Morris, Bailey leads Bears in sweep of Whitley


Chris Jones

Harlan County running back Shemarr Carr battled for yardage in a game earlier this season. The Black Bears evened their record at 2-2 on Thursday with a 26-14 win at Whitley County.

Despite both teams being short-handed, Harlan County swept a middle school football doubleheader on Thursday at Whitley County, winning 16-0 in the seventh-grade game and 26-14 in eighth-grade action.
“I’m extremely proud of our kids. We have a lot out due to quarantine and such,” Harlan County coach Scott Caldwell said. “Our seventh-grade coaches pieced together a sound game with a limited roster while our eighth grade played short-handed on our line and managed to roll off close to 300 yards on the ground.  We missed our kids that were out, but we had a lot of kids step in and step up tonight to represent our county well.  Our defense has a little way to go but offensively we are really clicking. This is a great group of kids and I’m happy they get to enjoy some success.”
Brayden Morris, playing quarterback for the first time out of the wildcat formation, scored both touchdowns for the Bears with a 9-yard run with 1:55 left in the first quarter and a 25-yard run with 51 seconds to play in the game as the Bears improved to 3-0.
Brady Smith added the two-point conversion after the first touchdown. Hunter Moore ran in the second two-point conversion.
Morris ran for 129 yards on 13 carries to lead the HC offense. Smith had 25 yards on six carries.
Bo Eldridge led the defense with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Morris had five tackles and a fumble recovery. Moore had three tackles.
Gage Bailey scored three touchdowns and ran for 158 yards on 15 carries to lead the eighth-grade Bears. He also completed two of two passes for 49 yards, one to Hunter Napier for 41 yards and one to Jayce Brown for eight yards. Brown added 80 yards rushing on nine carries. Shemarr Carr had eight carries for 52 yards.
Bailey led in tackles with six. Carr and Braiden Smith added four and three tackles, respectively.
A 2-yard touchdown run by Bailey with 1:35 to go in the first quarter gave the Bears an early 6-0 lead.
Whitley went on top 8-6 late in the first quarter, but Bailey went in from the 12 with 6:29 left in the second quarter to give the Bears a 12-8 halftime lead.
The Colonels took the lead again with a 75-yard run in the third quarter. Carr went in from the 5 and added the two-point conversion as HC led 20-14.
Bailey’s 8-yard run with 55 seconds left put the game away for the 2-2 Bears.
Harlan County returns to action Monday at North Laurel.