Did Harlan County running back Dylon Smith slip through the scouting report prior to the Whitley County Colonels’ game against the Black Bears? The Harlan County senior proved to be the difference as Harlan County beat the Colonels Friday night in Harlan, 41-27.
All Smith did was run the ball 27 times for 240 yards and four touchdowns. He had more touches, yards and touchdowns against the Colonels than the previous four games. He was the answer for the Black Bears all night.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates as the Black Bears scored their final touchdown in the closing minutes after Harlan County had fumbled the ball with 3:28 left in the game. Whitley County senior Cody Bramlett pounced on the loose ball at the Colonels 14-yard line.
However, it was deja’vu for the Colonels. Just like the week before against Belfry, the Colonels had one last chance in the closing minutes. And, again the Colonels failed to convert and had to give up the ball on downs inside the Whitley County 10-yard line.
The Black Bears were not as gracious as the Pirates. They stung Whitley County for one more touchdown giving Harlan County a 14-point win.
Neither team moved the ball in the first quarter, but the first mistake came when Bramlett lost the football only to see the Black Bears recover at the Whitley County seven.
Highly touted running back, Marcus McMillian, took the ball seven yards for the score. The extra point gave Bears a 7-0 lead.
Whitley County’s offense came to life as well. The kickoff sailed out of bounds and the Colonels took the ball at the 35-yard line. After a pair of runs that resulted in a third-and-10 at the 35, Jordan Singleton broke loose on a pitchout and went 65 yards for the touchdown. Seth McCoy made it 7-7 at the 1:33 mark.
The teams traded possessions before Smith got his game in high gear. The Bears returned a McCoy punt to the Whitley County 47. Eight plays later Smith scored from three yards out putting Harlan County ahead, 14-7. Smith had 33 yards on the five carries during the drive.
Whitley County answered within a minute when Justin Goins scored on a 60-yard pass play from quarterback Travis Inman with 5:44 left in the quarter.
The Colonels pinned the Black Bears back at the nine-yard line on Harlan County’s ensuing drive. Smith and McMillian were held deep in their own territory before Smith got loose for a first down at the 20. He nearly scored on the following play when he scampered 57 yard to the Colonels’ 23-yard line. Goins was able to come-from-behind to pull down the Harlan County runner.
However, five plays later quarterback Jordy Brewer fought his way into the end despite fumbling the ball. The officials ruled the play a touchdown and the Black Bears moved ahead 20-14 at the half.
The Colonels started the third quarter with a bang. A kick off return and a penalty against the Bears gave Whitley County a first-down at the Harlan County 45-yard line. Bramlett went all the way to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage. McCoy’s extra point put the Colonels ahead, 21-20.
The Colonels appeared to have a bigger lead when Singleton intercepted a Brown pass and went 75-yard for the touchdown. But, a questionable call brought the touchdown back to the 20-yard line where the Colonels took over.
After a Bramlett carry for no gain, Inman was hit with a 10-yard sack at the 10-yard line. Another loss saw the Colonels go backwards another five yards. Goins had to punt from the end zone and got a favorable roll to the 40-yard line.
Five plays later Smith scored from 26 yards out. He added the two-point conversion and the Black Bears had a 28-21 lead with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
The Colonels answered in just two plays. After a Cody Bowlin return to the 30-yard line, Inman hit Goins for a 38-yard play to the Harlan County 32-yard line. Singleton cut the corner and went 32 yard for the score with: 27 left. The kick was blocked allowing Harlan County a 28-27 lead.
Smith and McMillian drove the Black Bears down the field for the decisive touchdown. Smith capped a 10-play drive with a 25-yard touchdown run. Smith had 55 of the 63 yards.
A turnover by the Colonels cost Whitley County a chance to respond. Bowlin returned the ball to the 33-yard line and a 17-yard pass to Bowling had the Colonels at midfield with just over five and a half minutes to play.
A Brewer interception at the 20-yard line stooped the Colonels’ threat. But, that’s when Bramlett came up with the fumble and the Colonels’ last chance.
The Colonels (2-3, 0-1) will host Clay County Friday night.
Harlan Co. 41, Whitley Co. 27
Whitley Co. 7 7 13 0- 27
Harlan Co. 7 13 8 13- 41
HC- Marcus McMillian 7 run (Jenkins kick)
WC- Jordan Singleton 65 run (Seth McCoy kick)
HC- Dylon Smith 3 run (Jenkins kick)
WC- Justin Goins 61 pass from Travis Inman (McCoy kick)
HC- Brewer one run (kick failed)
WC- Cody Bramlett 45 run (McCoy kick)
HC- Smith 26 run (Smith run)
WC- Singleton 32 run (kick blocked)
HC- Smith 25 run (run failed)
HC- Smith 10 run (Jenkins kick)
Rushing-Whitley County: Singleton 4-104, Bramlett 10-64, Bowlin 5 (-1), Inman 6 (-24), Shoupe 2-4. Totals 27-147. Harlan County: McMillian 18-47, Smith 27-240, Brewer 4-18, Whitehead 2-1, Chitwood 1-3, Middleton 2-8, Chorak 2-5. Totals 56-322,
Passing-Whitley County, 5-12-1-144; Harlan County, Brewer 2-6-1-44. Receiving-Whitley County, Goins 3-123, Bowlin 1-17, Singleton 1-5; Harlan County, Smith 1-Smith 1-34, Maggard 1-9.