“I worried about their size and a letdown with a long trip and possibly looking ahead to Middlesboro next week, but DeMarcus set the tone early, and everyone followed with large contributions,” said Harlan coach Tony Saragas. “It was a treat for our kids to play on the turf at Shelby Valley’s great facility. Our goal as always is to go back to work on Monday and play better this coming week.”
Williams had touchdown runs of 36, 48 and 5 yards in the first quarter. Quarterback Ty Saragas had a two-point conversion run after the first touchdown.
Saragas completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Zach Chitwood in the second quarter. Stephen Anderson added the two-point conversion as Harlan led 28-0 at halftime.
Chitwood scored on a 47-yard run and Saragas connected with Williams for a 5-yard touchdown play as the lead grew to 40-0 after three quarters.
Dawson Charles went 35 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Anderson added his second two-point conversion.
Williams led the Dragons with 95 yards on four carries. Chitwood had 61 yards on two carries. Charles added 34 yards on two carries, and Saragas had 28 yards on three carries.
Saragas completed seven of eight passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Chitwood led in receptions with two for 44 yards. David Allen had one catch for 40 yards.
Anderson led in tackles with seven. Chitwood had six tackles with one interception. Allen added five tackles. Williams recovered two fumbles, while Andrew Brock and Travis Laws added one each.
Harlan (3-1) returns to action Thursday at home in a showdown against Middlesboro for first place in the Mountain Middle School Athletic Conference.
Harlan (1-1) won 20-12 in a seventh-grade game, rallying from a 12-0 halftime deficit.
“I was also excited to see our seventh-grade team make that comeback,” Saragas said. “I think several of those younger guys finally got excited and realized they can contribute. Hopefully, this will build their confidence to help us down the stretch in practice and for next year.”
Seth Blackburn returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown to begin the comeback. Colby Wilson pulled the Dragons with a 34-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter.
Wilson completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Samuel Burkhart to put the Dragons ahead. Manny Davis added the two-point conversion.
An interception by Jordy Boles as time expired sealed the victory for Harlan.
Davis led the Harlan defense with five tackles. Donavan Hensley, Boles and Tye Patrick added four each.
Wilson completed two of four passes for 10 yards. Burkhart and Taylor Ragg each had one catch.
Harlan (3-2) fell 10-0 to Letcher County in the fifth- and sixth-grade game.