Bell battles HCHS on Log Mountain

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bell County has traded wins and losses since Sept. 15, when Whitley County broke the Bobcats’ three-game winning streak. Bell will have a chance to end that trend on Friday when the team welcomes Harlan County in the regular season finale.

Last week, the Bobcats earned a 49-12 victory over Jackson County to earn the No. 3 seed in the district. A win over the Black Bears will give them a two-game winning streak heading into the postseason.

Harlan County is also looking to establish a two-game winning streak against Bell. Last Friday, the Bears handed Perry County Central a 38-14 loss. The team hasn’t seen consecutive wins since they defeated North Laurel and Letcher County Central in back-to-back weeks in September.

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Bell and Harlan County have played each other every year since 2009. The Bobcats own a 5-3 series lead over that stretch. Last year, the Bears ended a two-year losing streak with a 48-12 victory over Bell County.

During that game, Bell was held to 30 yards passing and 149 yards rushing, while the defense allowed 436 yards on the ground.

Know the Black Bears

While Harlan County sits at 4-5, their record can be a little misleading. After an impressive 49-28 win over Ashland Blazer, the Black Bears lost four straight games against quality opponents. Those losses came against Hazard, Tates Creek, Knox Central and Wayne County.

Harlan County holds a 3-1 district with wins over North Laurel, Letcher County Central and Perry County Central. The Bears only district loss came against Whitley County.

Tyrese Simmons and Quintin Mickens boast a strong rushing attack for Harlan County. Simmons leads the way with 530 yards and seven touchdowns. Mickens has ran for 519 yards and seven touchdowns.

Colby Cochran lines up behind center for the Bears. He has thrown for 671 yards and five touchdown while completing 52 percent of his passes. He has also tossed five interceptions.

Devon Rodrigues leads the team in receptions with 34. He has tallied 371 yards and three touchdowns. Simmons and Mickens have 133 and 130 yards respectively. Simmons also has a receiving touchdown on the year.

The Harlan County defense has allowed an average of 147.6 yards on the ground and 115.3 yards passing per game. Garry Henson and Caleb Carmical pace the team in tackles. Henson has tallied a team-high 95 tackles on the year, while Carmical has racked up 89.

Rodrigues leads the secondary with three interceptions this season. Mickens has one interception return for a touchdown. Ethan Baird and Jacob Ward each have two fumble recoveries on the year.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN