Sayre blanks HHS 42-0
Published 12:44 pm Monday, September 27, 2021
By Paul Lunsford
The Sayre offense can strike at any time.
All six possessions in the first half led to Spartan touchdowns in Friday’s 42-0 victory over visiting Harlan.
Senior quarterback Cole Pennington, a signee to play at Marshall next year, completed seven of 11 passes for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as the Spartans improved to 5-0 on the season.
“Sayre was really good just like we had thought,” said Harlan coach Eric Perry. “They are a senior dominated team, who are fundamentally sound with several playmakers.”
Pennington found senior receiver Jackson Marshall twice on touchdowns passes of 17 and 44 yards. Senior running back Caleb Kern added TD runs of 45 and 6 as Sayre took control early and often.
Marshall scored on a 60-yard touchdown run with 6:14 remaining in the first half.
The Spartans final score came two minutes later. Sayre needed just four plays to score. Kern went in from the 4. Brady Atkins, a junior, hit all six extra points on the night. On the season, Atkins has connected on all 28 extra point attempts.
“We are not a good football team right now and it all falls back on me,” said Perry. “We should not be as bad as we are playing.
“I have not been able to push the right buttons to get his team where we should be. Maybe I’m not the one to get the best out of these kids,” Perry added.
For the Green Dragons, junior running back Jayden Ward led the team with 86 rushing yards on 14 carries. Cade Middleton followed with 18 yards on eight rushes. Dylan Middleton had 12 yards.
Cade Middleton completed four of 18 passes for 41 yards and three interceptions.
Pennington, Charlie Slabaugh and Brock Coffman each had interceptions for the Sayre.
Harlan suffered a few injuries during the game. Donovan Montanaro, Will Austin and Dawson Irvin were hurt in the first half. The Dragons are still without the services of Jon Lewis and Hanna Pace.
Harlan (2-3) returns home to face Unaka (Tenn.) on Friday. Homecoming festivities will be held before the game. Sayre travels to Williamsburg to battle the 3-1 Yellow Jackets this week.
The Green Dragons will open district play at home next week against Williamsburg.
Former athlete honored
Charles Thomas, a former basketball standout at Harlan, was honored during the football game.
Mr. Baskeball in 1995, Thomas scored 3,365 points for the Green Dragons and is currently the leading scorer in Harlan County history.
Thomas is now working at Sayre.