Eddie Creech wanted to test his team against good competition on a big stage, and he accomplished just that Saturday as Harlan County split four scrimmages in the University of Kentucky 7-on-7 passing camp.
“We had a very successful day in Lexington. We had 22 players participate, and every single one of them contributed,” Creech said. “We wanted our skill guys to face the best of the best, and we more than held our own.”
Harlan County tied for first in its pool, winning two of three scrimmages, and was seeded eighth out of 23 teams in the camp tournament.
Junior quarterback Jacob Branson threw for three touchdowns in a 28-22 win over Western Hills, two to Tyrese Simmons and one to Devon Rodrigues.
Rodrigues had two interceptions in the scrimmage, and the HCHS defense earned four points with two stops.
Harlan County fell 24-23 to Tates Creek as the Bears missed a two-point conversion at the end of the scrimmage.
Chase Coker, a junior running back/receiver, caught two touchdown passes from Branson to lead the HCHS offense. Branson threw to Simmons, also a junior receiver, for a two-point conversion.
Colby Cochran, a sophomore quarterback, threw to Josh Downy for another Harlan County touchdown. Downy also had an interception.
Kennon Napier, Quintin Mickens, Sean Johnson and Lamar Burkhart had first-down catches against Tates Creek
The HCHS offense had a big performance in a 44-28 win over Butler County.
Branson threw two touchdown passes to Rodrigues and one each to Simmons and Chris English. Cochran threw two touchdown passes to senior running back Rhett Alred and one to Coker.
In a 40-27 loss to Western Hills in tournament play, Branson teamed with Rodrigues for two touchdowns and with Simmons and Coker for one each. Branson also had an interception.
Hunter Owens, Marcus Kelly, Garry Henson and A.J. Simmons had first-down catches against Butler County.
Noah Wood and Chandler Funk rotated at center throughout the competition.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134