Containing Slone is first task for Bears against Wayne


Wayne County’s Braedon Slone is among the state’s top running backs. Slone scored six touchdown in Wayne’s win over HCHS last season.

John Henson, Managing Editor

If the Harlan County Black Bears are to have any chance of knocking off 4A power Wayne County on Friday, they will have to do something they couldn’t in a 55-22 loss last year in Monticello.
Wayne running back Braedon Slone ran for 203 yards on five carries and had one catch for 73 yards, scoring touchdowns all six times he touched the ball in last year’s game.
“Slone is obviously the focal point for any team playing Wayne County. The kid had 54 total touchdowns last and over 3,000 all-purpose yards. I’d be willing to bet every single one of those defenses game-planned to stop him. He is a special athlete,” said Harlan County coach Eddie Creech.
An all-stater last year, Slone rushed for 2,804 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2019. He ran for 408 yards with seven touchdowns in a playoff win over Corbin.
Harlan County collected 260 yards of offense in the first half and 337 for the game last season at Wayne but could not overcome four turnovers and its inability to tackle Slone.
Both teams opened the 2020 season with one-point losses last week. While HCHS fell 14-13 in a game dominated by defense, the Cardinals dropped a 42-41 shootout at home against Southwestern. Slone ran for 294 yards and scored five touchdowns on 29 carries. Brody Weaver completed five of 16 passes for 92 yards and added 47 yards rushing. Slone and Weaver accounted for all but one carry for Wayne in the game.
Harlan County had a late 13-7 lead at Knox after two Demarco Hopkins touchdowns, but the Panthers scored late to claim the win. Hopkins finished with 140 yards rushing.
“Demarco really stood out last Friday. He ended up with 140 yards for the games with only a handful of touches in the first half because we stayed behind the chains due to penalties,” Creech said. “I was also pleased with the offensive line against Knox considering all five interior guys were making their first start at their position. We just have to keep working and preparing ourselves for a district run.”
Junior linebackers Lee Shelton and Justin Curry led the Wayne defense last week with 17 and 16 tackles, respectively.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium.