Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tavian Jefferson goes up for the ball in action against Laurel on Friday. The Bulldogs lost to the Locomotives 42-0.

Hardin Senior Night unfolds with Bulldog loss to Locomotives, 42-0

It was Senior Night at Imer Field, but there wasn’t much reason for celebration, as neither the Bulldog offense nor defense showed up for the game.

The Bulldogs got the ball first and, after three passes, gained only six yards and had to punt. Laurel caught the punt on their own 47-yard line and proceeded to ram the ball down Hardin’s throat, then took advantage of the Bulldog corners paying too much attention to the run and completed a 24-yard touchdown pass, taking a 7-0 lead with seven minutes left to play in the first quarter.

Head Coach Mike Flamm said, “We would try to put more guys in the box and, when we did that, they attacked us with touchdowns over the top, which seems to be an Achilles heel for us.”

It was a frustrating night for the Bulldogs and the faithful fans. Coach Flamm agreed.

“Nothing worked out,” he said. “They were way more physical than us on both sides of the ball. We couldn’t get any penetration on defense and offensively they were in our backfield. When we did have an opportunity to make big plays, we didn’t make the play. So yeah, it was frustrating.”

It was the same for the rest of the first half with Laurel taking a 35-0 lead into the locker room at the half. According to Montana High School Football rules, when any team achieves a 35-point lead, the “mercy rule” is in enacted, which means the game clock does not stop running as it normally would for first downs or incomplete passes. The clock did not stop for the whole second half, greatly shortening the game.

The Bulldog defense did show up in the second half, forcing the Locomotives to try a field goal on their first possession of the second half, then blocking the field goal.

On the Locomotives’ second offensive series in the third quarter, Malik Toure intercepted a pass on Hardin’s 5-yard line. This turned out to be a bonus for Laurel, as the Bulldogs fumbled the ball and the Locomotives recovered it in the end zone for their only TD of the second half.

According to Coach Flamm, Hardin lost several starters to injuries during the game,

“Lot of guys got hurt,” he said. “On the first series we lost Ricky (Hill). Gidion (Herbel) went out. Gidion is a tough kid at middle linebacker. Codi (Small) went down and tried to come back in. We just got beat up. They were way more physical than us.”

He continued: “Codi going down hurt us. Famous (Left Hand) came in and we had some new stuff that he didn’t get to rep, so we had to skinny up the playbook for him. He put a few balls on some guys and we dropped it. It was just a bad game all around and I hate to see the seniors go out that way.”

Friday, the Bulldogs travel to Sidney to play the top team in the Eastern A. The Eagles are undefeated in conference play and have an 8 and 1 record for the season.

Flamm’s evaluation of the season ending game with the Eagles is, “Sidney they’re big, physical, a lot of good athletes. Every team that has tried to run on them in the middle has had trouble. Definitely hard to get something in the middle of their defense, so we’re going to have to find some way to get to the edge. We will see where Codi’s at this week, if he can go or not. If not, Famous will get another shot at it and get better. Hopefully, we will catch balls this week.”