Nathan Higgins 7 for 134 and 2 tds, Austin Johnson 5 for 21 yards, Josh Meehan 2 for 7 yards and 1 td, Cole Ratliff 1 for 1 yard, Dan Turner 2 for 6 yards, and Evan Whitaker 9 for 25 yards and 1 td. Passing: Evan Whitaker 14 of 18 for 326 yards and 3 tds, and Cole Ratliff 2 for 2 for 90 yards and 1 td. Receiving: Kody Arnett 2 for 30 yards, Nathan Higgins 2 for 129 yards and 2 tds, Jacob Roll 2 for 39 yards, Cade Fletcher 1 for 80 yards and 1 td, Trey Higgins 1 for 4 yards, Austin Johnson 1 for 22 yards and Jordan Olinger 7 for 121 and 1 td. Extra points: Kevin Eversole 6. 2-pt conversion: Austin Johnson 1. Fumble Recovery: Houston Smith 1 and Jordan Olinger 1. Tackles: Kody Arnett 3, Anthony Asher 2, Hilton Dixon 6, Cade Fletcher 4, KP Hastings 2, Nathan Higgins 12, Trey Higgins 2, Kaleb Huber 1, Josh Meehan 4, Jordan Olinger 4, Jimmy Perkins 6, Jacob Roll 6, Houston Smith 9, Nathan Stupart 6 and Ryan Whitaker 2.