The Pineville Mountain (4-2) will be hosting the Harlan Green Dragons (3-2) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the Class A state playoffs.
Pineville earned the home playoff game by virtue of a 29-8 win at Harlan on Oct. 23. In that the game the Lion defense intercepted five passes and also recovered a fumble while holding Harlan to just 60 yards of total offense.
Offensively, the Lions used a strong ground game as six runners combined for 270 yards on 40 carries. Reese Capps ran for 90 yards and two TDs and Trevor Kidd added 42 yards and two scores in the game.
“The play of our linemen was the key to that game. We were moving people and getting four, five and six yards every time we ran the ball,” Pineville coach Randy Frazier said. “And on defense we were getting into the backfield and causing them some problems.”
Expect the Lions to use a similar game plan on Friday. They’ll need to contain quarterback Ethan Clem and running back Jayden Ward while maintaining the progress they’ve made defending the pass during the season.
“Harlan has been off since that game and I’m sure they’ve spent a lot of time over the last five weeks getting ready for us,” Frazier added. “I’m sure we’ll see a few new wrinkles from them on Friday night.
“Coach (Eric) Perry has done a great job with that program. You have to give him a lot of credit for taking that group of kids and improving them as much as he has this season.”
The winner of Friday’s game will likely be making a visit to Williamsburg (3-2) next week to play for the district championship.
“We want to play well in front of our home crowd and the playoffs is what we’ve been working for all season,” Frazier said. “We want to earn the opportunity to go to Williamsburg and show that we’re better than what we showed when we played them during the regular season.”