The Harlan Green Dragons will attempt to snap a four-game skid today as they travel to Shelby Valley.
The Wildcats have started the season 2-2, with one of the region’s youngest starting lineups. Shelby Valley opened the season with a victory over Paris before falling to East Ridge and Paintsville. The Wildcats downed Hurley, Va., 42-14 last week.
Sophomore fullback Chandler Rowe leads a run-oriented Shelby Valley offense. Rowe has 576 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns in four games. Junior halfback Owen Caudill had added 422 yards on the ground. Sophomore Donovan Lane will start under center. Lane has completed eight of 25 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
“They have a real good run game. They do some deceptive stuff out of the Wing-T. They are primarily a running team to we have to concentrate on stopping the run,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue. “It is a little different for the kids to play a team that we don’t play regularly. I don’t think we have played them at all. It will be a different environment and will be unique for us.”
The Green Dragons will attempt to keep the football away from Shelby Valley and control the clock with a balanced attack on offense.
“We have to control ball and throw little more than they do. But, we want to maintain control of the football,” Donahue said. “We are going to try to win the line of scrimmage and be successful. We want to run the ball and take advantage of what passing opportunities we have.”
Sophomore linebacker Trevor Wright leads the Shelby Valley defense assigned with slowing down the Dragons. Wright has 42 tackles, followed by junior linebacker Quinton WIlliams with 34, freshman linebacker Chris Gunter and sophomore defensive back Kasey Tackett with 29 each and freshman defensive back Jordan Hampton with 27.
“It’s going to be a tough task for us. They have 10 seniors, and we have three,” said Shelby Valley coach Stepp. “They should be the favorite because of their age and experience. Their record isn’t indicative of the type of team they have. They lost to a really good Bellevue team and a really good Middlesboro team.”
If the Green Dragons are to leave Pike County with their first win, Donahue said he team must be more consistent.
“We have to be more consistent. We have been erratic this season,” he said. “We just want to be more consistent and maintain some physicality”
Harlan will take the field without starting quarterback Tanner Morris, who is expected to miss three weeks with a rib injury.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.