By Les Dixon/Sports Editor
First-year coach Phil Russell believes his Lynn Camp Wildcats can surprise today when they travel to face-off against Harlan in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
The two teams met on Sept. 14 with the Green Dragons pulling out a 53-7 win over the Wildcats, but Russell believes his squad has learned from the loss and will be ready to play.
“We were able to watch the film and see what we done wrong against them the first time and work on those things,” he said. “I’m sure we’re not going to be picked by many, but we don’t want our season to end. We’re going to go out there and give it 100 percent. I know we are ready to play.”
Russell has done a good job of erasing the memory of last season’s 0-10 mark by guiding Lynn Camp to three wins so far this season and now he’s going to try to erase the Wildcats’ drought in post-season play.
Lynn Camp has lost six straight playoff games while being outscored 216-61 during the process. The last time the Wildcats won a playoff game came on Nov. 4, 2005 when they defeated Hazard at home during first round action, 35-20.
“We’ve been working hard this week during practice,” Russell said. “We know Harlan has a good team, but it was only 14-7 going into the second quarter and there were things we can build on from that game.
“They have some injuries, and I know they were expecting this year to be a good one for them with the players they had returning,” he added.
Harlan began the season with a 1-3 record, but rebounded after defeating Lynn Camp. The Green Dragons were winners of four of their last five games until Corbin snapped their two-game winning streak last week by winning, 42-13.
“The final score really surprised me,” Russell said. “We’re going to have to play a good game to win, and our guys know that. The key for us is to not turn the ball over.”
Harlan is led by quarterback Ty Saragas, who had completed 99-of-171 pass attempts for 1,526 yards and 19 touchdowns going into its game against Corbin last week. His main receiving threats are David Allen (31 receptions, 559 yards and six touchdowns), Eric Young (27, 462 and seven) and Dakota Morris (14, 166 and one).
Fear "Les" Prediction: Harlan 42, Lynn Camp 14