LC’s Little provides big test for reeling HCHS defense in crucial district tilt


John Crisologo

Harlan County junior Thomas Jordan headed toward the end zone in a win over Pike Central earlier this season. Jordan and the Black Bears play at Letcher Central on Friday.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Through the season’s first six weeks, the Harlan County Black Bears have faced their share of outstanding quarterbacks with mixed results to show for it, much like the 3-3 mark they take to Letcher Central on Friday,
The Harlan County defense was outstanding in a 45-18 win at Knox Central and held standout quarterback Steven Partin under 100 yards rushing. The Bears were not as good last week in a 42-20 loss to Clay County as Tate Rice picked apart the defense for 234 yards while completing 14 of 17 passes.
Another test awaits in Whitesburg with senior Jonah Little leading the Cougars to a 4-2 mark this season with 575 yards passing and 922 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns rushing and seven through the air. Little backed up Carson Adams last season while providing a threat both as a receiver and running back. He’s moved into the leadership role on offense this year while junior Isaac Matthews has added a second threat on the ground with 291 yards rushing.
“:Little is a heck of an athlete,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said. “He can run and throw it and do about everything for them. We have to stop him. If we don’t stop him, we can’t win the game. He runs. He throws. He’s their guy.”
Thomas Jordan has led the Harlan County ground game with 680 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Jonah Swanner has added 276 yards on the ground and leads in both receptions and receiving yardage with 15 catches for 234 yards.
Senior linebacker Josh Sergent leads the defense with 63 tackles, followed by junior ends Carter Howard and Dallas Sergent with 44 and 43 tackles, respectively.
Harlan County puts itself in.a hole in the race for one of the four playoff spots in District 8 of 4A with the loss to Clay County.
“We need a big win right now,” McCreary said. “We put ourselves in a tough position with the loss Friday. You only get a few chances at these district games.”