Dragons break through for win at East Ridge


Harlan coach Eric Perry talked with his team during a game earlier this season. The Green Dragons earned their first win with a 29-18 victory Friday at East Ridge.

Almost two years since they last tasted victory, other than a forfeit last season over Jenkins, you can be sure the Harlan Green Dragons enjoyed the flavor of a 29-18 win Friday at East Ridge.
“We shot ourselves in the foot numerous times. I don’t think we were used to being in that situation, but we found a way to win in the end,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “Nothing against East Ridge, but I thought we were five touchdowns better and just not used to a close game like that. We played hard, but we were undisciplined at times. I definitely think it will help our confidence.”

Connor Scearse

Senior quarterback Connor Scearse, who missed much of last season with injuries, came up big in the win as he passed for two touchdowns and ran for two others, collecting 98 yards rushing and completing five of 13 passes for 88 yards.
“He looked a lot more comfortable running our zone read stuff,” Perry said. “He threw the ball well and had a couple of drops. He did a good job running the offense.”
Perry gave much of the credit for the offense’s success to an offensive front that featured three freshmen (Trenton Childers, Malachi Rodriguez and Noah Kirby) due to two starters out because of injuries.
“We didn’t have an offensive linemen over 200 pounds with Isaiah Hall and Jonathan Lewis out, and I thought they played great,” Perry said.
Isaiah Adkins carried the East Ridge offense with three touchdowns on the ground as part of a 102-yard rushing effort.
Scearse found Jeremiah Mills in the opening quarter for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Ethan Clem’s two-point conversion run put the Dragons up 8-0.
Adkins scored on a 2-yard run later in the period to cut the deficit to 8-6.
Scearse’s 10-yard run in the second quarter followed by Clem’s kick game Harlan a 15-6 halftime lead.
Evan Browning caught a 23-yard pass from Scearse in the third quarter as the Dragons’ advantage grew to 22-6 in the third period.
Adkins scored on a 29-yard run in the third quarter and a 6-yard run in the fourth as the Warriors cut the deficit to six with about seven minutes left.
Scearse put the game away with a 26-yard touchdown run.
Jared Eldridge was a leader on defense with nine tackles, including four for losses. Shane Lindsey had 10 tackles and Mills contributed nine.
“I thought we played really well on defense overall outside of a couple of plays,” Perry said. “We were much more aggressive. We did a good job of running and tackling. It was a total team effort.”
Harlan (1-1) travels to Berea on Friday. The Pirates are 0-2 following losses to Clinton County (48-14) and Sayre (42-6).
Harlan 29, East Ridge 18
Harlan 8 7 7 7 — 29
East Ridge 6 0 6 6 —18
H — Mills 25 pass from Scearse (Clem run)
ER — Adkins 2 run (run failed)
H — Scearse 10 run (Clem kick)
H — Browning 23 pass from Scearse (Clem kick)
ER — Adkins 29 run (run failed)
ER — Adkins 6 run (run failed)
H — Scearse 26 run (Clem kick)
First downs 9 12
Rushing-Yds 163 154
Passing 88 27
Comp-Att-Int. 5-13-0 2-3-0
Penalties 15-130 13-25
Fumbles 1-1 2-2

RUSHING—Harlan, Scearse 10-98, Clem 10-59, Ward 4-4. East Ridge, Adkins 13-102, Mullins 10-34, Taylor 4-34, Mason 5-(-16).
PASSING— Harlan, Scearse 5-13-0-88. East Ridge, Mason 2-3-0-27.
RECEIVING—Harlan, Mills 3-41, Browning 2-47. East Ridge, Adkins 1-15, Kendrick 1-12.