Saturday, February 24, 2018

Codi Small runs through a big opening and scores a touchdown in the second quarter. Small ran for 312 yards, two touchdowns and five 2-point conversions.Gidion Herbel intercepts the ball Friday in play against Belgrade. Herbel returned the ball for a touchdown contribution to Hardin’s 58 points.

Bulldogs skin Panthers 58-21

Even though the 2-6 Hardin Bulldog football team was out of the running for a play-off spot, it didn’t stop them from showing the 2-6 Belgrade Panthers who the boss was Friday when Hardin stomped Belgrade 58-21.
Belgrade’s coach Eric Kinnaman summed it up best in an interview with the Bozeman Chronicle when he said, “Hardin was 2-6 just like us, and they came out and kicked our ass.”
Bulldog Head Coach Jake Lynch said, “We were firing on all cylinders and it was a good way to end the season.”
The Panthers did lead early when they returned a Bulldog punt for a touchdown, but that was short-lived when the Bulldogs’ Codi Small intercepted the ball from Belgrade and returned it for a touchdown to take an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, again, it was all Hardin as the Bulldogs scored two more touchdowns and went into halftime with a 24-7 lead.
Hardin had its best offensive push of the season with a total of 417 yards, with 345 of those on the ground and 75 through the air. Small carried the ball for 312 of those yards on 35 carries.
“Offensively it was a group effort,” Lynch said. “Our offensive line had, by far, its best game of the year.”
Hardin came out in the third quarter and, again, started taking names. It didn’t matter if it was up the middle or on the outside, Hardin couldn’t be stopped. Defensively, Hardin put another 6 on the board with an interception by Gidion Herbel. At the end of the third quarter, Hardin had increased its lead to 36-14. 
The Bulldogs put up another 22 in the fourth for 58 total points.
Offensively, Conner Schwend threw for 72 yards and three touchdown passes – one each to Justin Zier, Malik Toure and Charles Storey. By the time it was all said and done, Hardin had put up eight touchdowns and five 2-point conversions for 58 points.
According to Lynch, Small’s 312 yards rushing is a school record and putting up 58 points might also be a school record as well.
While Hardin and Belgrade both went into the game 2-6, no other conference team put up that many points against the Panthers.
“We have progressed a lot this season,” Lynch said. “Our attitude has improved and the guys are starting to buy into our program.”
Toure had three carries for 25 yards, Zier three catches for 59 yards, Toure one catch for five yards and Storey one catch for eight yards.
Defensively, Herbel had 12 tackles and one interception return for a touchdown, and Small has 10 tackles and one interception return for a touchdown. David Evans had 10 tackles and three sacks, Will Caprata nine tackles and one sack, Andres Galaz nine tackles, Bryce Roan nine tackles and one sack, and Zier seven tackles.
Offensively, the Panthers moved the ball for 339 yards, but a tough Bulldog defense kept them out of the end zone, intercepted them for defensive touchdowns or sacked them. 
Hardin def. Belgrade
Hardin    8   16    12   22  – 58
Belgrade  7   0      7     7   – 21