Fast start sends Bell to win over Black Bears
Bell County completed the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, scoring 24 unanswered points in the first quarter on the way to a 32-14 win over visiting Bell County.
The Black Bears shutout Bell in the second and third quarters and most of the final period, but couldn’t finish on a couple of deep positions.
Bell quarterback London Stephney opened the scoring on the first play of the game on a 61-yard run at the 11:46 mark. The kick failed.
With 9:33 left in the opening quarter, Dawson Woolum went in from the 9-yard line. The conversion run was no good.
The lead grew to 18-0 at the 6:32 mark as Stephney connected with Jason Jones for a 66-yard touchdown pass. The conversion run failed.
Jones caught a 15-yard TD pass from Brant Burnett with 1:33 to play in the first quarter.
Harlan County moved the ball to the Bell 4-yard just before halftime but fumbled.
HC’s Tyler Flanary intercepted a Shephney pass and returned it to the 1-yard line. Tyler Casolari scored on the next play. The Bears converted the two-point conversion, but a penalty took away the score. Harlan County trailed 24-6 with 2:31 left in the third period.
Harlan County marched the ball down the field to the Bell 18, but a holding penalty by the Black Bears resulted in them being stopped on downs.
But Harlan County got the football back as Hunter Helton recovered a fumble on the Bell County 34.
Nine plays later, Ben Landis scored on a 3-yard run with 5:12 remaining in the game.
Bell County closed the scoring three minutes later as Stephney scored on a 22-yarder. Woolum added the two-point conversion.
The Bears took the ball to the Bobcat 20 when the game ended.
Stephney led the Bobcats with 118 yards on nine carries. He completed four of nin passes for 86 yards. Brandon Baker added 70 yards on nine rushes.
Landis led the Black Bears with 145 yards on 31 carries.
Harlan County (7-3) will open the playoffs at home Friday against Clay County (7-3). The Black Bears scored 14 fourth-quarter points and defeated the Tigers 21-7 on Sept. 27.
Bell County remains on Log Mountain as the Bobcats entertain Garrard County (4-6). The Bobcats shut out the Golden Lions 39-0 on Oct. 11.
Harlan County 0 0 6 8 — 14
Bell County 24 0 0 8 — 32
BC—Stephney 61 run (kick failed)
BC—Woolum 9 run (run failed)
BC—Jones 66 pass from Stephney (run failed)
BC—Jones 15 pass from Burnett (pass failed)
HC—Casilari 1 run (run failed)
HC—Landis 3 run (Turner run)
BC—Stephney 22 run (Woolum run)