The LaRue County Hawks drew first blood in their football opener with the North Bullitt Eagles Saturday in the Forcht Bank Classic on the campus of Campbellsville University.
Despite an aggressive start, the Hawks fell to their former district foe 26-7.
In the opening LaRue drive, it looked like it could be a long night for North Bullitt.
After North Bullitt’s opening possession resulted in a punt, LaRue County went 40 yards in seven plays with Newberry covering the final five yards for the score.
Alex Cook converted the extra point for the 7-0 with 6:43 left in the first quarter.
With junior Patrick Egnor at the controls, the North Bullitt offense finally got rolling in the second quarter.
Starting on its own 30, North Bullitt put the ball into the hands of senior Todd Asbury. After keeping the ball on the ground, Egnor hit on a big play when he found Zack Foster open for a 32-yard completion.
On the next play, Asbury took the handoff from the 28-yard-line and bounced outside to reach the end zone with 8:45 left before intermission. The conversion kick failed.
On its next possession, the Hawks gambled on a fourth and seven from the Eagle 32. Foster busted through the protection and sacked quarterback Slade Owens at the 45.
Aided by a LaRue County personal foul for a late hit on Egnor, North Bullitt needed only five plays to cover the 55 yards. With 3:37 left, Asbury broke through the line on an almost identical play to score from 20 yards out.
The two-point conversion run came up a yard short.
Just before halftime, the Eagle defense danced with the devil but came away unharmed. As time expired, Owens’ pass to Gabe Shirley in the end zone was incomplete. However, due to a personal foul against North Bullitt, the Hawks’ Cook got a shot with no time left for a 30-yard field goal. The kick, however, was wide of the mark.
In the first half alone, Asbury accounted for 90 yards and two touchdowns en route to being named the game’s Most Valuable Offensive player. Ryan Collins picked up another 20 yards on four carries.
In the third quarter, neither team threatened and the North Bullitt defensive back Allen Peralta would intercept and Owens’ pass to set up the next scoring drive.
Despite three penalties on the drive, North Bullitt marched 33 yards with the final 18 being covered when Egnor found a wide open Collins in the end zone.
This time, Derek Schweinhart converted on the kick for a 19-7 lead with 9:15 left to play.
The first big play came as LaRue County was marching toward the end zone. However, the North Bullitt line tipped a pass and defensive back Cody Hodge was there to pick off the pass.
When the next Eagle drive stalled at the Hawk 10, Hodge capped off the victory when he stepped in front of an Owens’ pass at the 30 and raced into the end zone with 36 seconds left.
Schweinhart’s extra point accounted for the final 26-7 victory.
Newberry and Cody Thompson collected 212 yards rushing for the Hawks.
The Hawks play at home Friday against Shelby County. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.