Although Cody Logan was named the player of the game, he gave his offensive line the credit on Friday as Harlan held off visiting Leslie County 24-21.
“It does my heart good when they announced the (Donell’s Pharmacy) player of the game and all Cody wanted to do was to give his offensive line the praise,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue.
“The kids put it all on the line. I thought they left it all on the line against a good football team. Coach (Eddie) Melton and his staff does a great job and that’s a heck of a football team we beat tonight.”
Logan powered the Dragons with 136 yards on 27 rushes. Dakota Morris added 79 yards on eight carries. Harlan gained 231 yards on the ground.
Ty Saragas completed eight of 16 passes for 128 yards.
“We knew it coming in they were very strong. Very well coached and physical,” said Melton of the Green Dragons. “We just missed tackles. We had the opportunity to make tackles it cost us big.”
The Eagles were held to 152 total yards. Eddie Horton completed 17 of 36 passes for 136 yards. The Dragons limited Leslie County on the ground with 14 yards on 16 carries.
“The defense is playing well right now,” said Donahue. “Coach (John) Luttrell did a great job and the kids are buying in to what we’re doing defensively.”
Leslie County opened the scoring on its first possession of the game. The Eagles marched 66 yards on 10 plays. Horton connected with James Brock at the 9:06 mark for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Brock’s kick made it 7-0.
Harlan found the end zone late in the opening period as Logan went five yards for a touchdown with 1:29 remaining. The pass attempt failed as the Eagles led 7-6.
Leslie County came back on its next possession to score. Eric Hubbard caught a 14-yard pass from Horton to give the Eagles a 13-6 advantage with 11:55 to play in the first half.
Saragas capped a six-play, 81-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown pass to David Allen with 50.4 seconds left before halftime to make it 13-12.
The Green Dragons took the second half kickoff and marched 65 yards on 13 plays. The drive was capped by a 9-yard touchdown run by Morris at the 4:51 mark as Harlan took an 18-13 lead.
Harlan’s Dawson Charles recovered an on-side kick but the Dragons were unable to capitalize.
The Dragons scored their final touchdown on the next possession. A 12-play, 75-yard drive was capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Logan with 4:37 to play in the game.
Leslie County closed the scoring with 39 seconds remaining as Horton scored from the 5. Horton connected with Hubbard for the two-point conversion.
With no timeouts remaining for the Eagles, Harlan was able to run the clock down for the victory.
“They were playing us to throw the football and we’ve got to take the run when they give us the run,” added Donahue. “We’ve got to be content to take the run and be satisfied with that.
“They’ve got a good football team and that’s a good one for us to build on, on down the road.”
Both teams will be open next week before entering district competition on Oct. 5. Harlan travels to Hazard and Leslie County visits Betsy Layne.