The Harlan County freshman team had several chances to win Thursday in action at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium, including when the Bears had the ball at the Clay County 10 with 17.4 seconds left, but an injury to the Clay quarterback led to a long delay. The game eventually ended at that point, tied 22-all, after the player was taken away in an ambulance.
The Bears were driving for the potential winning touchdown when an interception on the Clay 18 ended the threat with two minutes left. The Tigers were unable to move the ball and were dropped for losses twice, then decided to go for it on fourth down from the Clay 10. The Clay quarterback was injured when he was hit on an incomplete pass. HCHS would have had the ball and one timeout, but the game was stopped at that point due to the injury.
Clay led 8-0 after one quarter, but Harlan County answered with a long drive that stretched into the second period. Jacob Bailey and Jay Harris each picked up first downs. Tyler Casolari fumbled on fourth down as he stretched the ball toward the end zone, and Jacob Howard came up with the loose ball for a touchdown. Harris added the two-point conversion to tie the game with 7:05 left in the play in the first half.
The Tigers reclaimed the lead, but HCHS answered again. Harris completed passes to Bailey and Nick Helton for first downs, then found Helton for an 8-yard TD pass. Casolari added the two-point conversion to tie the game at 16 with 25.2 seconds to play in the half.
Harlan County scored on the opening drive of the second half as Casolari picked up two first downs and Howard added one. Harris completed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bailey with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
The Bears had a chance to put the game away when lineman Bradley Wilson recovered a fumble on the Clay 38 on the first offensive play by the TIgers. Harris and Casolari each picked up first downs before the drive stalled.
Clay picked up its initial first down of the half on a 58-yard run by the quarterback. Harris saved the touchdown but Clay scored on the next play. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the game was tied with 5:17 left.
Harlan County (0-1-1) returns to action Thursday at Bell County.