Saturday, February 24, 2018

Codi Small runs through a gap in the Blue Ponies line Friday night. Small rushed for a 156 yardsCharles Storey returns a punt in play Friday. Hardin defeated Havre 15-7.

Bulldogs take a bite out of the Blue Ponies

It was a good start to the season for the Hardin Bulldog football team as they defeated the Havre Blue Ponies 15-7.
Between a stingy defensive and a solid offensive ground game, the Bulldogs took a solid win.
Hardin drew first blood after a long drive, and with just over four minutes left in the first quarter, Codi Small ran in for the touchdown. With the extra point good, Hardin took a 7-point lead.
“They did pretty well, considering we had a brand new program and less than two weeks to prepare,” said Head Coach Jake Lynch, entering his first year. 
It was the Bulldogs’ defense throughout the game that kept Havre from scoring.  At least three times, Havre was inside the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line, and three times, the Bulldog defense stepped up and kicked the Ponies’ offense off the field.
The only successful scoring drive for Havre was in the second quarter on a 9-yard pass play.
Going into the half, the score was tied 7-7.
In the third quarter, Hardin’s running game again kicked into high gear, and after another nice drive, Small again found the end zone and ran for 2 points, taking a 15-7 lead and winning the game.
This year, Hardin has a new quarterback. Sophomore Conner Schwend handled the duties, and it appears to be an effective move for Hardin. While Small was a good quarterback, his forte seems to be running the ball: he racked up 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“Schwend never handled a snap before this year,” said Lynch. “He played well. Managed the game and provided leadership. He’s only going to get better.” 
The Bulldog defense pounded Havre’s running game. By the end of the game, Havre rushed literally backwards, giving up 52 yards. Small, Cassady Redden and Charles Storey each caught one interception.
Small had six tackles, Redden two and Storey four. Gidion Herbel had four tackles and one sack, David Evans 2.5 tool sack, and Konnolly Shane and Will Caprata each took one sack.
What success the Ponies had through the air was negated by their inability to run the ball. The Ponies passed for 193 yards, but subtract the 52 yards on the grounds and Havre only had 141 yards of total offense.
On offense, Hardin rushed for 186 yards, with Small accounting for 156 yards. Quarterback Conner Schwend passed for 26 for a total offensive output of 212 yards.
“What I liked is they battled to the end,” Lynch said. “They never gave up.” 
This Friday, Hardin will travel to Glendive to play the Red Devils. 
Hardin 15, Havre 7
Havre   0 7 0 0 - 7
Hardin 7 0 8 0 - 15