Highlands edges John Hardin; Mueller wins 300th

Bluebirds survive late surge in milestone victory

By Dave Malaska

Highlands had its lowest-scoring effort of the season, but its 33-26 win over John Hardin on Saturday was good enough to give head coach Dale Mueller his 300th career win.

The Bluebirds, averaging 53 points per game heading into Saturday, struck early on passes from Drew Houliston to seniors Zach Harris and Brandon Hergott to go up early, 12-0. Both added another touchdown — Harris' on a 5-yard run, Hergott's on another pass from Houliston — as the Bluebirds built a 21-point lead before Hardin (2-2) rallied late.

Highlands (4-0) ultimately proved too much for the Bulldogs, though, as Houliston went 20-of-29 in passing attempts for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Harris led the ground game for Highlands with 64 yards on 13 carries.

Mueller is 241-34 with the Bluebirds in 20 seasons. He earned his other 59 wins coaching in Ohio.

Mueller is ranked 21st in Kentucky in coaching wins.

Among area coaches, only Owen Hauck and Bob Schneider have earned more wins. Hauck won 258 games between his stints at Boone County and Highlands, and Schneider is ranked second all-time in Kentucky coaching wins with 345.

The Bluebirds' quest to remain perfect goes on the road again next week with a 6 p.m. Saturday kickoff downstate at Paducah Tilghman, setting the state for the following week's district showdown at Covington Catholic.

Highlands beat the Colonels twice last season, 35-21 during the regular season and 28-13 in the playoffs.

HIGHLANDS 12-8-7-6—33
at J. HARDIN 3-3-6-14—26
H-Harris 7 pass from Houliston (kick failed)
H-Hergott 5 pass from Houliston (run failed)
JH-Drexler FG 34
JH-Drexler FG 28
H-Harris 5 run (Harris run)
H-Hergott 16 pass from Houliston (Daugherty kick)
JH-Smith 11 run (pass failed)
H-Feggins 12 pass from Houliston (pass failed)
JH-Cooper 41 pass from Anderson (Guillery kick)
JH-Anderson 3 run (Guillery kick)
RECORDS: Highlands 4-0, John Hardin 2-2

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