Harlan put together perhaps its most complete game of the season in a 53-7 victory at Lynn Camp in September. The Green Dragons will look for a similar effort today as they host Lynn Camp in a playoff rematch.
“It’s a whole new season now. We have to focus on this week and this week alone. We can’t worry about what happened in the past,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue. “I am sure Lynn Camp is better than when we played them earlier in the season.”
Harlan piled up 338 yards through the air and added another 258 on the ground in the first meeting. Meanwhile, the Dragons limited Lynn Camp to just 4-yards of total offense.
“We have to get the same balance that we had that night. That is what we are looking for,” Donahue said. “We have to stop their quarterback. He is a good playmaker for them and runs around a lot. We have to play our assignments and control their running game and not give up any big plays when they put it in the air.”
Despite the 46-point loss, the Wildcats trailed just 14-7 after the opening period. To close the gap this time around, Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell said his team must be more consistent.
“We have to sustain drives. That has killed us most of the year. We get the football and go three-and-out and the other team gains momentum,” he said. “If we can score points early then we gain momentum. Our kids are emotional kids. We just try to stress to them that you have to play four quarters.”
The Wildcats will line up in multiple sets on the offensive side of the football. Junior Aaron Mills will lead the attack at quarterback.
“We can line up and run power football, run a version of the option and run the spread game. One big thing we try to do now is just get the ball to our playmakers,” Russell said.
Lynn Camp enters the playoff opener as the third seed in District 5. The Wildcats have victories over East Ridge, Pineville and Berea this season.
Today’s contest will mark the fifth straight season that Harlan has opened the playoffs at home. The Green Dragons won each of the previous four contests.
“It is always a plus. It is a reward to the kids for the work they have put in. They will get the privilege of walking down the street again Friday night,” Donahue said. “I want to encourage everybody to come out and stand along Central St. and watch these kids walk down the street to a home playoff game.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.