Harlan County (3-5) had to hold off several Middlesboro rallies to claim the win.
Freshman tailback Cody Taylor got the Bears off to a good start with a 35-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
Middlesboro pulled even as a pair of juniors, quarterback Cody Foister and wide receiver Barton Poore, teamed on a 60-yard touchdown pass. Foister added the two-point conversion.
Taylor put Harlan County back on top with a 4-yard run, but Middlesboro answered as sophomore Cody Smith went 5 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 14-14 at halftime.
Freshman quarterback Jordy Brewer connected with sophomore fullback Jeremiah Eldridge for a 30-yard pass play to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman Marcus McMillian with 4:12 left in the third quarter. Eldridge powered his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Smith’s 5-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left in the third quarter cut the deficit to 22-20.
Shay Patterson, a junior wide receiver, appeared to give Middlesboro the lead with a 72-yard punt return, but a penalty wiped out the touchdown.
Harlan County freshman end Chase Calton recovered a fumble on the next play. McMillian went 72 yards for a touchdown one play later, but a holding penalty wiped out the score.
The Harlan County defense stepped up at that point as freshman linebacker Josh Jenkins returned a Foister interception 55 yards down the sideline for a touchdown with 5:23 left in the game.
Alex Carr, a junior defensive back, picked off a Foister pass with 4:16 left, but the Bears were unable to run out the clock.
Junior side receiver Jessey McDaniel got behind the Harlan County defense for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 2:04 left. The Bears stopped on the two-point conversion to preserve the lead as a pass from Foister fell incomplete after he was pressured by sophomore Brian Owens and junior Larry Williamson.
Two runs by Taylor for first downs helped Harlan County run out the clock as Brewer took a knee on two straight snaps after the Bears drove to the Middlesboro 3.