Unlike a year ago when they rallied from a 15-point deficit to win at Thomas Walker, Va., no second-half comebacks would be necessary for the Harlan Green Dragons in the rematch at home Friday.
The Dragons scored on five of their first six possessions, building a 35-point halftime lead on the way to a 41-6 victory Friday.
Harlan (2-0) scored on its opening drive, marching 44 yards in nine plays after linebacker Tanner Parks stopped quarterback Jacob Davis for a loss on fourth down to end Thomas Walker’s first drive. Parks went the final 4 yards for the touchdown on an inside trap. Kilian Ledford added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 7:10 to play in the first quarter.
Dawson Lee lined up for a punt after the Pioneers were stopped on their next series and had to escape the end zone after he recovered a fumbled snap. Lee was stopped on the 9, giving the ball back to Harlan. The Dragons needed only three plays as Parks went in from the 1 with 1:38 left in the opening period. The second of five straight Ledford extra points pushed the lead to 14-0.
Another bad snap set up the Dragons on the Thomas Walker 30 on the first play of the second quarter. Joey Swanner and Andrew Saylor each picked up first downs in a six-play drive that ended with Swanner’s 1-yard touchdown run. Ledford’s extra point stretched the lead to 21-0.
Lee was unable to handle the snap as he lined up for another punt, giving Harlan the ball on the Pioneers’ 20 with 7:10 left in the half. Ledford scrambled 20 yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-10 play. He also hit the extra point for a 28-0 lead with 4:50 to play before the break.
Ledford came up with an onside kick to set up the fifth Harlan touchdown, also coming on a fourth-down play. Ledford connected with Caleb Adkins for a 25-yard touchdown on a play that was nullified by an illegal forward pass. Ledford found Jarrett McKenzie for a 23-yard gain on the next play, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Kendal Brock with 1:49 to play in the half.
Jake Janeway picked up Thomas Walker’s first and second first downs as the Pioneers drove inside Harlan territory before freshman defensive back Christian Boggs picked off a Davis pass to end the half.
The Dragons drove 65 yards in seven plays to open the second half. John Brady Brock, Parks and Swanner each picked up first downs before Parks went the final 17 yards for a touchdown at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter, starting a running clock.
Thomas Walker (0-2) scored on a nine-play drive as Davis went in from the 3 on the last play of the game. No conversion was attempted.
Harlan travels to Bracken County in a Saturday afternoon game next week.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134