Football notebook: Harlan, HC suffer defeat under Friday night’s lights

Published 2:11 pm Monday, September 4, 2023

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Whitley dominates as Bears’ ground game grinds to halt

By John Henson 

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Contributing Sports Writer

A bad start to the 2023 season for the Harlan County Black Bears turned ugly Friday in a 34-0 loss to visiting Whitley County as the Colonels dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage, sending HCHS to an 0-3 record.

Sophomore tailback Shane Parker led the Colonels’ ground attack, slicing through the HCHS defense for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Senior quarterback Tye Hamblin added 114 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

While the Colonels were moving the ball up and down the field, the Bears’ ground attack was stacked up much of the night at the line of scrimmage as HCHS was limited to 56 yards on 35 carries.

“Everybody knows we are having a hard time throwing it, and they walked everyone down,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said. “When they do that, you have to be able to hit a few plays and we had several dropped passes that could have been big plays and kept us in the game. When you drop a pass or two it just kind of deflates you. Our big playmaker (the injured Jonah Swanner), if he’s out there, they are backing up a little bit because they know he can make a play. Some of these others kids are going to have to start making plays.”

Harlan County returns to action Friday at Clay County. The 2-1 Colonels play host to South Laurel on Friday.

Dragons fall in defensive struggle at Pike Central

Staff Report

In a game dominated by defense, the host Pike Central Hawks broke up a scoreless tie with two second-half touchdowns to down the visiting Harlan Green Dragons 14-2.

Harlan allowed only 114 yards on offense, limiting the Hawks to 98 yards on the ground and 16 through the air, but picked up only 79 yards rushing themselves on 40 carries.

Senior quarterback Donovan Montanaro completed five of 12 passes for 67 yards with one interception. Nate Montanaro had three catches for 39 yards. Tayquan Vick and Hunter Clem added one reception each for 15 and 13 yards, respectively.

The Dragons were led on the ground by Darius Akal with 62 yards on 26 carries. Nate Montanaro added 20 yards on two carries.

Brayden Dona led the Harlan defense with nine tackles. Clem added eight. Nate Montanaro and Noah Kirby added seven and six tackles, respectively.

The 1-2 Green Dragons return to action Friday at home against Leslie County. The 3-0 Hawks travel to Powell County on Friday.