Hardesty’s big night lifts Eagles 61-19

Posted: November 5, 2012

Special to The Winchester Star

STANARDSVILLE — Not happy with the first half of their last two games, the Clarke County football team was looking forward to a good, intense week of practice to prepare for its last regular season game of the season.

Unfortunately when Hurricane Sandy rolled through the area earlier this week, the Eagles, like many other teams, lost two days of practice.

Throw on top of that a long bus ride to Stanardsville to take on their second one-win team in two weeks and the Clarke County coaching staff was unsure what to expect for the regular season finale.

But it didn’t take long for Clarke to erase bad memories of its first-half struggles as the Eagles scored on their first two possessions of the game and many others as well, rolling to a 61-19 win over over William Monroe Friday night.

“I’m a lot happier,” said Clarke County coach Chris Parker. “Our goal is to win the game, but our other goal was to come out mentally prepared to play and I thought our guys did a great job of doing that.”

Do-everything senior running back Davey Hardesty had another huge game, rushing for 300 yards and five touchdowns on 16 carries. He also had 75 yards receiving and another score and added an interception to boot.

Clarke County (6-4, 3-3 Bull Run District) wasted no time getting on the board, taking the opening kick and driving 71 yards on six plays for Hardesty’s first score, a 14-yard run.

The second scoring drive also went for 71 yards, but Hardesty did most of the damage on one carry when he sprinted 55 yards to make it 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

Hardesty had a 24-yard touchdown run and a 45-yard touchdown reception, and Kasey Lake chipped in with a 57-yard scoring run in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 35-7 lead at halftime, and the rout was on.

The Eagles’ defense forced five turnovers and had four quarterback sacks while holding the Dragons to just 27 yards rushing and 220 yards of total offense.

In the second half Clarke outscored William Monroe 23-12 with many of the starters exiting the game midway through the third quarter.

“I thought we executed pretty well,” Parker said. “I thought we were humming pretty good, this is what we practice for. The defense made some big plays and our guys responded pretty well. I thought they did a good job.”

Lake, who filled in at quarterback for an injured Sean McDonald for a couple series, finished with five carries for 81 yards and a score.