The current group of New Harlan Patriots have earned quite a few big victories over the past two seasons.
Their win Saturday in Somerset may have been the most impressive, at least to this point.
Matt Brown ran for three touchdowns and Josh Turner added one as the seventh- and eighth-grade Patriots improved to 3-0 with a 26-22 win over North Pulaski, the state champions last year in the seventh-grade division.
North Pulaski took an early lead before Brown broke free on a 57-yard touchdown run. Cody Clayborne teamed with Hunter Helton for the two-point conversion.
After another North Pulaski touchdown, Brown scored on a 39-yard run in the second quarter. The conversion failed and the Patriots trailed 16-14.
Brown scored on a 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put New Harlan ahead to stay.
Turner added an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.
New Harlan coach Jon Reynolds said the Patriots’ defense held up well against the strong North Pulaski offense.
“Our defensive line stood strong all night. The kids really stepped up to the task at hand tonight,” he said. “Jordan Steele was double and triple teamed all night, helping to free up the linebackers. Josh Turner stayed in the backfield, making tackles for loss.”
Reynolds said there were several standouts on offense in addition to Brown and Turner.
“Hunter Blevins helped control the game with a lot of great lead blocks,” he said. “Cody Clayborne played a great game at quarterback, with mistake-free football. Hunter Helton played very aggressive all game, helping our team get a big win tonight.”
New Harlan faces another tough test Saturday at Johnson Central.