In the 2023 football season, things are not looking good for the Harlan County Black Bears. They had a tough game on Friday night, losing 34-0 to Whitley County. The Whitley County Colonels were really strong on both offense and defense, and this loss dropped Harlan County’s record to 0-3 for the season.
A young player, sophomore tailback Shane Parker, was a standout for the Colonels. He ran for 191 yards and scored three touchdowns on 21 carries. The senior quarterback, Tye Hamblin, also did well with 114 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.
On the other hand, the Black Bears struggled to move the ball on the ground. They only managed to gain 56 yards on 35 carries throughout the game.
Harlan County’s coach, Amos McCreary, acknowledged that they are having trouble with their passing game, and the opposing team noticed this weakness. He mentioned that they dropped several passes that could have been big plays. He also noted that their star player, Jonah Swanner, was injured, and his absence made it harder for them. Coach McCreary challenged other players to step up and make plays.
Next, Harlan County will play against Clay County, while the Colonels with a 2-1 record will face South Laurel.
In another game, the Harlan Green Dragons had a tough defensive battle against the Pike Central Hawks. The Hawks managed to score two touchdowns in the second half and won 14-2. Despite the loss, Harlan’s defense played well, limiting Pike Central to just 114 yards of offense, with 98 yards on the ground and 16 through the air. However, the Dragons struggled to move the ball, gaining only 79 yards rushing on 40 carries.
Senior quarterback Donovan Montanaro completed five of his 12 passes for 67 yards but threw one interception. Nate Montanaro was the leading receiver with three catches for 39 yards. Tayquan Vick and Hunter Clem also had receptions for 15 and 13 yards, respectively.
On the ground, Darius Akal led the Dragons with 62 yards on 26 carries, and Nate Montanaro added 20 yards on two carries.
Defensively, Brayden Dona had nine tackles for Harlan, and Clem contributed with eight tackles. Nate Montanaro and Noah Kirby also made seven and six tackles, respectively.
The Green Dragons, with a 1-2 record, will play Leslie County in their next game, while the Hawks, undefeated at 3-0, will face Powell County.