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Wayne pulls away for rout of Black Bears

Harlan County’s injury list and losing streak both continued to grow as the Bears dropped their fourth straight game Friday, falling 47-14 at Wayne County.

Familiar problems proved costly for the Bears as turnovers led to three of the Wayne touchdowns. Senior quarterback Lorenzo Linsey also had a big game for the 4-1 Cardinals as he ran for one touchdown and passed for three, including two to Stetson Simpson.

Running back Quinten Mickens and receiver Tyrese Simmons were able to return to action after missing last week’s game against Knox Central, but the Bears were still without senior quarterback/cornerback Jacob Branson, tackle Andrew Baker and linemen Jared Creech and Kobe Burkhart. Joining the list of walking wounded this week were senior defensive end Christian Hall and senior cornerback Paul Stapleton. Both Hall and Stapleton also rotate in the offensive backfield.

Harlan County kept the game close for much of the first half, trailing 17-7 late in second quarter as Mickens put the Bears on the board with a 58-yard touchdown run up the middle after Wayne went up 10-0. Marcus Kelly added the first of two extra points.

Linsey scored on a 45-yard run and Woods added another field goal as the Wayne lead grew to 26-7 at halftime.

Wayne blew the game open with three quick touchdowns in the third quarter, starting a running clock in the process.

Harlan County’s defense picked up a touchdown late in the game as freshman outside linebacker Hunter Blevins forced a fumble that Jacob Bailey picked up and returned 65 yards for a score. Sophomore Nick Helton had an interception for the Bears in the first half.

The 1-4 Black Bears open their district schedule with a rare Thursday game at North Laurel. Wayne County (4-1) travels to Clay County on Friday as the Cardinals will also open district play.