Spartans remain unbeaten by cruising past Harlan


Jeff Drummond

Sayre quarterback Cole Pennington, who will play his college football at Marshall, threw for a pair of touchdowns on Friday in a 42-0 win over visiting Harlan.



Cole Pennington and the high-powered Sayre offense lived up to its advance billing with a 42-0 win over the visiting Harlan Green Dragons.
Pennington, the son of former NFL quarterback and Sayre coach Chad Pennington, passed for two touchdowns in the first half and added an interception to set up another score as the Spartans started a running clock late in the second quarter.
Pennington teamed with Jackson Marshall across the middle for a 17-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive. Brady Atkins hit the first of six extra points in the first half for a 7-0 lead.
An interception by Pennington on the Harlan 45 set up a touchdown on the next play as Caleb Kern had the first of three touchdown runs with 5:57 left in the opening quarter.
Jayden Ward ran for a first down on the next Harlan series, but the drive stalled. Pennington ran to the Harlan 10, then Kern walked in from the 6 with 1:23 left in the first period.
Pennington threw a nice 45-yard scoring pass to Marshall for a 45-yard TD with 10:54 left in the second quarter. Atkins’ extra point pushed the lead to 28-0.
Marshall ran 60 yards for a touchdown when Sayre got the ball back and made the score 35- with 6:14 to play in the half.
A Charlie Slabaugh interception set up Kern for a 3-yard touchdown run to start a running clock with 4:08 left in the first half.
Harlan threatened twice in the second half, running all but a few seconds off the clock in the third quarter with a long drive. Ward ran for one first down, then Cade Middleton teamed with Evan Browning and Dylan Middleton for first downs through the air. Brock Coffman picked off a Middleton pass in the end zone to end the drive.
A 64-yard pass from Middleton to Browning in the fourth quarter was wiped out by an ineligible receiver downfield penalty. Ward had a 21-yard run into Sayre territory on the final series before time expired.
The 2-3 Dragons play host to Unaka, Tenn., on Friday before beginning their district schedule on Oct. 8 at home against Williamsburg. The 5-0 Spartans will travel to Williamsburg on Friday.