Bell County runs over, through Letcher Central

Published 12:31 am Monday, September 4, 2023

By Hayden Canady

Contributing Writer

Daniel Thomas was the star of the show once again Friday night on Log Mountain with his 261 total yards and the five touchdowns he accounted for, but this week a lot of his teammates got in on the act.

Email newsletter signup

Ten other Bobcats touched the ball during a 52-18 victory over the the visiting Letcher County Central Cougars.  In their home opener, Bell County rolled up a total of 378 yards rushing and 139 yards passing on the night. Letcher rushed for 191 and threw for 75.

Thomas accounted for 227 of Bell’s rushing yards on 22 carries while crossing the goal line four times.  He also added a touchdown pass to Elijah Hampton covering 32 yards with 13 seconds left in the first half. Hampton also had two other catches in the game, one of which was from Blake Burnett for a wide open 48-yard touchdown  up the left sideline with 5:14 left in the first quarter. Hampton ended the game with 82 yards receiving.

Burnett did not only hook up with Hampton for a TD. He also connected with Hayden Damron with 44 seconds left in the first quarter for a 15 yard touchdown. Damron had two receptions for 28 yards. Joseph Brigmon added one reception for nine yards on the first play of the game. Burnett completed six of eight passes for 107 yards.

Thomas was the first Bobcat to score with 8:56 to go in the first quarter. He plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out. Blake Evans added the two-point conversion.  Thomas also added touchdown runs of 5, 13 and 31 yards.  He also scored two two-point conversions.  Blake Evans contributed three two-point conversions.

Blake Evans had several crushing blocks at fullback to help the Bell County offensive line dominate the running game for the third straight game. But he didn’t just block. He had five carries for 27 yards.  Blake Burnett added three carries for 45 yards. Hunter Everage had three for 13 while Kaleb Miller added two for 35, including a 33-yarder. Hagen Neal rushed five times for 17 yards.  Alex Creech gained one yard on one carry and Blake Lambert had two for minuts two yards.

Letcher got on the board for the first time with 6:19 in the first quarter when Quentin Williams scored from 4 yards out. The extra point by Emma Adams was off the mark.

Peyton Combs got Letcher close 12 seconds into the second period when he made the game 22-12 from 38 yards out on a nice run. The two-point play failed.

Letcher closed the scoring late in the third with the running clock rule in effect to account for the final score. Williams scored that final touchdown on a 55-yard run.

Bell was led on defense by Thomas and Evans with seven tackles each. Damron added six of his own, including one sack. Blake Burnett added an interception.

Following the Short-Redmond Auto Group Pride of the Mountains Bowl game, Letcher’s Combs and Bell’s Burnett were named offensive players of the game. Damron and Letcher’s Dawson Cornett were named defensive players of the game for their respective teams.  Thomas was named the most valuable player of the bowl game.

Bell travels to Hazard to play Perry County Central while Letcher returns home to host the Hazard Bulldogs in action next week.