Hazard overpowers Mountain Lions in playoffs

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022


Contributing writer

A season that started with seven straight wins, closed with four consecutive defeats for the Pineville Mountain Lions. The latest loss came Friday in the Class A Playoffs on the road  at Hazard. The Bulldogs posted a 34-6 victory.

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Senior running back Max Johnson rushed for 161 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns for Hazard. Logan Thomas, Sawyer Patrick and Jayvon White each scored one touchdown. Mia Rouse added four extra points to close out scoring for the Bulldogs.

Pineville senior running back Landon King had the only TD for the Lions. Hazard gained 332 total yards for the game. The Bulldogs led 14-0 at halftime and 14-6 midway through the third quarter. Johnson powered the Hazard defense with 12 tackles. Memphis Blankenship, Ryan Dean and Logan Thomas each had nine tackles while Kyle Barnett added eight tackles.

It was the Lions’ 17th straight loss to the Bulldogs, including six in the playoffs since 2000. Pineville signal-caller Sawyer Thompson threw three interceptions. Johnson, Blankenship and White had interceptions for the Bulldogs.

No statistics were available for the Lions, who ended the season with a 7-4 record. It was Pineville’s four straight winning season, including two years with eight victories.

The Mountain Lions will lose 14 seniors from this year’s team coached by first-year head coach Allen Harris.

For the regular season, Thompson completed 68 of 130 passes for 1,326 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was intercepted just seven times. He also rushed for 291 yards and scored eight TDs.

King rushed for 1,029 yards on 121 carries and 10 touchdowns. He had 20 receptions for 307 yards and three TDs. Freshman Landon Robbins gained 789 yards on 87 rushes and nine touchdowns. He also caught 16 passes for 321 yards and three TDs. Senior Evan Biliter paced Pineville with 412 yards on 20 receptions and nine touchdowns. Senior Luke Akers had 10 receptions for 288 yards and five touchdowns.

The Mountains Lions defense was led by senior linebacker Tim Hall with 54 tackles, including 11 for lost yardage. James Turner, a senior lineman, followed with 41 tackles and seven for lost yardage. Senior lineman Jacob Montgomery added 39 tackles and a team-high 13 tackles for lost yardage. Trevor Short, another senior, also had 39 tackles for the regular season.