Panthers rally to edge HCHS with TD at 1:23 mark


Senior running back Demarco Hopkins ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the Harlan County’s 14-13 loss at Knox Central last season.

A missed extra point proved to be the difference as Knox Central edge visiting Harlan County 14-13 on Friday in a showdown of two of southeastern Kentucky’s top teams.
Knox Central’s Seth Huff and Harlan County’s Demarco Hopkins each scored two touchdowns in the second half after a scoreless first half.
Harlan County struck first on its second possession of the second half as Hopkins went 15 yards for his first touchdown. Jordan Steele’s extra point gave the Bears a 7-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first quarter.
Huff answered with a 1-yard run for the Panthers with 4:28 left in the third quarter then added the tying extra point.
Hopkins scored on a 3-yard run with 11-15 left in the game. Steele fell on the ball after a botched snap on the extra point attempt as the Bears led by six.
Harlan County appeared to put the game away when Matt Brown returned an interception, but Brown was called for pass interference on the play.
The Bears stopped Central on fourth down and had a chance to close out the game but couldn’t pick up any first downs. A long punt return helped set up Huff’s 15-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left. Huff’s extra point gave Central the lead.
Harlan County drove into Knox Central territory in the closing seconds before an interception ended the game.
The Black Bears play their home opener on Friday against Wayne County. Knox Central plays host to Bourbon County on Friday.
Knox Central 14, Harlan County 13
Harlan County. 0. 0 7. 6 — 13
Knox Central. 0. 0. 7 7 — 14
HC — Hopkins 15 run (Steele kick)
KC — Huff 1 run (Huff kick)
HC — Hopkins 3 run (run failed)
KC — Huff 15 run (Huff kick)

RUSHING—Harlan County, Hopkins 13-140, Brown 5-34, Carr 2-10, Turner 3-5, Claiborn 2-4. Knox Central.
PASSING —Harlan County, Clayborn 6-11-1-72.
RECEIVING—Harlan County, M. Brown 5-68, Flanary 1-4.