Bears earn playoff berth with big-play night at Perry Central


Chandra Howard

Harlan County’s Jonah Swanner went airborne for one of several big runs in the Black Bears’ 52-36 win Friday at Perry Central.

Big plays, both on offense and defense, sent the Harlan County Black Bears to a 52-36 victory Friday at Perry Central and into the 4A playoffs after a one-year absence.
Sophomore defensive back Luke Kelly had a night to remember as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns, covering 100 yards on the two plays. The Bears had four interceptions as a team, with one each by Gavon Spurlock and Jonah Swanner.
Swanner took over at quarterback with Ethan Rhymer sidelined by an injury and scored three touchdowns, running for 159 yards on 21 carries. He also completed three of three passes for 33 yards.
Junior tailback.Thomas Jordan also had a huge night, running for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Dallas Sergent and Josh Sergent each had 13 tackles to lead the HCHS defense. Carter Howard and Spurlock added eight tackles each. Issac Downs had seven tackles. Darren Alred recorded a fumble recovery. Bradley Young recovered a fumble on an onside kick.
“Some of our seniors who hadn’t played a lot this year have stepped up lately and been a big part of helping with our depth problems,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said. “Austin Roark, Bradley Young, Brady Huskey and Johnny Brock all came in and gave us a lift. Whether you win or lose, we always tell them you never know when your number will be called. They all stepped up Friday night in our win against Perry Central.”
The 4-5 Black Bears, who close the regular season on Friday at home against Bell County, will travel to Corbin on Nov. 4 in the first round of the playoffs.
The 5-4 Commodores close their season on Friday at Williamsburg.


Harlan County sophomore defensive back Luke Kelly returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the Black Bears’ 52-36 win Friday at Perry Central. (Chandra Howard)