Bears close season with loss at Bell County


Chandra Howard

Harlan County running back Demarco Hopkins, pictured in action earlier this season, scored two touchdowns on Friday in the Bears’ loss at Bell Count.

Bell County scored 22 points in the opening quarter and pushed across 30 more in the second period on the way to a 65-34 win over visiting Harlan County on Friday.
It marked the fourth straight season Bell has beaten the Black Bears.
Bell gained 328 yards on the ground and added 94 yards passing in the first half. The Bears had 169 rushing yards as well as 61 passing in the first two quarters.
The Bobcats recovered a HC fumble and needed only five plays to score as running back Daniel Thomas went in from the 13 with 9:55 left in the first quarter. Ethan Raby added the two-point conversion.
Harlan County fought back with a five-play, 63-yard drive capped by a 3-yard run by Demarco Hopkins at the 8:04 mark. Hopkins added the conversion to tie the game at 8-all.
One play later, Bell County quarterback Cameron Burnett went 57 yards for a touchdown.
Following another HC fumble, the Bobcats struck again. Dawson Woolum scored on a 65-yard run. Burnett connected with Teddy Saylor for the conversion pass to make it 22-8.
Harlan County had an impressive drive that began on its own 8, but the drive stalled when the Bears turned the ball over on downs at the Bell 29.
Four plays later, Raby went in from the 11 with 7:11 to play in the half. Burnett found Thomas for the two-point conversion pass.
Woolum added a 1-yard TD run four minutes later following another Harlan County fumble. Raby added the conversion run to make it 38-8.
Thomas Jordan returned the kickoff 55 yards to the Bell 14. Three plays later, Hopkins went in from the 3.
Burnett connected with Saylor on a 29-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds remaining.
The Black Bears came right back and scored two plays later as Ethan Rhymer found Jonah Swanner up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown pass. Hopkins’ conversion run pulled HC with 44-22.
A 61-yard TD pass from Burnett to Thomas and a two-point conversion run by Raby closed the first-half scoring.
Each team added one touchdown each in the third and fourth quarters.
Luke Carr had both TDs for Harlan County in the second half. Thomas scored twice for the Bobcats, while Hayden Canady kicked an extra point
The Black Bears closed their season at 2-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time.
Bell County (8-2) will open the Class 3A playoffs at home against Estill County (6-5) on Friday. Rockcastle County (5-5) will play host to Garrard County (5-6) in the other District 5 matchup. The Bobcats edged the Engineers 20-14 on Oct. 22 in Estill County.