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Bulldogs blast Blue Devils, 41-12

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By Brody Jones

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Wartburg Central Bulldogs stunned the Harriman Blue Devils Friday night by a convincing 41-12 margin. 

"We got out of the game early,” Harriman head coach Travis Tapp said. “We had a good drive going then we had that turnover and we were never able to bounce back."

Wartburg got their first score of the game on a defensive strip by Adam Spence, who rumbled 82 yards for the Bulldog touchdown. 

Derek Harlan's PAT was good, making the score 7-0 with 4:49 to go in the first quarter. 

Wartburg scored again with 8:04 left in the second quarter on a five-play, 24-yard drive capped off by a Rusty Phillips to Westley Mehlhorn four-yard touchdown strike. 

Harlan's PAT was good, making the score 14-0. 

The Bulldogs got on the board once again with 36 seconds left in the half, wrapping up a five-play, 42-yard drive with an 16-yard touchdown drive by Jaylon Shannon.

Derek Harlan drilled the PAT to make the score 21-0 at halftime.

The Bulldogs continued their domination at the beginning of the second half and would make the score 28-0 after finding the end zone again on a nine-play, 51-yard drive that ended then Phillips found Adam Spence for the seven-yard touchdown strike.

Harlan's PAT split the uprights, making the score 28-0. 

Harriman would get a big 67-yard kickoff return from Lucas Lunsford that moved the ball all the way to the Wartburg six yard line. 

Three plays later, Dimitrique Inman plunged in from two yards out to make the score 28-6 as the PAT was blocked with 6:53 to go in the third quarter. 

Wartburg got their next score on a five-play, 53-yard drive that ended when Phillips found Spence once again, this time from 18 yards out for the Bulldog touchdown. 

Harlan's PAT was good making the score 35-6 with 1:18 to go in the third quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, Harriman used a blocked punt to get a short field at the Wartburg 12 yard line to set up a three-play drive.

Andy Stockton ended the drive, scoring on a four-yard run. 

The two-point try failed and the score was 35-12 with 4:45 to go in the game. 

Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs used a two-play, 47-yard drive to score on a Phillips to Benjamin Poole 15-yard touchdown strike. 

Harlan's PAT was blocked, making the eventual final score 41-12.

Harriman edged Wartburg in rushing yards, 99-93, but lost in passing yards, 228-22, to lose in total yardage 321-121. 

Wartburg was led in passing by Rusty Phillips (24-32, 228 yards, 4 TDs) and on the ground by Jaylon Shannon (8-64-1 TD). 

The leading receivers for the Bulldogs were Adam Spence (10-108- 2 TDs), Austin Langley (1-35), and Benjamin Poole (4-32-1 TD). 

Aaron Hutchinson (11 tackles)  along with Monte Branstetter and Alex Lane (7 tackles each) led the Bulldog defense. 

Harriman was led through the air by Mark Chesser (2-9, 22 yards) and on the ground by Brandon Williams (18-58) and Dimitrique Inman (12- 39-1 TD).

Mitchell Martin (1-15) was Harriman’s leading receiver. 

The leading tacklers for the Harriman defense were Lucas Lunsford and Inman (5 tackles each). 

Next up for Harriman (1-2) is a trip to Greenback (3-1) in a key District 3-A battle for both teams. 

Greenback and Harriman are currently tied for first place in District 3-A.

"We kept playing hard tonight, but we've got lots to work on for next week against the number four team in the state in Greenback," added Coach Tapp. "They're very good and they can run and throw the ball and they're physical on defense. It's going take lots of work to get ready for them next week."

Wartburg (4-0) will look to remain unbeaten Friday night when they host Oakdale (1-2) in a District 4-A game. 

 Wartburg is currently tied for first place in District 4-A with Coalfield and Oliver Springs.