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Lions can clinch second with victory over HHS

Former Cumberland coach Randy Frazier has found success in his first season at Pineville, helping the Lions improve from 4-7 last year to 6-2 going into Friday’s game against visiting Harlan. The Mountain Lions can clinch second place and a home playoff game with a victory over the 1-7 Dragons.

“Our kids have bought into what we are trying to do. They work hard. We’ve have had some ups and downs we are not where we want to be. We have to get stronger and improve in several phases of the game. I am proud of what our kids have done thus far. We still have work to do,” Frazier said. “Harlan is a team evolving and have evolved into a good running team. They are big and have some hard runners. They have improved every game. “

Senior tailback/linebacker Cole Frazier, a transfer from Bell County, has played a big role in the Lions’ transformation with 1,071 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, along with a team-high 47 tackles. Devon Morris has added 823 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior quarterback Reece Capps has passed for 290 yards, completing 17 of 41 passes.

“They have a two-headed monster there with two good backs,” Harlan coach Eric Perry said. “One is a power back with speed and the other is shifty and also has speed. They are playing well on defense as well. They have their numbers up to 35 or 36. He has come in and done a nice job with them.”

Junior quarterback Ethan Clem has carried the Harlan offense since moving from running back when Connor Scearse suffered a broken arm. Clem ran for 207 yards last week out of the Wildcat formation in a hard-fought 32-20 loss at Lynn Camp.

“The last three games we’ve been able to run the ball pretty well,” Perry said. “Our offensive line play is much improved. I shot us in the foot right before the half and gave them the ball back when I decided to throw it. The kids bounced back and scored two touchdowns, but I think we ran out of gas. It’s kind of a numbers game for us. The kids played hard, and I can’t fault the effort.”

The Dragons will be without Scearse, Juan Bynum and Triston Cochran on Friday due to injuries and lost a couple of other players due to suspensions, so numbers will be down again in the teens after having 21 in uniform last week