Balanced attack carries Bears past Bourbon


Harlan County’s Jason Fultz battled for yardage in action Saturday against visiting Bourbon County. Fultz had a touchdown run in the Bears’ 32-6 victory.

Putting together the first countywide middle school football team was the new challenge for coach Scott Caldwell coming into the 2020 season.
The Black Bears faced their share of tough tests early with losses to Belfry, Bell County and Corbin, but a 32-6 rout of visiting Bourbon County on Saturday afternoon showed that the new team was coming together a week before postseason competition begins.
“I think they’ve come a long way since we started,” Caldwell said. “We were fortunate enough to be able to spread the ball around a lot today, and we had so many kids who contributed in this game.
Four Bears reached the end zone as Harlan County controlled the clock with several long drives. Caldwell was able to give his seventh-graders much of the playing time in the second half with the Bears in control.
Luke Kelly picked up a first down on the opening drive, then quarterback Connor Daniels went the final 26 yards for a touchdown with 6:15 left in the opening quarter. Sedrick Washington went in for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Jason Fultz found an opening in the Bourbon defense on the Bears’ second possession and raced 78 yards for a touchdown. Daniels’ two-point conversion run pushed the lead to 16-0.
After Washington made a tackle for a loss, the Bears started another drive. James Ryan Howard went 16 yards, then Michael Torres picked up 14 yards and Aiden Craig went 10. Daniels found Hunter Napier for a 1-yard TD pass. Washington’s two-point conversion gave the Bears a 24-0 halftime advantage.
Washington, Jayce Brown and Ryan Coots picked up first downs on a drive to start the second half, but a fumble ended the threat and set up a 49-yard touchdown run by the Colonels. Brown made the stop on the two-point try.
Brown, one of the Bears’ top seventh-grade backs, raced 47 yards around left end for the final touchdown. Logan Childers bulled his way through the Bourbon defense for a two-point conversion.
Harlan County (2-4) will play at Bell County on Tuesday. Both Harlan County teams will play at North Laurel on Saturday in the first round of state playoff action.
Brayden Morris and Cole Cornett each topped the 100-yard rushing mark as New Harlan improved to 5-0 in fifth- and sixth-grade action with a 24-12 win over Bourbon County.
Morris ran for 132 yards on nine carries, while Cornett added 117 yards on eight carries. Hunter Moore and Landon Brock each had for 15 yards.
Brock led the New Harlan defense with six tackles Morris had five. Rylend Thomas and Jacob Sage added three each.
Brady Smith caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brock to start the scoring. Cornett added the two-point conversion to put New Harlan up 8-6.
Bourbon went back on top before Morris went 31 yards, then added the two-point conversion for a 16-12 lead at halftime.
Cornett raced 75 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Brock teamed with Colby Shepherd for the two-point conversion to close the scoring.
New Harlan claimed a 14-0 win Thursday at Evarts in fifth- and sixth-grade football.
Colton Delaney ran for a touchdown in the second quarter as the Patriots took a 6-0 lead into halftime.
Brayden Morris added a touchdown in the third quarter and Delaney followed with the two-point conversion.
New Harlan returns to action Saturday at home agains Bourbon County. Evarts will travel to South Laurel on Tuesday.
Harlan County suffered a pair of middle school football losses on Tuesday at Corbin as the seventh-grade team fell 30-8 and the eighth-grade team dropped a 38-6 decision.
Ryan Coots scored the touchdown for the Bears in the seventh-grade game and led the team with 71 yards on five carries. Jayce Brown had 39 yards on 10 carries. Sedrick Washington added 15 yards on seven carries. Jake Brewer teamed with Isaiah Cornett for a two-point conversion.
James Ryan Howard scored for the eighth-grade Bears and led the team in rushing with 82 yards on 14 carries. Luke Kelly had 25 yards on 10 carries. Jason Fultz ran for 23 yards on eight carries. Connor Daniels and Jason Fultz teamed on a 15-yard pass play.
Harlan County returns to action Saturday with a 3 p.m. game against visiting Bourbon County. The New Harlan fifth- and sixth-grade team will play Bourbon County at 2 p.m.
Pineville defeated Harlan 30-0 in seventh- and eighth-grade football action. The Dragons closed their season with a record of 0-5.
Cumberland fell 26-8 to South Laurel in recent fifth- and sixth-grade football action.
Hayden Grace had the touchdown and two-point conversion for the Redskins.