HCHS to take on unbeaten Cougars


Josh Swanner, pictured in action earlier in the season, scored three touchdowns in Harlan County’s win over Clay County last week.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Harlan County coach Eddie Creech borrowed a line from an NFL legend when someone suggested his Black Bears should be the favorite in their annual Coal Bowl battle Friday at Letcher Central.
“’You are what your record says you are,’ Bill Parcells once said. Letcher is 3-0 and we are 1-2. They are playing lights out on both sides of the ball,” Creech said.
While the Black Bears lost the first game in school history at Letcher Central in 2008, they have dominated the series with 10 wins in 13 games. This could be Letcher’s best team in a decade though with blowout wins over Rockcatle County, Pike Central and Perry Central to open the season.
Junior quarterback Carson Adams has completed 21 of 38 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns. He also leads in rushing yardage with 262. Hayden Brashear has added 152 yards rushing.
Senior linebacker Jepatha Griffith leads the Letcher defense with 28 tackles, followed by Keaton Day with 26 and Kaden Barnette with 23.
“They have only given up 30 total points over 12 quarters. Their defense has been nothing short of dominant,” Creech said. “We cannot expect to win without at least limiting their quarterback both in the air and on the ground. We also have to find some way to score points against their stingy defense.”
Harlan County (1-2) bounced back from an ugly 42-0 loss the previous week against Wayne County with a 56-33 win over Clay County. Demarco Hopkins ran for 134 yards and scored four touchdowns, while Josh Swanner had a breakout game with three touchdowns and 98 yards receiving
“Swanner has always been a great talent,” Creech said. “This year he has really bought in and dedicated himself to the team. I was tickled to see the success he had Friday night.”