Middlesboro 5th-6th top Harlan 22-0

Published 3:11 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

The Harlan Green Dragons’ 5th-6th football team traveled to Lee Majors Field on Thursday to take on the Middlesboro Yellow Jackets at Bradner’s Stadium in Middlesboro.

The Dragons had a hard time generating offense throughout the game but showed improvements.

“We played a lot better on the defensive side of the ball,” said Harlan coach Joe Baker. “We showed a lot of improvements in areas that we had been focusing on recently. We kind of slacked off in the second half it seemed. Our offense struggled for most of the day, but we showed some flashes there at the end. We’ve got a long season ahead of us and we will be alright.”

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After adjusting to the improved Harlan County defense, Middlesboro’s offense began to accumulate yardage and points.

“Overall, we did alright,” said Middlesboro coach Diran Young. “I knew we were going to struggle on offense a little bit, but we made some adjustments and it worked out for us. Our defense was superb all afternoon. We’ve got a lot of talent and speed. We are focusing a lot on line play right now. We’ve got talent and speed at seemingly every position on the field. We are just working on some technique and fundamental stuff with our lines right now.”

Middlesboro struck fist with a 40-yard touchdown run on a sweep by Joseph Killion, before converting the two-point conversion on a pass from Bryson Heck to Kellon Smith to take an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.

Middlesboro continued to play excellent defense, holding Harlan behind the 50-yard line throughout the first half of the game, as they took their 8-0 lead into the locker room at the half.

The Yellow Jackets added another touchdown in the third quarter as Mekhi Young hit Blake Lambert on a screen pass. Lambert followed his blockers up the left side of the field for six. After converting the two-point attempt, Middlesboro held a 16-0 advantage.

Middlesboro added another touchdown with under a minute left in the game when Young took a hand-off up the left side of the field, breaking six tackles during the run for a touchdown. The Yellow Jackets failed to convert the two-point attempt, giving them a 22-0 victory.

“We’re going to focus on the fundamentals of the game,” said Baker. “We’re going to preach ball protection, fundamentals and technique. We’ve got a long way to go, but we will get there.”

“We’re gonna go in on Monday and get ready for Pineville,” said Young. “We are going to go in and work hard, focus on these lines and fundamentals. We’re looking forward to another hard week of work.”