New Harlan was able to survive a tough test last weekend at Northern Pulaski. They weren’t quite as fortunate on Saturday at Belfry, falling 22-12 to the defending Division 2 champs.
“I was outcoached tonight. I have to do a better job of teaching the kids what to expect and how to react in situations,” New Harlan coach Jon Reynolds said. “Our kids played hard today and left it on the field. They showed their heart.”
Belfry scored first but Matt Brown answered for the Patriots with a 50-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 8-6.
The Pirates pushed their lead 14-6 at halftime on a pass with 30 seconds left in the second quarter.
The lead grew to 22-6 in the third quarter before New Harlan battled back.
Brown scored his second touchdown with an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots were unable to reach the end zone again in suffering their first loss since last year’s regional finals.
“Our defensive front played a great game tonight against a very physical team,” Reynolds said. “It was a great effort by the line tonight. Kobe Burkhart stepped up at the linebacker position, helping force and recover two fumbles. Josh Turner showed his toughness and played through three quarters of the game, fighting through a injury he received early in the game, showing that he is willing to help the team in any way he can.”
New Harlan (3-1) travels to Wayne County on Saturday.
While the seventh- and eighth-grade Patriots were suffering their first loss, the New Harlan fifth- and sixth-grade team was enjoying its first win, a 16-0 shutout of visiting Perry Central Black.
Isaac Kelly scored the Patriots’ first touchdown of the season when he broke free for a 70-yard run in the second quarter. Noah Brewer added the two-point conversion.
Gavin Spurlock added a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, one of two interceptions for Spurlock in the game. Kelly went in for the two-point conversion.
“I was proud of all of them,” New Harlan coach Russell Alred said. “Our offensive line did a good job. We finally got them blocking.”
Alred said linebackers Thomas Jordan and Tanner Griffin were leaders on defense as the Patriots held visiting Perry Black scoreless.
New Harlan (1-2) travels to Evarts on Tuesday.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134