Thu, 09/24/2015 - 5:00am admin
Bulldogs chew up Rangers, celebrate 49-0 win
By Wes Eben, Big Horn County News
Hardin once again rode the legs of Connor Murdock, this time to a blowout 49-0 Homecoming win over Livingston’s Park High Rangers.
Murdock amassed 198 yards on 14 carries, averaging 14.4 yards per carry, and accounted for the Bulldogs’ first four touchdowns. He had 111 yards on touchdown runs alone.
The score would have been at least 7 points higher if Hardin could find a way to consistently make their extra point attempts.
When asked if it was hard being the Clydesdale the team rides, Murdock replied, “Yes, but if it helps the team…”
In his view there is no difference in this team from last year’s, saying, “We’re just putting stuff together better — playing together better.”
About the first two losses, Murdock said, “That was pretty rough. We were really close, just came up a bit short in both. We can play with both teams, just came up short.”
“Play all four quarters” is the lesson he says has been reinforced by the losses.
This time Murdock was joined by three others in scoring with Cody Small, Ricky Hill and Minrod Rides Horse all adding 6 points to the night’s total.
One surprised lineman, Senior Trevin Baumann, also got the call to lug the pigskin. Baumann sometimes lines up as a lead blocking back in a power run formation, but this time he was handed the ball and made the most of it blasting in from two yards out for the Bulldogs’ fifth touchdown.
“I’m really happy for him,” said Head Coach Mike Flamm. “I wish we could have had him all four years.”
Coach Flamm does not take the win lightly. He has empathy for the Rangers saying, “We’ve been there. We were there a year ago putting up with games like this, just trying to win the moral victories. We have had a couple of moral victories this year, working hard all the way to the end of the game. It’s nice to win. It has been a while and it feels good.”
The lopsided score gave Hardin an opportunity to get playing time for more kids.
“Tonight we got a lot of kids in,” Coach Flamm said. “We got to see a lot of things and we have a lot of things to improve on as well.”
He emphasized that this win was nice, but the real battle starts next week when the Bulldogs head to Billings to face Billings Central.
“Eastern A starts now,” he said. “We’ll get some highlight reel stuff from tonight and that’s fun, but it gets tougher next week, so we need to get amped up. They should enjoy tonight, but it’s coming. I think we’re getting there. I like this team. They’re hardnosed kids and they all get after it.”
The Bulldog defense shut down the running and passing attack of the Rangers with Justin Zier leading with six tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Small, Hill and Steffan Walks Over Ice all contributed four tackles with Small adding one sack and one tackle for loss.
Hardin sacked the Rangers’ Brock Peterson four times, intercepted two of his passes and deflected four.
The Bulldog offense racked up 480 yards on the ground and 21 in the air, definitely a ground-pounding attack. Second behind Murdock in average per carry was Dustin Proctor with 13 yards per carry, lugging the ball nine times for 92 yards. Behind him was Hill with 5 carries and 41 yards, Walks Over Ice with eight for 49 and Small with 12 carries for 54 yards.
Coach Flamm summed up the game saying, “We had a few breakdowns tonight; they beat us over the top again and that can’t happen.
Obviously, everyone is going to see that and try to throw on us, so we have to work on our secondary to make sure those guys know their jobs and assignments.
“Overall, even with missing a couple of assignments, we made the stops, we got the turnovers, we moved the ball with multiple guys besides just Connor. I’m happy with it. Obviously, Connor is our workhorse, but some other guys can do it too. It was nice to see Ricky and Zeke (Ezekiel) and Steff (Steffan) get some carries and some positive yards as well.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs travel to Billings and face Billings Central to open Eastern A play. Coach Flamm said he is happy to have an extra day to prepare and give the team time to rest up.
Livingston 0 0 0 0 – 0
Hardin 18 12 13 6 – 49
Hardin: Connor Murdock – 9 run (kick failed)
Hardin: Murdock – 53 run (kick failed)
Hardin: Murdock – 4 run (pass failed)
Hardin: Murdock – 45 run (run failed)
Hardin: Trevin Baumann – 2 run (kick failed)
Hardin: Cody Small – 2 run (Ezekiel Coyote Runs kick)
Mindrod Rides Horse – 12 run (kick failed)
Hardin: Coyote Runs – 12 run (pass failed)