Green Dragons seek redemption in trip to Tennessee


By John Henson, Managing Editor

The Harlan Green Dragons found out how quickly three good quarters can be wiped away by one bad one in last year’s matchup against Unaka, Tenn., as the visiting Rangers rallied from a six-point deficit going into the final period to win 52-34 by outscoring the Dragons 24-0.
“We had a couple of turnovers that let them back in the game. We got up on them and got kind of lax,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “We have to tighten up defensively. They have a pretty good offense. I think we can exploit some things they do on defense, but we have to slow their quarterback down. He’s a good athlete and can run pretty well. They also have a couple of capable receivers.”
The Rangers no longer have all-state receiver Devin Ramsey, who had a whopping 17 catches for 354 yards in last year’s win, but his brother, Landon Ramsey, returns at quarterback. The 6-foot-3 senior completed 24 of 37 passes for 409 yards in last year’s game.
“He’s pretty good, but we felt the guy we faced last week was pretty good, too,” Perry said. “He lost his brother, but they still have some capable guys.”
Unaka brings a 1-1 record into the game with a 36-12 win over North Greene, Tenn., and a 46-28 loss to Cloudland, Tenn.
Harlan is 2-0 on the season with a 28-22 win over Berea followed by a 22-16 victory last week over East Ridge in the Pike County Bowl at Belfry.
“I thought last Monday we struggled at practice after a win, but this Monday we seemed a little more focused,” Perry said. “I hope this momentum carries over, but.we have to get better every week.”
The Dragons have featured a dynamic ground game through the first two games with senior Jayden Ward rushing for 286 yards and sophomore Dariujs Akal adding 248. Akal sat out the second half of last week’s game with a shoulder injury but is expected back this week.
Seniors Dylan Middleton and Robert Sanford have led the Harlan defense with 15 and 10 tackles, respectively.