Dragons travel to Virginia after 2-week break

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

After a two-week break between games, perhaps for the first time in the long history of Harlan High School football, the Green Dragons will travel to Virginia on Friday to take on Thomas Walker.

“We’ve been focusing more on us, trying to get better individually at what we’re doing and as a team,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “Our numbers are still not great, but the guys there are practicing really hard. I think we’ve got tighter as a team.”

Thomas Walker (3-1) is off to one of its best starts in recent memory with wins over Cumberland Gap, Tenn., 35-12, Castlewood, Va. 14-12 and Rye Cove, Va., 54-12 before falling 26-6 last Friday at Pineville.

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Thomas Walker features a big quarterback in 6-foot-5 sophomore Zack Kidwell

“They will spread it out and make you think they are going to throw, but they run it about 80 percent of the time,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “They like to run jet sweeps and counter. They play very hard and more physical than I’ve usually seen from Thomas Walker.

Harlan (1-4) picked up its first win of the season last week with a 1-0 forfeit over Jenkins, which suspended its program due to low numbers. The Dragons did the same in forfeiting to Harlan County to open the season, then were competitive in losses to Berea and Phelps before being overpowered by Middlesboro in their last game.

“I think if we play to our capabilities we should be OK and be able to play with them,” Perry said. “If we don’t and start walking around like we did at Middlesboro we’ll be in trouble.”

The two teams have split four recent games with Harlan winning 41-28 in 2015 and 41-6 in 2016 and Thomas Walker winning 13-8 in 2017 and 29-24 last season.

Harlan could still be without several key players due to injuries. Junior quarterback Connor Scearse is out for the year with a shoulder injury. Sophomore linebacker Triston Cochran and senior lineman Jordan Howard are both questionable for Friday’s game due to injuries. The Dragons are also without junior receiver Juan Bynum, who is questionable for the remainder of the season.

The Dragons will open their district schedule next week at home against Williamsburg before traveling to Lynn Camp and Pineville.