The final score was not indicative of how close the game truly was. A couple of late touchdowns in the second half helped Hazard defeat Pineville, 35-14.
“We went in their confident,” said Mountain Lion head coach Bart Elam. “Our kids played their tails off. It’s (the game) something we can look back on, and I think we’ll learn a lot from.”
Tucker Woolum went 12 for 20 through the air with 112 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 51 yards rushing on 18 carries.
The second leading rusher for Pineville was Brad Fuson. He ran 18 yards on 11 carries. Nike Mason and Will Adams led the receiving corps. Mason finished the game with 75 yards on six catches. Adams had 37 yards receiving on five receptions.
Pineville finished the game with 163 yards of total offense.
Defensively, Luke Kelly led the team with eight tackles. Phillip Bruner and Tyler Givens both added six tackles of their own.
After falling behind 14-0, a 10-yard pass from Woolum to Mason helped Pineville cut into the lead. Hazard led at halftime 14-7. Elam said the score remained the same for most of the third quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, the Mountain Lion defense had a breakdown. As a result, the Bulldogs busted a big play to go up 21-7.
On the ensuing possession, Pineville drove the ball inside the Hazard 10-yard-line. On fourth and inches, the Mountain Lions were stopped.
“Our kids dropped their head a little bit I think,” said Elam. “If we score there, it makes it 21-14 and we got a great shot.”
The Bulldogs added two more quick scores to the board including a big touchdown pass. Pineville scored their second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard pass from Woolum to Adams.
“Our defense played great for three quarters,” said Elam. “Playing a team like Hazard in Week 0 really helps your outlook just because we did some really good things against them. I think it has to give you confidence going into next week.”
On Friday, Pineville (0-1) will host Jackson County (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. The Generals defeated Berea 28-12 in their first game.
“It’s a totally different opponent as far as the makeup of the team,” said Elam. “Jackson County will probably be more of a run first team.”
Elam said the team will have to cut out mistakes. He also said they got “banged up” a little bit, so they need to get healthy.
“The main thing is we got to not worry about getting beat Week 0,” said Elam. “We got to move away from it and become a better team.”
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.