Collett-Hensley combo sends Eagles to win over Harlan


Jon Dickenson

Senior tailback Jayden Ward scored two touchdowns in Harlan’s 21-18 loss Friday at Leslie County.

Three Landry Collett to Wyatt Hensley touchdown passes helped Leslie County spoil the regular-season finale for the Harlan Green Dragons in a 21-18 loss on Friday in Hyden.
The Dragons led 18-7 at halftime and maintained that advantage until the fourth quarter when Collett directed two scoring drives.
With 10:30 left in the game, Collett found Hensley for an 18-yard touchdown pass to cap a 12-play drive which covered 68 yards. Bryce Pugh added the extra point as Leslie County pulled within 18-15.
On the kickoff, Darius Akal returned the football 45 yards to the Eagle 29. The Green Dragons weren’t able to move the ball and turned it over on downs.
The Eagles took over on their own 20 with 8:26 remaining. Leslie went on a 10-play drive, covering 80 yards with the help of three Harlan penalties for 35 yards.
At the 2:44 mark, Hensley’s 13-yard touchdown pass from Collett gave the Eagles a three-point advantage.
With the ball on the Dragon 41, Harlan started a drive with a 10-yard holding penalty, followed by an offensive pass interference call moving the ball to the 16.
Facing first-down-and-35, Donovan Montanaro connected with Will Austin for a 38-yard reception.
Montanaro picked another first down with a 15-yard keeper, but on the following play, the Harlan quarterback was called for intentional grounding and loss of a down.
The Leslie County defense stood strong as Montanaro had two incomplete passes, followed by a two-yard keeper before turning the ball over on downs with 58 seconds left on the clock.
Collett was able to kneel twice as the Eagles ran out the clock.
Collett, a sophomore quarterback, completed 15 of 26 passes for 173 yards, including three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Leslie County gained 91 yards rushing on 24 carries. Junior Dalton Maggard led the Eagles with 44 yards on nine carries. Wyatt Ostrander added 29 yards.
Montanaro, a junior quarterback, passed for 96 yards on three of six attempts. Austin had two receptions for 71 yards. Dylan Middleton added a 25-yard pass.
Senior running back Jayden Ward powered Harlan with 165 yards on 25 carries. Ward reached the 1,000-yard mark on his first carry of the game. He has 1,160 yards on the season.
Montanaro rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries for the Dragons.
Harlan opened the scoring with 7:04 to play in the opening quarter as Leslie County’s Pugh was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
On the kickoff, Austin raced 56 yards for a touchdown, but Harlan was called for holding. Two plays later, Ward ran 31 yards for the TD. Montanaro added the two-point conversion as the Green Dragons led 10-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hensley broke free and went 59 yards to the Harlan 26. Three plays later, Collett hit Hensley for a 7-yard touchdown reception. Jesse Osborne’s kick made it 10-7 with 4:11 left in the first period.
With 9:55 remaining in the first half, Harlan’s Noah Kirby intercepted a Collett pass at the Leslie County 15.
The Green Dragons needed six plays to score as Ward went in from the 9 at the 6:34 mark. Ward’s two-point conversion  pushed the lead to 18-7.
Leslie County covered 36 yard on six plays, but was whistled for two unsportsmanship penalties.
At the 4:10 mark, the drive ended as Montanaro intercepted a Collett pass, giving the Dragons the ball at the Leslie 17.
Harlan was called for 15 penalties covering 136 yards. Leslie County had 75 yards on eight penalties.
Leslie County (5-5) will travel to Martin County (6-4) in the first round of the KHSAA Playoffs on Friday. The Eagles were defeated by Martin County 41-19 in the season-opener.
Harlan (7-3) opens the Class A playoffs at home against Lexington Sayre (5-5) on Friday. The Green Dragons downed the Spartans 50-42 on Sept. 23 at home.
Leslie Co. 21, Harlan 18
Harlan 10 8 0 0 — 18
Leslie 7 0 0 14 — 21
H–Pugh tackled in end zone for safety
H–Ward 31 run (D.Montanaro run)
LC–Hensley 7 pass from Collett (Osborne kick)
H–Ward 9 run (Ward run)
LC–Hensley 18 pass from Collett (Pugh run)
LC–Hensley 13 pass from Collett (kick failed)