Hounds defeat Bears in SEKC Gridorama

In.a matchup of regional champions from a year ago, the Corbin Redhounds showed they were a little closer to last year’s form than the Harlan County Black Bears. Corbin scored one touchdown each in the second, third and fourth quarters to defeat Harlan County 21-6 on Thursday in the Southeastern Kentucky Conference Gridorama at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium.

With Chase Estep making the start at quarterback after shifting from running back, the Corbin offense overcame a slow start and moved the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air. Harlan County, with returning starting quarterback Colby Cochran out due to a knee injury, was limited to a ground attack and had trouble finishing drives with seven first downs and no touchdowns in the first half.

After being held without a first down in the opening quarter, the Redhounds marched 51 yards in eight plays in the second quarter. Estep threw to Devyn Sams for a first down, then connected with Sams on a fourth-and- seven play for a first down on the HCHS 2. Nick Yeager went in on the next play and Will Childers followed with an extra point for a 7-0 lead with 7:11 left in the first half.

Corbin threatened again late in the half as Jacob Steely caught a pass for a first down and Christian Gosselin ran for another to the HCHS 32. A dropped pass slowed the drive, which ended when sophomore linebacker Kobe Burkhart pressured Estep on fourth down.

Burkhart and senior linebacker Garry Henson teamed to stop Estep on third down earlier in the half, forcing a punt.

Ben Landis and Tyler Casolari ran for first downs on the Bears’ opening drive of the scrimmage before the Hounds held on their 43. Henson picked up a first down on the second drive.

Casolari ran for two first downs in the second quarter while Henson and Matt Brown each added one.

HCHS junior quarterback Jay Harris ran 19 yards for a first down on the Bears’ first drive of the second half, but he fumbled as he rolled out for a pass and Corbin linemen Peyton Tiree picked up the loose ball and rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown. HCHS coaches called for an incomplete pass on the play, but the officials disagreed. Childers’ extra point pushed the lead to 14-0.

Treyveon Longmire picked up a first down early in the fourth quarter to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Gosselin with 9:18 to play. Childers hit the extra point for a 21-0 lead.

Jacob Wilson directed a 13-play drive that ate up all but a few seconds of what remained on the clock. Demarco Hopkins and Josh Turner each picked up first downs and Casolari ran for two as the Bears drove to the Corbin 7. With the Bears facing a fourth-and-goal from the 15, Wilson rolled out and found Brown in the flat, and the speedy sophomore beat a Corbin defender to the end zone for a touchdown. Cody Clayborne’s extra point attempt was no good.

Corbin, last year’s state runner-up in 4A, will play Whitley County on Aug. 17. Harlan County, which lost in the 5A semifinals last year, will open its regular season schedule on Aug. 18 at Ashland Blazer.