Whitley reels off 28 unanswered points in win over Bears


John Crisologo

Harlan County’s Ethan Rhymer worked his way toward the end zone on Friday at Whitley County. The Colonels took over in the second half to win 28-8.

Whitley County overcame an early 8-0 deficit by dominating defensively in the second half on the way to a 28-8 Friday over visiting Harlan County.
Junior quarterback Tye Hamblin ran for one touchdown and passed for another as the Colonels won for the first time in three games while sending the Bears to their second loss in three games. Whitley also capitalized on several costly HCHS turnovers and the Bears’ inability to mount an effective aerial attack.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bears put together a scoring drive after a long punt return by Jonah Swanner, who wasn’t expected to play this week due to a thigh injury he aggravated in a loss to Hazard last week. Thomas Jordan and Ethan Rhymer each picked up first downs before Swanner went in from the 3, then added the two-point conversion.
Harlan County made a stop on defense as Will Cassim and Issac Downs combined for a stop on third down, but the Bears gave the ball back on a fumbled handoff on their own 8. Hamblin went in to score on the next play, then found Mason Croley for the tying conversion.
Jackson Storms picked off a Rhymer pass as Whitley regained possession. The Bears held when Luke Kelly knocked down a pass on fourth down.
Whitley dominated the second half on defense, bringing constant pressure against the HCHS running game.
Hamblin found a wide open Shane Parker for the go-ahead 54-yard TD pass with 7:49 left in the third quarter. Jacob Senters’ extra point gave Whitley a 15-8 lead.
Croley pushed the lead to 21-8 with 1:01 to play in the third quarter when he ran 27 yards for a touchdown.
Sam Haynes picked off a Rhymer pass and returned it for a touchdown to close the scoring.
Harlan County will travel to Knox Central on Thursday. Whitley County will play at Bell County on Sept. 16.