Patriots rally, avenge loss to Letcher Central

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

After suffering a 10-point loss earlier this season at Letcher Central, the New Harlan Patriots turned the tables in the rematch with a 38-24 homecoming victory Thursday at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium.

With running backs Dion Brown and Samuel Henson sidelined by injuries, Caleb Johnson took over as the Patriots’ No. 1 option on offense and responded with a huge game by scoring three touchdowns. Darren Alred added a pair of touchdowns at fullback.

After Letcher grabbed an early 6-0 lead, Johnson had runs of 27 and 11 yards to set up Alred for a 4-yard TD run. Ethan Rhymer threw to Carter Howard for the go-ahead two-point conversion.

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Brayden Howard recovered an onside kick to give the Patriots a chance to extend their lead but New Harlan lost a fumble on the Letcher 6.

An 81-yard touchdown run by the Cougars put Letcher up 12-8 at halftime.

Letcher’s lead grew to 18-8 early in the second half. Johnson followed with a 50-yard run to set up his touchdown run from the 2. Carter Howard’s conversion cut the deficit to 18-16.

The Cougars struck quickly again with a 43-yard touchdown and led 24-16.

Johnson and Alred each ripped off long runs before Alred went in from the 2 with 3:16 left in the third quarter. The conversion run failed and New Harlan trailed 24-22.

James McMillian put the New Harlan offense back in business when he recovered an onside kick. Will Cassim, after moving from guard to fullback, turned a broken play into a 11-yard gain for a first down on the 10. Johnson scored on a 2-yard run, then Rhymer found Carter Howard for the two-point conversion and a 30-24 lead with 7:18 remaining.

Carter Howard had a tackle in the Letcher backfield on third down to give the ball back to New Harlan. Johnson raced 53 yards for insurance TD with 3:18 to play. Brian Howard tacked on the two-point conversion.

The New Harlan defense held again and Alred helped them run out the clock with a 15-yard gain in the final minute.

New Harlan (6-4) will return to action in the conference playoffs on Oct. 19.


New Harlan rolled to a 38-0 win in fifth- and sixth-grade action to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Jayce Brown got the New Harlan offense started with two touchdowns in the first half. Jake Brewer teamed with Brown for a 56-yard scoring strike in the opening period, and Landon Brock threw to Gunner Burkhart for the two-point conversion. Brown ran 47 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead.

Brown raced 75 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Brewer followed with the two-point conversion. Brown scored on a 49-yard run late in the period and Brewer went in for the conversion and a 30-0 lead.

Brayden Morris raced 36 yards around left end for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Brock threw to Colby Shepherd for a two-point conversion.

Bryson Bryant, Burkhart, Brayden Fultz and Tyler Coots had fumble recoveries for the Patriots.


Reggie Cottrell scored three touchdowns to lead Evarts past Cumberland 30-0 in fifth- and sixth-grade football action Thursday.

Cottrell scored in the first quarter and added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Cottrell added a touchdown in the second quarter and Dylan Lambert followed with the two-point conversion for a 16-0 halftime lead.

Cottrell had a touchdown and two-point conversion in the third quarter.

Braydon Middleton scored the Wildcats’ final touchdown in the fourth quarter.