Middlesboro too much for the Dragons

Published 3:05 pm Monday, September 20, 2021

By Paul Lunsford

Looking at the Harlan football schedule earlier this summer, two games stood out as tough opponents.

One of the those contest was held Friday night as the Dragons hosted Middlesboro.

The Yellow Jackets rolled up 441 yards of offense while improving to 4-0 on the season, following a 44-6 victory over the Green Dragons.

Middlesboro held the Dragons to 68 yards on the ground.

Kameron Wilson caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Cayden Grigsby as the Yellow Jackets led 6-0.

Harlan’s only touchdown of the night came in the first quarter – tying the game at 6-all – as Cade Middleton connected with Evan Browning for an 18-yard pass.

The Jackets would reel off 38 unanswered points, beginning with a 20-yard touchdown run by Caleb Bogonko as Middlesboro led 14-6 after one quarter. Jay West added a two-point conversion.

Grigsby raced 65 yards for a TD early in the second period. He connected with Wilson for the two-point conversion.

Grigsby added a 57-yard touchdown pass to Logan Daniels and a 40-yarder to Wilson late in the first half to make it 37-6 at halftime. West had a conversion run while Jordyn Ferguson added an extra point.

Tyler Kelly closed the scoring in the third quarter following an 18-yard TD run, allowing a running clock the remainder of the game. Ferguson’s kick was good.

Grigsby, a sophomore, passed for 172 yards on six of 11 attempts while rushing for 101 yards. Bogonko, a senior running back, rushed for 114 yards on eight carries.

Sophomore linebacker Case Bayless had 22 tackles to lead the Yellow Jackets. Kelly, a senior added 14. Kelly and Yousiff Nabat had four tackles each for losses.

Browning led Harlan’s rushing game with 32 yards. Middleton, who added 29 yards on seven rushes, completed five of seven passes for 42 yards.

Junior linebacker Robert Sanford led the HHS defense with eight tackles. Dylan Middleton, a junior linebacker, followed with seven tackles. Jayden Ward had four tackles. Browning, Dawson Irvin and Tayquan Vick each added three.

Sanford and Dylan Middleton each recovered fumbles for Harlan. Irvin had an interception.

The Green Dragons had several injuries during the game, including Cade Middleton, Jonathan Lewis and Darius Akal. Harlan played without the services of Donovan Montanaro.

Middlesboro returns to action Friday hosting Breathitt County (0-4) in its district opener.

Harlan (2-2) will travel to Lexington on Friday to battle the 4-0 Spartans of Sayre. The Green Dragons will return home for homecoming on Oct. 1 against Unaka (Tenn.).