Letcher County Central fell by a score of 56-28 at rival Harlan County to make its record 3-4 and 1-1 in district play. The Cougars trailed by 28-21 at halftime but ran out of gas down the stretch.
Harlan County received the ball to begin the game and used a 11-play, 60-yard drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacob Wilson to take an early lead 7-0.
The Cougars answered quickly when quarterback Carson Adams threw a swing pass to Hunter Campbell, who after being tackled somehow kept his feet and scored a 62-yard touchdown. The extra point was made by Eric Chesley to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:44 left in the first quarter.
The Black Bears quickly moved down the field and scored on a 9-yard touchdown run by running back Demarco Hopkins to retake the lead 14-7.
LCC started at its own 10-yard line after the kickoff. Hunter Campbell had an 18- yard run to start the drive. Two plays later Carson Adams scrambled for a 24-yard gain to get into Harlan County territory. The drive stalled after that and the Cougars turned the ball over on downs.
Harlan County methodically drove the ball deep into LCC territory and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by Ben Landis to increase its lead to 20-7.
After a 3-and-out by the Cougar offense, Harlan County scored from 4 yards out on a keeper by Josh Turner. The two-point conversion was good to make the score 28-7.
Carson Adams pump faked a swing pass to Campbell and found a streaking Sam Little for a 62-yard touchdown. The extra point made the score 28-14.
A fumble on the kickoff was recovered by senior Thomas Whitaker near midfield to give the ball back to the LCC offense.
On 4th-and-goal from the 2, Adams was stopped just short of the goal line by the Black Bear defense for a turnover on downs.
LCC forced a punt and then scored on a 7-yard pass from Adams to Zach Hensley just before halftime to make the score 28-21 at the break.
The Cougars received the ball to start the second half and had a 48-yard run by Campbell to start the drive but a crucial sack on 3rd down forced a LCC punt.
Landis scored his second touchdown of the day from 2 yards out to increase the Black Bear lead to 35-21 midway through the third quarter.
Adams faked a reverse and connected on a 53-yard pass to Luke Goins. Two plays later Adams dragged a defender into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown run to make it 35-28.
Landis scored on a 6-yard run up the middle to help Harlan retake control of the game. After a LCC punt, Harlan County quickly scored again for a 49-28 lead.
Landis would tack on one more rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter for a 56-28 final score.
Carson Adams had his best passing game as a LCC quarterback. Adams completed 10 passes on 19 attempts for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns and spread the ball to 6 different receivers. Adams also had a rushing touchdown for the Cougars. Hunter Campbell gained 76 yards rushing on 11 attempts and caught 2 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Alex Blair had 3 receptions for 58 yards. Sam Little had 2 receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. The score didn’t reflect how close a game it was, Letcher Central had 361 yards of total offense compared to Harlan County’s 421 total yards. The difference in the game was LCC was 0-for-3 on fourth-down conversions and Harlan County was a perfect 2-for-2.
The defense was led by Sam Little who had 17 tackles from his safety position. Jackson Meade had 12 tackles and Koby Barnette had 10 tackles for the Cougars.
The Cougars will look to get back on the winning track when they travel Friday to Clay County with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.