Coming off their biggest win of the decade and heading into what may be their biggest game so far this century, the Harlan Green Dragons are being warned about enjoying their Williamsburg victory too long and thinking too much about their Pineville showdown that is still a week away as they prepare for Friday’s game at Lynn Camp.
“You have to come back to earth. That was a big game for our kids last week, but it’s all for naught if you don’t go down down there and get another one this week,” Harlan coach J.B. Donahue said. “They are a much improved ballclub too, so we have our hands full.”
The Green Dragons will try to set up the district showdown against the Lions by winning their second district game of the season. Like every game but last week’s against Williamsburg, Harlan (6-1 overall, 1-0 district) will be favored against Lynn Camp (4-4 overall, 0-1 district), an improving team but one that is still not ranked among the district favorites. The Wildcats are coming off a 36-0 loss last week to Pineville in the district opener for both teams.
“J.B. always does a great job, and they’re having a great season,” Lynn Camp coach Allen Harris said. “They will come in Friday night and do what they’re good at. They will run the counters and play action. They have great running backs and are disciplined up front. We’ll have to come in and play a great game. I think it will be kind of a slug out Friday night. Hopefully, we’ll come out on top. I think they have a chance, just like anyone else in this district, to win a district championship this year.”
Lynn Camp got off to a surprising 4-1 start with consecutive wins over McCreary Central (26-22), Jackson County (48-30), Berea (47-15) and Jenkins (45-6), but when the schedule got tougher the Cats started losing. Lynn Camp brings a three-game losing streak into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. with losses to Jellico, Tenn. (44-14) and Clinton County (28-26) before falling to Pineville.
“I think we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,” Harris said. “We worked hard in the offseason to get stronger. We have a different offense and different coaching staff and have more numbers out this year.”
“We have to stay focused and continue to execute and not the turn the ball over on offense,” Donahue said.
Dalton Cook, a freshman who starred on the middle school team at Lynn Camp last year, has had an immediate impact at the high school level with 1,081 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns through eight games.
“He’s their primary runner, and he runs it very well. He has some speed,” Donahue said. “He has a very good ability to cut, and they do a good job of getting him the ball.”
“He’s a phenomenal kid and phenomenal football player,” Harris said. “He’s a great student/athlete who works hard and is dedicated.”
Brenton Medlin is second on the team in rushing with 365 yards, the only other Lynn Camp player with more than 100 yards.
Dylan Brown has completed 32 of 58 passes for 345 yards, with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Austyn Weddle has a team-high 21 catches for 326 yards and six touchdowns.
Harlan has been led on offense by senior fullback Nick Jarvis and sophomore tailback Kendal Brock with 700 and 578 yards, respectively. Sophomore Paul Stapleton has 361 yards on the ground. Junior lineman Thomas Morgan is first on the team in tackles with 44. Freshman defensive back Kilian Ledford is second with 40, and sophomore linebacker Holden Williams has 35.
Donahue said everyone was healthy for the Dragons and should play except for sophomore guard Brandon Day.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134