Belfry overcomes Bears’ fast start to win middle school opener


Brayden Morris ran for 240 yards and four touchdowns in Harlan County’s win over South Laurel on Thursday.

Harlan County opened its middle school football schedule Saturday against one of the top programs in the mountains, falling 30-14 to visiting Belfry in an eighth-grade game.
Brayden Morris gave the Bears an early lead when he raced 84 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening play..
Belfry answered with a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions to go up 16-6 after one quarter.
The visiting Pirates scored again in the second quarter quad led 24-6 at halftime,
Harlan County reached the end zone again in the third quarter as quarterback Landon Brock found Kaydon Adams for what turned into an 84-yard touchdown play. Isiah Cornett added the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 24-14.
Belfry scored on a 25-yard with two minutes left in the third quarter for the final points of the day.
Morris led the Harlan County offense with 108 yards on eight carries. Brock completed 10 of 18 passes for 147 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Cornett had five catches for 50 yards, and Braydon Middleton added four catches for 18 yards.
Cornett led the defense with nine tackles and one fumble recovery. Brady Smith had four tackles. Middleton added three tackles. Sam Carr had two tackles. Caleb Mitchell added a fumble recovery.
“I’m very excited for our season,” Harlan County coach Scott Caldwell said. “The Belfry coaches thanked me after the game and said it was hard for them to find games. They have won five or six state championships and are an outstanding program that not many teams will open up with. We tell our kids to be the best you have to play the best. Our A team was put to the test but came up short. However, we were competitive and saw a lot of good things from our team. We have a great group this year that works hard and we as a team can’t wait for our next game. The future is definitely bright for Harlan County football.”
The Harlan County sixth-grade team plays host to North Laurel on Tuesday. The seventh- and eighth-grade teams play at Clay County on Thursday.
Harlan fell 24-0 to Middlesboro on Saturday in a middle school football gridorama at Pineville. The Dragons will open their regular-season schedule Thursday at Leslie County.