It came down to the last possession on Friday when Pineville squared off against Harlan. A fumble inside the red zone with seconds remaining sealed the game as the Mountain Lions went on to win 43-36 over the visiting Green Dragons.
With a little over 20 seconds remaining in the game, Tanner Parks threw the ball to Caleb Adkins inside the 20-yard line. Adkins caught the ball briefly before a Pineville defender knocked the ball loose. Jalen Byrd recovered the fumble at the 2-yard line to give the Mountain Lions the victory.
The night started off positive for the Green Dragons. On the first play of the game, Killian Ledford intercepted a pass from Tucker Woolum. He returned the ball down to the Pineville 38.
The 10-play Harlan drive was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Nick Jarvis to put the Green Dragons up 7-0 with 7:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Pineville responded on the ensuing drive. The Mountain Lions drove the ball into Harlan territory behind the legs of Woolum and Lawrence Simpson. An 8-yard pass from Woolum to Nike Mason put Pineville in scoring position.
The nine-play drive ended with a 3-yard quarterback keeper from Woolum. The Byrd extra point tied the game at 7 with 2:40 remaining in the quarter.
Harlan took over at the Pineville 42 on the ensuing possession. A 7-yard pass from Parks to Noah Busroe took the Dragons down to the 31-yard line. The Pineville defense held the potent Harlan attack to a fourth-and-6.
A 22-yard pass from Parks to Busroe allowed the Dragons to convert the fourth down. On the next play, a 6-yard touchdown run by Kendal Brock gave Harlan a 14-7 lead with 11:22 remaining in the second.
The Mountain Lions continued its offensive attack on the next drive. They went 75 yards in 11 plays. The drive was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run from Woolum with 6:55 remaining in the half.
Following a quick four-and-out by Harlan, Pineville took over at the 43. It took two plays for Woolum to connect with Byrd on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 4:08 remaining in the half. A missed extra point gave the Mountain Lions a 20-14 lead heading into halftime.
The Green Dragons regained the lead on the opening possession of the second half. A 30-yard pass from Parks to Paul Stapleton set up a 31-yard touchdown catch by Busroe with 7:28 remaining in the third. The Ledford extra point gave Harlan a 21-20 lead.
A three-and-out by Pineville gave Harlan an opportunity to extend their lead. The Green Dragons’ six-play drive ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Parks to Busroe with 2:28 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point extended the Harlan lead to 28-20.
Woolum led Pineville down the field as the third quarter was coming to an end. With 22 seconds remaining in the quarter, he connected with Byrd again for a 58-yard touchdown pass. Woolum converted the two-point attempt to tie the game at 28 heading into the fourth.
Following another four-and-out by Harlan, Pineville regained the lead. The five-play drive was capped off by a 32-yard touchdown reception by Byrd with 9:52 remaining in the game. The extra point brought the score to 35-28 in favor of Pineville.
As was the narrative of the game, Harlan answered on the ensuing possession. With 2:31 remaining in the game, Stapleton scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. Parks connected with Matthew Bailey on the two-point attempt to give the Green Dragons a 36-35 lead.
With 37 seconds remaining in the game, Woolum found Will Adams in the end zone following a six-play drive. Woolum converted the two-point attempt to give the Mountain Lions a 43-36 lead.
A fumble for Harlan on the next possession sealed the game and gave Pineville a victory in the “Battle for 119.”
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN