Harlan County routs Cardinals 43-7

Published 4:00 pm Monday, August 22, 2022

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By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Junior running back Thomas Jordan rushed for 134 yards and scored three touchdowns on Friday as Harlan County captured the First Priority Bowl with a 43-7 win over visiting South Laurel.

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The Black Bears gained 408 yards on the ground and had 432 yards of offense on the night.
Besides Jordan, HC had several players with impressive yardage.

Sophomore running back James Ryan Howard had 106 yards on 16 rushes. Junior receiver Jonah Swanner added 93 yards while senior fullback Josh Sergent gained 73 yards.

“Thomas can play. There’s no doubt,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said. “We have several kids who can make plays. Jonah (Swanner) and Luke (Kelly) made some big plays for us, and James Ryan (Howard) ran the ball well. Josh (Sergent) ran the ball real hard. We had a lot of weapons.”

Jordan put the Bears on the scoreboard with a 30-yards touchdown run. Sergent’s two-point conversion made it 8-0.

Harlan County scored another touchdown in the opening period as Jordan went in from the 10. A two-point conversion pass from Ethan Rhymer to Swanner had the Bears ahead 16-0.

With 8:44 remaining in the second quarter, Howard scored on a 2-yard run. Isaac Downs added the extra point.with 8:44 left in the first half. Issac Downs hit the first of three extra points in the second period for a 23-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Swanner raced 74 yards to the end zone. Downs’ kick was perfect.

Harlan County added another TD just before halftime as Jordan went 12 yards for the score. The kick by Downs made it 37-0.

South Laurel received the second-half kickoff.

Hunter Bundy went 75 yards for a Cardinals touchdown. Jason Cox added the extra point.
Harlan County’s final score came on the last play of the third period when Sergent scored from the 11-yard line.

The Bears have defeated South Laurel three times in school history.

HC held the Cardinals to minus five yards rushing on 19 carries.

South Laurel junior quarterback Jimmy Mitchell completed eight of 17 passes for 67 yards. He was intercepted four times.

Sergent, Swanner, Luke Kelly, and Gavin Spurlock each had interceptions for Harlan County.

Junior linebacker Carter Howard led the Bears’ defense with seven tackles, including two for losses and one sack. Howard had six tackles. Sergent, Darren Alred, and Jacob Shoemaker each had four tackles.

Shoemaker recorded a sack while Alred had three tackles for loss yardage.

The 1-0 Black Bears will play host to Hazard on Friday. The Bulldogs downed visiting Middlesboro 42-24 last week.

South Laurel (0-1) welcomes Estill County to London on Friday. The 1-0 Engineers defeated Powell County 14-6 in the opening week.

Harlan County 43, South Laurel 7

South Laurel     0  0 7 0 —  7
Harlan County 16 21 6 0 — 43

HC — Jordan 30 run (Sergent run)
HC — Jordan 10 run (Swanner pass from Rhymer)
HC — Howard 2 run (Downs kick)
HC — Swanner 74 run (Downs kick)
HC — Jordan 12 run (Downs kick)
SL — Bundy 70 kickoff return (Cox kick)
HC — Sergent 11 run (run failed)