HARLEM — The “3-0” chant started with just under a minute left Friday night.
Continuing its best start since 1981, Harlem pounded Glascock County for three second-half scores and an opportunistic defense came away with four turnovers as the Bulldogs routed the Panthers 28-0 on homecoming.
“It’s really good because it gives our kids confidence,” Bulldogs head coach Jimmie Lewis said of the strong start. “We’re going to need all the confidence we can get going into this tough conference we have.”
Despite being dominated in the first half, the Panthers only trailed 7-0 at halftime. After making slight adjustments, the Bulldogs came out and chewed up yardage and clock without throwing a pass. Quarterback Hunter Rippe completed 1 of 2 passes for five yards in the first half.
Harlem tailback Austin Burt rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns and fullback Jordan Dorsey added 115 rushing yards and another score. Dorsey ran for 97 yards and the Bulldogs’ only score of the first half, going in from 16 yards out with two minutes left in the first quarter.
Dorsey injured his foot late in the first half and Burt carried the load in the second half. Harlem used drives of 10 and nine plays, using up 5:24 and 4:35 on the clock, respectively.
The Bulldogs’ shortest scoring drive followed an Owen Price interception at the Panthers’ 17 late in the third quarter.
It took Burt just three plays to punch it in.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs defense made life difficult for the Panthers throughout.
Glascock County mustered just 10 first downs and 125 yards of total offense. Defense end Tyler Sheppard made life tough on Panthers quarterback Tre Little, sacking him twice, and the defensive pressure helped lead to interceptions by Carson Gurley, Price and Jonathan Worrell.
Sheppard says what has happened defensively in 2013 is a team effort.
“We go after it and make plays,” Sheppard said. “We build each other up, we just get each other pumped up and and then everybody explodes and makes plays. That’s just where we're getting this explosion on defense from.”