Story & Photo
By Carl Holcomb
East Hardy held a 34-26 advantage over the Yellow Jackets during the Junior Varsity Hardy Bowl when it came to an early ending with just under five minutes left.
A Cougars player was injured and the game was called as the team waited for an ambulance to arrive.
East Hardy coaches and players stopped to pray together for this young man before going to the locker room.
The Cougars had good success in the air during the first half as Tim Hahn caught three touchdown passes from Clay Skovron.
In fact, the Cougars went up 22-14 with a dozen seconds left in the first half on Hahn’s third touchdown.
[private] Moorefield countered as Matt Mongold returned the kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to close the gap to 22- 20.
East Hardy started the third quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run by Phillip Mullin to take a 28-20 advantage at 9:05.
The Yellow Jackets were forced to punt on a three- and-out, but momentum changed as Austin Duncan recovered a fumble by Skovron.
Moorefield’s Josh Olmsted rushed ten yards for a first down at East Hardy’s 32-yard line, tackled by Mullin and Casey Connelley.
Two plays later, Quentin Crider picked up another first down in the red zone at the 17 with Mullin making the stop.
Crider added another five yards, then Olmsted picked up four to arrive at the eight yard line.
Mongold was stopped at the one yard line by East Hardy’s Isaac Robinson, but a first down was obtained.
Olmsted punched the ball into the end zone and the conversion failed as the Yellow Jackets sliced the deficit to 28-26 at the 4:26 mark.
The Cougars managed to get into Moorefield territory, but were forced to punt after some miscues.
East Hardy’s Brett Tharp faked the punt and rushed 34 yards for a touchdown to give the Cougars a 34-26 lead with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets fumbled the ball and East Hardy recovered.
A few plays later, however, Moorefield’s Josh Olmsted intercepted the ball to close out the frame.
Moorefield started at its own 22- yard line and got a first down on a run by Mongold with Tharp making a tackle.
Olmsted added seven more yards with Robinson getting the stop, then Crider notched a first down at the 45-yard line with Tharp getting the tackle.
Olmsted’s 45-yard touchdown run was called back on a block in the back penalty.
The Yellow Jackets faced fourth down and went for it, drawing a horse collar penalty on a pass to Olmsted from Mongold.
This penalty put the Yellow Jackets deep in the red zone at the eight yard line.
Unfortunately, Moorefield’s attempt to score was foiled with a fumble three plays later with Tharp falling on the loose ball.
The game ended on the next play for the Cougars during a collision on a tackle by Moorefield.
East Hardy was up 34-26 with 4:46 remaining.
This was a tune-up for the 35th Annual Hardy Bowl on Friday.