Anderson and the Green Dragon defense kept Pineville going backwards all most as much as forward as Harlan claimed a 35-0 win over the floundering Mountain Lions.
Pineville found some success through the air as freshman quarterback David Adams completed six of seven passes for 87 yards. But on the ground, the Lions had 17 runs for negative yardage, finishing with just 54 rushing yards on 39 carries.
Anderson, who missed the Dragons' first four games due to an injury, played a large part in Harlan's defensive success.
"Their nose guard (Anderson) is a heck of a player," said Pineville coach Tuck Woolum. "He ripped us all night long. We just couldn't handle him."
"I think what a lot of people are starting to see that that big cog in the middle of the defense makes a lot of difference," said Donahue. "He throws a lot bodies around and forces a lot of double teams in the middle of our defense."
Harlan, meanwhile, controlled the game with a balanced offensive attack, amassing 312 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback Donnie Clem turned in his best game of the season, completing three of four passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
"I give them a lot of credit," said Donahue. "They're very aggressive and get after you on defense, and I'm proud of the fact we did this against a pretty good defense."
Harlan's offense sputtered on its first possession, but a big defensive play got the Dragons going as Teddy Thompson forced a fumble while dragging Adams down in the backfield on third and long.
Harlan took over near midfield, and two plays later, Casey Belcher broke through the Pineville line and raced 40 yards to the end zone. Thompson's kick put Harlan on top 7-0 with 3:36 left it the opening quarter.
Belcher, a freshman pressed into duty by an injury to junior Andrew Grieshop, led the Dragons with 103 yards on just seven carries. Thompson, a sophomore, added 69 yards on six carries as seven different players carried the ball for Harlan.
"These young kids had another heck of a night," said Donahue. "I think we're starting to see the dividends of suffering through some hard times early on."
A 49-yard punt by Adams on Pineville's next possession backed Harlan up to the cusp of the goal line. Senior fullback Chad Chasteen got the call on four straight plays to bring the ball out to the Mountain Lions' 17.
After a 3-yard run by Belcher, Clem found Travis Williams all alone behind the Pineville defense for an 80-yard scoring strike to widen the lead to 13-0 with 8:49 remaining in the half.
"We had a 99 3/4-yard drive," said Donahue. "That's just a heck of an effort on our kids' part."
The Dragons tacked on another score as the first half came to a close. Clem appeared to have another long strike to Williams, but the 83-yard bomb was called back due to a penalty.
But Thompson ran 53 yards on the next play and the Dragons capped the 80-yard drive with a 16-yard pass from Clem to senior tight end Logan Curry. Thompson ran for the two-point conversion and a 21-0 halftime lead.
"We had a long touchdown pass that was called back and then come back and rip them for 20 yards on a running play. I think we developed some more character and some more heart tonight," said Donahue. "I think this thing is looking better."
"We executed better offensively tonight, we just killed ourselves," said Woolum. "In the first half they hit three big plays on us. Other than that, we played pretty well. We're still in the ballgame, but we came out in the second half with no emotion and no intensity. The kids just quit."
After rushing for 53 yards on 22 carries in the first half, the Mountain Lions' ground attack dried up to nothing after the break. Despite a 34-yard gain by Thomas Hensley, Pineville netted just one yard on 17 second-half carries.
The bright spot was Adams, who hit five of six passes in the second half.
"David Adams played a good game," said Woolum. "He continues to improve every week. He's a tough kid."
"They've got some good skill kids," said Donahue. "Brandon Alexander is a heck of a linebacker, and their freshman quarterback is going to be outstanding."
Harlan added to its lead early in the third quarter, and it was again the defense keying the score.
With Pineville punting from its own 15, Adams was forced to tuck the ball due to the Harlan rush and was brought down at the 5.
Two Chasteen runs and a Thompson kick later, the Dragons held a 28-0 lead.
Harlan capped the scoring in the closing seconds of the third quarter as Marvin Smith sacked Adams, forcing a fumble which Anderson recovered at the Pineville 13.
Two plays later, Belcher burst through from 7 yards out for his second touchdown of the day.
Harlan (5-3 overall, 3-1 district) will play host to Somerset on Friday in a game which could decide the district title.
"I guess I may be the eternal optimist, but if we win the next two weeks, we're in first place," said Donahue. "We did that in