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The Indians opened their 2012 season by hosting Hickman County on Friday night and came up on the short end of a 36-0 score. The visiting Bulldogs utilized a balanced attack to score two touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and a strong defensive effort to post the win. Senior Jacob Dillon played a valiant game in the loss, contributing in all three phases, to earn Player of the Week honors. Dillon punted well (37.6 yard average), played excellent defense and even pitched in a hard-fought first-down rushing attempt for Harpeth.
Seniors Bryce Baker and Brent Burger also played pretty well offensively, with 76 and 33 yards rushing respectively. Baker had 99 yards prior to a series of negative yardage carries, but ran hard and showed flashes of his brilliant junior campaign. His younger brother, freshman Bradley Baker, entered the game late and posted a 19-yard carry too. Burger, coming off a preseason injury, went into the game in the second quarter and provided a spark, pushing the offense into the red zone to close out the first half. Sophomore quarterback Jett Brinkley got the start and finished with five yards, as did junior running back Jason Fennell, who also had one catch for three yards. Freshman Joey Kendrick picked up four yards.
Up front, Stetson Hays handled the snapping duties, flanked by Daulton Rose and Ryan Colgan at guard. Alton Rose got his first start at tackle, as did Alex Jenkins, and Austin Collier returned from the injured list to rack up significant playing time. John Hunt and Davis Anderton manned the tight end position for the Indians, while Jaron Marlow and Jason Fennell opened at wide receiver.
Defensively, Jenkins and Rose led the team with eight tackles each. Four of Rose’s stops were for a loss. Hunt contributed six tackles while Bryce Baker had five. Burger, Courtney Carter and Jason Fennell pitched in with four stops each, and Anderton, Dillon, Collier and Hays (one sack) had three. Dakota Clark, Andrew Buma and Jake Brooks finished with two tackles each. Marlow had a pass defensed and ended up with one tackle, as did Taylor Hinton, Connor Adams, Trent Burton and Adam LaCour.
The loss puts the Indians at 0-1 on the young season, while Hickman County moved to 2-0. Harpeth travels to Creek Wood High School this Friday to open District 11-AA play. Coach Loope was quite disappointed with the result. “We knew that this game would be a struggle, but we expected more than we showed on Friday.” “We obviously have a lot of young contributing players who need to grow up quickly this year, and we anticipate significant improvement as the season progresses because our squad is going to mature on the field.”