Dragons to open district slate after two-week break


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.

After two straight wins, the last thing the Harlan Green Dragons wanted was two weeks off. Anything is possible, however, in the coronavirus world of 2020, and now the Dragons are hoping to return to the field Friday in their district opener against Lynn Camp
“It’s kind of difficult to keep the kids’ attention, but for the most part they gave a good effort,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “They are upbeat this week because we are hoping to play. All in all, it hasn’t been bad. It gave us a chance to get some players healthy.”
The Dragons were down to 18 players two weeks ago, following season-ending injuries to quarterback Connor Scearse and center Isiah Hall and several other issues, but the number is up to 20 this week with Darius Akal back from a shoulder injury and lineman Landon Perkins returning from a concussion. Senior receiver/defensive back Jeremiah Mills has been unable to serve his one-game suspension for an ejection in the Berea game, so he must sit out Friday.
Lynn Camp (0-4) has had its share of problems in 2020 with losses to Clay County (35-20), Estill County (40-6), Bethlehem (44-7) and Pineville (50-20) to open the season.
Normally a strong running team, the Wildcats have struggled to move the ball with Brody Lane leading the team in rushing with 127 yards on 34 carries.
Senior receiver Spencer Gilbert has become the Wildcats’ top option on offense with 20 catches for 281 yards. Tyler Smith has completed 49 of 84 passes for 522 yards, but he has seven interceptions and two touchdowns.
“I think they’ll try to mix it up,” Perry said. “They threw it more than usual last week due to necessity.”
Perry says Gilbert will be a focus for the Dragons’ defense.
“They try to isolate him and get him the ball as much as possible,” he said. “He’s their biggest weapon. We definitely have to know where he is at all times — maybe double coverage. But we have to stop the run first.”
The Wildcats finished 5-6 a year ago with a playoff win over Pineville. The Dragons fell 32-20 at Lynn Camp last season in a hard-fought game.
“We want to get some revenge. We felt that was one we let slip away last year,” Perry said. “Any time you get a win it gets you closer to a home playoff game, so this is a big game for us.”