Bell County rolls past Black Bears 38-16, will face Powell in playoffs

Published 4:49 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

PAUL LUNSFORD

Contributing writer

As he has done several times this season. Bell County junior tailback Daniel Thomas leads the Bobcats to a win.

Thomas ran for four touchdowns and 167 yards to lead Bell High to a 38-16 victory at Coal Miners Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Senior Dawson Woolum gained 112 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries as the Bobcats rolled up 320 rushing yards.

Harlan County ran for 195 yards, but was penalized for 82 and committed two turnovers.

Jonah Swanner, a junior quarterback/running back, ran for 122 yards. He played QB for the second straight week at the position held by junior Ethan Rhymer.

Swanner had an illness most of the week. Rhymer has been injured and will miss the playoffs as well.

HC junior running back Thomas Jordan gained 54 yards on 15 carries for the Black Bears.

Swanner completed both of his passes to Isaac Kelly for 17 yards.

Bell County struck first with an 11-play, 86-yard drive on its opening possession of the night. Thomas went in from the 16 with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter. QB Blake Burnett added the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.

Swanner broke tackles as he raced 13 yards for the touchdown. Josh Sergent caught a pass from Swanner for the two-point conversion, tying the game at 8-all. Burnett connected with Thomas for an 80-yard TD pass at the 5:13 mark of the second period. Woolum’s two-point conversion gave the Bobcats a 16-8 lead. Woolum scored on a 25-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. Thomas Jordan raced 25 yards in the period as Harlan County pulled to within 22-16, following Swanner’s two-point conversion run.

Thomas scored two touchdowns on runs of 24 and 1 yards. Burnett found George Pace for a two-point conversion and Ethan Raby added another conversion run. Bell County improved its record to 9-4 in the all-time series against HC. The Bobcats have won four consecutive games. Bell County (8-2) will host Powell County in the first round of the Class 3A KHSAA Playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Bobcats last defeated Powell County 52-20 in the second round of the playoffs on Nov. 13, 2015.

Harlan County (4-6) opens the Class 4A KHSAA Playoffs at Corbin on Friday. The Redhounds completed the regular season with a 10-0 record. HC and Corbin have never met on the football field. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Bell County JV closes with win

The football future looks bright for the Bell County Bobcats for the next few years. Bell County wrapped up the junior varsity season last week with a 22-6 victory over visiting Williamsburg.

Freshman Hunter Everage opened the scoring with 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Josh Owens, also a freshman, added the two-point conversion at the Bobcats led 8-0. Freshman Joseph Brigmon caught a 59-yard TD pass from freshman Hagen Neal. Owens’ conversion run made it 16-9 after one period. The Yellow Jackets scored their only touchdown of the game in the second period. Vince Brock went in from the 4 for Williamsburg.

Bell County closed the scoring in the fourth quarter as freshman quarterback Holden Clark connected with Brigmon on an 8-yard TD pass.

The Bobcats, who are coached by Darrin Clark, ended the 2022 junior varsity campaign with an 8-1 record.