Harlan County falls at North; Dragons roll past Jackson to end skid


Chris Jones

Harlan County running back Jayce Brown is pictured in action earlier this season. The Bears fell 20-14 on Monday at North Laurel.

Driving down the field for the potential tying touchdown near the end of the game, the Harlan County eighth-grade team drew a costly holding penalty and fell 20-14 on Thursday at North Laurel.
“Penalties cost us this game. When you play smash mouth football, you have to be disciplined enough to not make the smaller mistakes and get behind the chains,” Harlan County coach Scott Caldwell said “We played as perfect of a game as we were capable of with the exception of two or three plays. That is huge for our team. Our eighth grade is really learning what it takes to compete and is representing Harlan County well in this new league. Our seventh grade simply didn’t show up tonight and we talked about that after the games. We expect all of our kids, regardless of grade, to compete.”
Gage Bailey led the 2-3 Bears with 99 yards on 10 carries. Shemarr Carr had 86 yards on nine carries. Jayce Brown added 45 yards on seven carries. Connor Daniels completed his only pass for five yards. Bailey completed his only pass for 10 yards.
Bailey led in tackles with six. Brayden Smith and Hunter Napier added four each. Brown had three.
Brown gave Harlan County an early lead with an 18-yard touchdown run. Carr added the two-point conversion.
North cut the deficit to 8-6 before Carr went 15 yards for a touchdown and a 14-6 lead.
The Jaguars pulled even with at touchdown late in the second quarter, then took the lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass with six minutes left.
Harlan County fell 28-8 in the seventh-grade game, the first loss of the season for the 3-1 Bears.
Brayden Morris scored a touchdown for the Bears and Braydon Middleton added the two-point conversion.
Harlan County returns to action Thursday at home against Corbin.
Harlan ended a 13-game middle school football losing streak with a 42-16 win Saturday at Jackson County.
Jake Brewer ran for two touchdowns and threw another to Jaxson Perry. Sedrick Washington added two touchdowns on the ground and Baylor Varner had one.
No other statistics were available.
Harlan’s last win, other than two forfeit victories over Evarts in 2019, was a 38-14 win at Berea on Aug. 14, 2019.
The 1-3 Dragons are scheduled to travel to Williamsburg on Monday.