The Jim Carr era of Harrison County football did not start the way it was planned or desired by the Harrison County High School Thorobreds.
The inability to stop Sheldon Clark on third and fourth down led to a 28-13 defeat for the Breds in the second Hometown Pharmacy Thorobred Bowl.
The Thorobreds took the opening kick off and marched down the field from their own 40 to the Sheldon Clark 31 before turning the ball over on downs.
In this six-play, 40-yard series, fullback Robert Pawley gained 14 yards and tailback Deshon Talbott picked up the other 20 yards as the Breds kept the ball on the ground.
The Sheldon Clark defense stiffened at the 31, three yards short of the first down for Harrison County. During this drive, a costly false start cost the Breds five yards and some momentum.
The Cardinals took the ball over on downs and in a 17-play, 69-yard drive that took almost eight minutes off the clock, drove the ball into the end zone on a two-yard run by Tyler O’Connor.
In this drive, Sheldon Clark converted three third downs to first downs including one 14-yard play and scored on fourth and two yards to go. The point-after made the score 7-0 with just a little more than one minute left in the first quarter.
Harrison County’s Brandon Morris brought the ensuing kick off 17 yards back to the 34, but the Breds turned the ball over on downs and Daniel Klapheke punted to the Cardinals.
Again a drive was hampered by a penalty, this time an intentional grounding call against quarterback Zach Royce.
The Cardinals fumbled the ball back to the Breds after three plays though one of the plays was an O’Connor 49-yard run so Harrison County took over on its own 21 yard line.
The Breds lost three yards and then a bad snap allowed the Cardinals to regain possession on Harrison County’s 18 yard line.
Sheldon Clark scored four plays later on a 5-yard run by Brandon Butcher and the point-after gave Sheldon Clark a 14-0 lead at the end of the first half.
Sheldon Clark took the second half kick off but the Harrison County defense stopped them after a five minute drive on their own 42 yard line.
The Breds mounted a eight-play 58-yard drive culminated by Talbott’s 4-yard touchdown run and Klapheke’s kick to make the score 14-7 with three minutes left in the third period.
The Harrison County defense just could not get off the field on the next Cardinal possession as the visitors mounted a 15-play, 74-yard drive to score with less than eight minutes left in the game to make it 20-7 as the extra point failed.
During this costly drive for the Breds, the Cardinals converted three third downs and one fourth down play to stay on offense until they scored.
An unsportsmanlike penalty on Sheldon Clark gave the Breds good field position following the kick off as Morris ran the ball to the Sheldon Clark 47.
Two big Royce runs gave the Breds a first down on the Cardinal 28, but the drive stalled and the Breds gave the ball up on downs with nearly five minutes left in the game.
Chase Lafferty ran the very first play from scrimmage following the exchange back 68 yards for a Cardinal touchdown and the two-point conversion made the score 28-7 with the clock still short of five minutes.
The Breds threw an interception on the next possession but the defense forced a punt in three plays to give the ball back to the home team’s offense on its own 6 yard line.
The speedy Talbott took the handoff on the first play and carried the pigskin for 94 yards to pay dirt in the fourth longest touchdown run in Harrison County history.
Daniel Pribble owns the longest run with a 97-yard dash in 2000 on Ingles Field versus Harrodsburg. Pribble and Clif Marshall are tied with the second longest each a 95-yard run. This run made the score the final 28-13 as the two-point conversion failed.
The game statistics show the difficulty Harrison County’s defense had in stopping the big third and fourth down plays as Sheldon Clark had 15 first downs to the Breds seven.
Penalties, though coming at inopportune times, were not a problem as the Breds had four for 42 yards and the Cardinals three for 25.
Talbott was the game’s leading ground gainer with 174 yards rushing.
Royce was five for 13 in the air for only 43 yards and one interception.
Each team lost one fumble. Sheldon Clark had 325 total yards to Harrison County’s 266.
After the game, Carr was deflated but could see some positive areas.
“We never gave up and continued to play hard throughout the game,” he assessed. “We have to impress to the players the importance of getting off the field on defense and not allowing the big plays. They were a big and quick team and we had trouble matching their size and strength.”
The Breds travel Friday to play Belfry in the second game of the Pike County Bowl. Game time is 8:30 p.m. in the Pike County city for the opener for the Belfry team.
Rockcastle County defeated Grant County 29-14 in a game that was much closer than the score indicates in the first game of the Hometown Pharmacy Thorobred Bowl.
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The Harrison County freshmen played Rowan County on Monday evening dropping by a 24-0 score.
The first-year Breds were knocking at the goal line on several occasions, but were unable to score.
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In Harrison County Middle School action on Saturday, the seventh grade team lost to Rowan County and the eighth grade was victorious.
The doubleheader, which was played at Bourbon County Saturday, saw the seventh grade team lose 34-8.
The eighth grade squad used two Luke Slucher touchdowns, one on a pass from Tanner Wells and one touchdown each by Malcolm Walker, Keishon Tucker, Maxx Warr and Donald Herrington, to hammer the Rowan County team 40-0.