Dragons set up showdown with Lions by defeating Lynn Camp


Chris Jones

Harlan running back Dylan Middleton found an opening against the Williamsburg defense last week. Middleton scored a touchdown Friday and added three two-point conversions in the Green Dragons’ 46-22 win at Lynn Camp.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

CORBIN — Harlan ended a four-game losing streak and stayed alive for a home playoff game by winning a 46-22 shootout on Friday at Lynn Camp.
The Dragons improved to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in district action while Lynn Camp fell to 0-8 overall and 0-2 in district action.
“Any win for us is good right now, but it was very sloppy,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “We were able to score a few points, but that’s about all I can say about it. We are playing for something at least next week.”
Perry was not happy with what he described as a lack of discipline from the Dragons. Harlan was penalized 13 times for 135 yards.
“We’re totally undisciplined and that comes back on me,” Perry said. “We harp on it all the time. We tell them they always catch the second guy, and our guys always have an excuse with he said or she said, but I could care less what he said. It goes back to selfish play.”
Both teams have struggled with low numbers as the season winds down. Lynn Camp had 16 players in uniform and Harlan had 21 after losing four players to season-ending injuries.
Each team had nine-play scoring drives to open the game as Harlan went 54 yards and Lynn Camp went 58.
Will Austin and Evan Browning had catches on Cade Middleton passes in the Dragons’ opening drive, then Darius Akal broke free for a 23-yard touchdown run. Cade Middleton added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 6:45 left in the opening quarter.
Senior quarterback Tylen Smith had a couple of runs for first downs on the Wildcats’ first drive. Brody Lane went the final 8 yards for a touchdown with 3:07 to play. Akal made the stop on the two-point attempt as the Dragons maintained a two-point lead.
After an exchange of turnovers, including an Austin interception and an Akal fumble, the Dragons struck quickly with a three-play drive that featured a 30-yard run by Akal and an 11-yard TD run by Dylan Middleton. Dylan Middleton also powered his way in for the two-point conversion and a 16-6 lead with 6:35 left in the first half.
Noah Kirby recovered a fumble on the next to last play of the half to end a Lynn Camp drive near midfield.
Browning had the highlight play of the night when he picked off a Duane Sparks pass and took it back 62 yards for a touchdown, picking up blocks along the way as he zig-zagged across the field near the Lynn Camp 30 on his way to the score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Dragons led 22-6 with 5:46 to play in the third quarter.
“We work on special teams a lot. That was a great play,” Perry said. “He also had a return that was called back.”
Sparks, who came on to replace Smith at quarterback when he went out with an apparent shoulder injury late in the first quarter, found an opening up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown run with 4:41 left in the quarter. Lane’s two-point run cut the deficit to 22-14.
Cade Middleton found Austin open across the middle on the Dragons’ next drive and the junior receiver went in from the 17. Cade Middleton’s two-point conversion made the score 30-14 with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
Sparks teamed with Jacob Cox for an 11-yard TD with 3:56 to play. Lane’s two-point conversion cut the deficit to eight.
Harlan put the game away when Cade Middleton, who ran for 150 yards, found a wall of blockers down the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown with 3:09 to play. Dylan Middleton added the two-point conversion.
Austin sealed the win when he turned his second interception of the night into a 55-yard touchdown. Cade Middleton teamed with Dylan Middleton for the two-point conversion.
“I was very pleased with Will. He had some plays for us offensively and defensively,” Perry said. “He’s a great kid and a positive influence. He is one of the very few able to keep his head during adversity.”
Both teams are on the road for district games next Friday as Harlan plays at Pineville and Lynn Camp goes to Williamsburg. The winner of the Harlan-Pineville game will be at home for the first round of the Class A playoffs in a rematch of next week’s game.