Dragons, Lions to mark 100-year anniversary of rivalry


Chris Jones

Ethan Clem took the snap during Harlan’s win over Lynn Camp earlier this season. The Green Dragons return to action Friday at Pineville.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

When the Pineville Mountain Lions and Harlan Green Dragons meet Friday at Joe Gilly Stadium, it will only be five days short of the 100th anniversary of the first game between the two teams. The 25-19 Pineville win at Harlan was also the first football game ever for Pineville and first game ever for Harlan — the beginning of the oldest football rivalry in eastern Kentucky.
That rivalry will celebrate a milestone in the 8 p.m. game Friday that will be televised by WYMT. It will also be a big game for both teams with the winner all but locking up a home playoff game. Harlan, with a 3-1 overall mark and 1-0 district record, still has a shot a district championship with a win Friday and at Williamsburg, in a game that was delayed due to coronavirus concerns and could be made up on Nov. 6.
“It would definitely put is in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game. Our kids are excited and we’re preparing well,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “We have to play a lot better than we did last week, and our kids know that. I think we’re capable of that.”
Harlan stretched its win streak to three with a 27-14 victory Friday over visiting Lynn Camp.
“I think they are well coached and they are doing the things they need to do,” Pineville coach Randy Frazier said of the Dragons.
Pineville fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in district action with a surprisingly lopsided 40-0 loss at home against Williamsburg.
“It was 0-0 with five minutes to go in the half, and then they scored twice on us. We had a spurt where we lost focus, and our kids understand that we can’t lose focus this week,” Frazier said. “We’ve had a good week of practice, and we have to prepare for a big game on Friday. We still have some kids out with injuries, but everyone does this time of year. Our kids are excited about playing another district game.”
Junior tailback Devon Morris, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, leads the Lions in rushing through four games with 417 yards. Morris has been slowed by an ankle injury but has been able to practice this week.
“He’s got a lot of speed and can break it at any time,” Perry said. “They are big up front and their linemen move well. They will be a big challenge for us.”
Reece Capps, a senior quarterback, is second with 345 yards rushing with 255 yards passing.
Capps leads the Pineville defense with 36 tackles. Landon King is second with 35.
Jayden Ward rushed for 173 yards to lead the Dragons in their win over Lynn Camp and leads the team with 235 yards, just ahead of senior quarterback Ethan Clem, who has 209 yards rushing.
Shane Lindsey leads the Harlan defense with 29 tackles. Britt Lawson, Triston Cochran, Ward and Dylan Middleton had 19 each.

The 1920 Harlan High School football team is pictured. It was the first team in school history.