LOG MOUNTAIN - Most Class A teams wouldn’t look forward to playing mountain power Bell County in the Southeastern Kentucky Conference Gridorama, but the Harlan Green Dragons seemed to relish the opportunity Friday. The Dragons turned in a solid performance, especially on the defensive side of the ball, in a 14-0 loss to the host Bobcats.
“I think our kids showed a lot of confidence. We are going to get better in the areas that I know we can get better in,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue. “We are going to put a bigger emphasis on running the football, and it showed tonight that’s what we have worked on.”
Both defenses controlled the first half with the Dragons punting four times in the first 20 minutes, and the Bobcats punting on three of four possessions.
“I’m tickled to death defensively. I think we have come leaps and bounds, and our kids are understanding what we are doing defensively,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue. “I think it shows a lot of offseason work. I think we are a lot stronger in the front seven. We made some mistakes, but it wasn’t effort mistakes.”
Bell County scored the only touchdown of the opening half on its third possession. Shawn Lawson got things going with a 34-yard run to set the Bobcats up at the Harlan 46-yard line. Senior Ryan Collett kept the drive alive with a five yard run to the Dragons 36 on third and four. Collett then broke free for a 36-yard scoring run with 3:50 left in the first half. Hayden Gilbert added the extra point to give Bell a 7-0 lead.
The second half was a duplicate of the first, with Bell County scoring the only touchdown. The Bobcats started the scoring drive backed up at their 10-yard line. Freshman quarterback Peyton Collet connected with fellow freshman Chase Woolum on a big gainer that moved the ball into Harlan territory at the Dragons’ 44. Woolum then broke off a pair of solid runs that moved the ball to the 18. From there Collett took over with three straight runs capped by a six-yard score with 5:30 left. Gilbert’s extra point put the Bobcats up 14-0.
Harlan will host Pikeville in its regular season opener on Friday. Bell County will travel to Lexington Catholic.