A hard-hitting defense and unstoppable ground attack sent the New Harlan Patriots to a surprisingly easy 46-14 victory over visiting Cumberland in seventh- and eighth-grade football action Thursday.
Garry Henson led the Patriots in the first-half barrage, running for two touchdowns at tailback while recovering two onside kicks on special teams and forcing an interception from his linebacker position as New Harlan set the tone for the game with an ultra aggressive defense.
The Patriots marched 52 yards in 10 plays on their opening drive as Henson, Ben Landis and Dalton Johnson each picked up first downs before Henson went the final 3 yards for the touchdown with 2:46 left in the opening quarter. Henson followed with the first of three two-point conversions in the half.
Cumberland quarterback Xavier Simmons raced through the heart of the New Harlan defense early early in the second quarter for a 26-yard touchdown. Elijah Smallwood stopped Simmons on the two-point attempt.
Jacob Thompson took an inside handoff and raced 48 yards for a touchdown with 6:04 left in the half. Henson’s two-point conversion gave the Patriots a 26-16 lead.
A Jesse Whitehead fumble recovery set up Henson’s 50-yard touchdown run with 5:49 to play in the half. Landis went in for the two-point conversion.
Landis went 37 yards for a touchdown with 4:29 left and Henson added the two-point conversion for a 32-6 lead. New Harlan had 225 yards rushing in the first half
The New Harlan defense got in on the act when Henson hit Simmons as he released a pass and Landis came up with an interception and returned it 60 yards for a TD and a 38-6 halftime advantage.
New Harlan marched 51 yards in nine plays to open the second half, capped by Johnson’s 1-yard run with 54.7 seconds left in the third. Landis added the two-point conversion as the lead grew to 40.
The Redskins drove 55 yards in eight plays to score on Simmons’ 8-yard TD run with just over a minute left. Tyler Casolari added the two-point conversion.
Cumberland (1-1) returns to action Tuesday at Middlesboro. New Harlan (2-2) plays at Knox Central on Thursday.
Four Patriots reached the end zone as New Harlan improved to 3-0 in fifth- and sixth-grade action with a 36-24 victory.
New Harlan built a 20-0 halftime lead.
Cody Clayborn scored on a 10-yard run in the first quarter, then Josh Turner teamed with Justin Maiden for the two-point conversion.
Matt Brown raced 68 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Turner teamed with Tanner Jordan for a 65-yard strike later in the period.
Joshua Swanner put Cumberland (0-2) on the board with a 50-yard return of a fumble in the third quarter. Swanner also added the two-point conversion.
Brown had a 30-yard run to set up Hunter Blevins’ 10-yard run up the middle for a touchdown as New Harlan answered. Clayborn teamed with Hunter Helton for the two-point conversion.
Swanner raced 50 yards on a sweep around left end, then added the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 28-16 in the fourth quarter.
Turner teamed with Brown for a 52-yard scoring pass. Brown’s two-point conversion put the Patriots back up by 20.
Justin Moyers and Anthony Flores each picked up first downs as the Redskins drove for a final TD. Zac Collett, the Cumberland quarterback, went the final 13 yards for the score with 2:23 left. Moyers went in for the two-point conversion.