Bell senior Cory Davenport put the Bobcats on top quickly as he took an inside hand off on the first play of the scrimmage, slipped a tackle and found nothing but open space as he went 70 yards for a touchdown.
A bad snap on the extra point try left the score at 6-0 with 19:48 to play in the first half.
Harlan took the ball and marched down the field. They were helped along the way by a pass interference call, but still got as close as the Bell five yard line. Jeffrey Saylor came up with a big sack for a 12-yard loss on second down and the Dragons eventually turned the ball over on downs at the ten.
However,the Bobcats lost a fumble on their next possession and Harlan took over at the Bobcat 29.
One play later, Ty Saragas hooked up with DeMarcus Williams on a 28-yard touchdown pass and Eric Young’s kick put the Dragons on top 7-6 with 8:53 to play in the half.
Bell’s next drive reached the Harlan 28 where they turned it over on downs
Bobcat coach Wayne Mills said he wasn’t concerned with the slow start. Bell kept their formations and play-calling simple with Lexington Catholic scouting the scrimmage.
“In the first half we didn’t want to show a whole lot,” he said. “With Lexington Catholic here, we want their coaches to have to work as hard as we will to get ready next week.”
After a Dragon three and out, the Bobcats drove 75-yards to take the lead.
Again it was Davenport finishing off the drive in impressive fashion with a 45-yard touchdown run.
Hayden Gilbert’s extra point put Bell up 13-7 at the 2:40 mark and that was the score at the half.
Harlan had to punt on their first possession of the second half and Davenport again made a big impression on the next Bobcat drive.
Junior quarterback Corey Oslonian dropped back to pass and the scrambled to his right. Davenport had gone out on short route toward that sideline and when he saw Oslonian head up field he came back and laid de-cleating block on Harlan’s Dylan Chasteen.
Oslonian went on to pick up 35 yards on the run and Chasteen had to be helped off the field.
After another Oslonian scramble got the ball down to the five, Jonathan Polly capped the drive with a 5-yard TD run for a 20-7 Bell lead.
“Our backs do a real good job offensively, our line is big and we’ve just got to work on our consistency,” Mills said. “We’re a young football team and once it clicks for all them we’re going to be tough to stop.”
The next Bobcat drive covered 75 yards on five plays. Ryan Collett had a 30-yard run, Oslonian passed to Tyler Green for 33 yards down to the two, and Collett ran it in from there. With 9:21 to play Bell was up 27-7.
Freshman Evan Brock added a one-yard touchdown run after his 27-yarder was called back by a holding penalty. The TD run was set up by a 36-yard pass from Dalton Brummett to Justin Warwick.
Brummett passed to Jesse Green for the two-point conversion and the Bobcats led 35-7 with 1:26 to play.
The teams agreed to add an extra five minutes to the clock to allow their freshmen teams to play and Harlan scored in the extra period on Stephen Anderson’s three-yard run. Tanner Morris ran for the conversion to set the final score at 35-15.
Bell host Lexington Catholic in their season opener next Friday while Harlan plays at Pikeville.