After thriving as underdog, Bears will play role of favorite against Pike Central


Chandra Howard

Harlan County sophomore running back James Ryan Howard ran through a big hole during the Black Bears’ win Thursday over Knox Central. Harlan County will play host to Pike Central on Friday.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

One week after being wildly successful in the underdog role with a shocking 45-18 win last week at Knox Central, the Harlan County Black Bears will have a chance to see how they handle the role as a heavy favorite at home against Pike Central.
Pike Central brings a 1-3 record into Friday’s game and has scored only one touchdown during a three-game losing streak. The Hawks fell to Harlan County 60-38 last year in Pikeville. All that could mean the Bears might be tempted to look ahead to their district opener next week against Clay County.
“You better prepare each and every week. We saw that throughout the country this week with all the big upsets,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said. “They have to take this just as seriously as they did going down to play Knox. Our guys needed that win. Their head is raised a little higher walking up and down the halls.”
Matt Anderson, a senior running back, has been the Hawks’ offensive leader with 332 yards rushing in two games. Anderson had 118 yards rushing against the Bears last season and finished with 1,052 yards for the season. Junior quarterback Daymon Scammell has completed seven of 20 passes this season for 33 yards and is second in rushing with 135 yards.
“They have a really good running back. He’s probably as good as we’ve faced,” McCreary said. “He’s a big kid with speed and power. We have to stop him to stop them.”
Junior tailback Thomas Jordan ran for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Knox Central and leads the Bears with 427 yards rushing through four games.
Carter Howard, a junior end, had three sacks and 16 tackles against the Panthers last week and is second on the team in tackles with 29. Senior linebacker Josh Sergent is first in tackles with 39. Dallas Sergent and Will Cassim have 23 and 22 tackles, respectively.