Turnovers cost Bears in loss at Knox Central

An opportunistic defense that turned three turnovers into points and a big-play offense that featured two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Brady Worley helped Knox Central continues its recent domination of Harlan County with a 41-8 victory Friday over the visiting Black Bears.

Worley completed 10 of 14 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Blevin Campbell and Kevionte Turner.

Blevin Campbell, a senior safety, had two interceptions for 105 yards in returns with one touchdown. Campbell also had four catches for 121 yards and one touchdown.

Tucker Holland, a senior linebacker, led in tackles with 10 and returned a fumble 62 yards for a touchdown.

Sophomore tailback Ethan Mills ran for 75 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns.

“We did a better job in the running game tonight against a big strong Harlan County team,” Knox Central coach Fred Hoskins told the Corbin Times Tribune “It was a good night on both sides of the ball.”

The Panthers got off to a quick start as Mills broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run to give his team a 7-0 lead with 8:41 still remaining in the first quarter after the first of five Nick Martin extra points.

Knox Central went to the air on the next scoring drive as Worley tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Turner with 2:51 remaining in the opening quarter to give the Panthers a 14-0 advantage.

The Panthers got a big boost from their defense in the second quarter as they picked up back to back turnovers that resulted in touchdowns. Campbell picked off a Harlam County pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 21-0 cushion. Just 30 seconds later, Holland returned a fumble for a score.

“Our defense did a pretty good job of that last year,” Hoskins said. “It always helps when you score on defense.”

Mills went back to work in the third quarter as he ran a 5-yard touchdown to extend the Panthers’ lead to 34-0 with 9:11 remaining in the third quarter.

Less then three minutes later, Worley stepped up and threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Campbell for the 41-0 lead. Worley was the leading passer in class 4A coming into the game.

“He does a really good job,” Hoskins said. “He got a lot of experience last year as a freshman and he is building off that.”

The Black Bears found the end zone with 2:15 left when Tyler Casolari went in from the 6. Junior quarterback Jacob Wilson added the two-point conversion.

Harlan County collected 200 yards on the ground and 38 yards through the air.

The 2-1 Panthers will travel to Green County on Friday. Harlan County (0-3) will be at home against Wayne County, another of the state’s top 4A teams.

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Some material for this story was supplied by the Corbin Times Tribune