Harlan County falls to Knox in middle school football


Kim Henson

Harlan County’s Gage Bailey, pictured in action earlier this season, ran for 100 yards and passed for 85 as the Bears fell 18-8 to Knox Central on Tuesday in Barbourville.

Harlan County struggled with penalties and missed opportunities in falling 18-8 at Knox Central in middle school football action Tuesday.
The Bears were missing three starters, including quarterback Connor Daniels, but running back Gage Bailey took over behind center and had a big night. Bailey ran for 100 yards on 14 carries and completed six of 10 passes for 85 yards. He completed a touchdown pass to Hunter Napier and added the two-point conversion on the ground.
Jayce Brown added 85 yards rushing on nine carries. Shemarr Carr had 40 yards on seven carries.
Knox grabbed a 6-0 lead before Bailey teamed with Napier for a 50-yard scoring strike, then added the two-point conversion.
The Panthers took the lead before halftime, then added another touchdown in the second half.
The Bears couldn’t overcome over 100 yards in penalties, leading to several scoring chances being squandered. The Bears had the ball inside the Knox 10 before several penalties pushed them into a first-and-45 situation.
Harlan County returns to action Saturday at Meece.
Harlan County fell 14-8 in a fifth- and sixth-grade game.
Tyler Coots had 75 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving with a touchdown and two-point conversion to lead Harlan County. Dyson Freeman added 64 yards on seven carries. Braydon Howard had 62 yards on six carries. Rylie Fuson added 14 yards on two carries. Easton Engle had two receptions for 42 yards.
Coots led the Harlan County defense with six tackles. Isaiah Baker, Sam Carr, Braydon Howard, Hayden Grace and Mason Stewart added five tackles each. Engle and Carter Caldwell added four tackles each.