With the top three running backs out with injuries, Jarret Ford took it upon himself to lead the Harlan County Black Bears to a 24-20 victory over Corbin in freshman action on Thursday.
The freshman quarterback scored all three of Harlan County’s touchdowns in the first half. Ford opened the scoring with an 11-yard run in the first quarter, before Corbin answered with a touchdown and two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead.
Ford later scored on a 61-yard run in the second quarter. However, the visiting Redhounds answered with another touchdown to take a 14-12 advantage.
Ford put the Black Bears back on top with his third touchdown run to make it 18-14 at the half.
With the Redhounds up 20-18, Harlan County regained possession at Corbin’s 16-yard line when a snap sailed over the punter’s with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Ford connected with Dylan Cornett on a 12-yard pass to move the ball to the 3. Donnie Hensley then capped the drive with a 3-yard scoring run with 3:28 left in the game.
Corbin’s final possession ended when Ford picked off a pass at the Harlan County 38 with 2:44 left.
“I’m tickled to death with this bunch. We are missing a lot of skill people,” said coach Scott Caldwell. “I thought the line stepped up and blocked, and the defense got a stop when we had to. They came out and played Black Bear football.”
Harlan County will host Knox County on Thursday.
Eighth-grade guard Jordan Brock scored 10 points to lead a balanced attack as Harlan improved to 13-1 on the season and won for the ninth straight time by rolling past visiting WIlliamsburg 44-12 on Thursday.
Harlan won 26-16 in the fifth- and sixth-grade game as Emersyn Noah led the Lady Dragons with 12 points.
The Harlan seventh- and eighth-grade team returns to action Saturday in a 16-team eighth-grade tournament at Whitley County.
Harlan (44) — Jordan Brock 10, Madelynn Henson 6, Emma Bianchi 8, Jesse Cochran 8, Callie Wilson 6, Mackenzie King 6.
WIlliamsburg (12) — Kayla GIbson 2, Fhazaeh Jackson 4, Sydney The 4, Tori Lester 1, Kelsey Tye 1.
Harlan (26) — Emersyn Noah 12, Payeton Charles 6, Lori Barton 6, Natalie King 2.
Williamsurg (16) — Channing Baker 5, Lillie Abbott 4, Allison Caddell 2, Lillie Hall 3, Rachel GIbson 2.