The Pineville Mountain Lions attempted to take out 12 years of frustration in one night. After falling to Harlan in every meeting since 2000, Pineville snapped the skid with a 50-0 rout of the visiting Green Dragons on Friday.
“I believe we have come in to this game a couple of times in the past eight years and come out with a loss. We went into the half 30-0, and I felt like it was 6-0,” said Pineville coach Bart Elam. “I know how good of a coach is on that other sideline. J.B. Donahue is one of the best coaches in this half of the state.”
The Mountain Lions put the game away early with four touchdowns in just over 15 minutes.
Pineville took over at the Harlan 33 on their first possession after a Harlan punt netted just six yards. It took the Mountain Lions just one play to reach the end zone as Conner Ford scored on a run off the right side. The two-point pass failed and Harlan led 6-0.
The Mountain Lions forced another punt to set up the next score. Fuson turned in the big play of the drive with a 26 yard run up the middle to the four. Freshman quarterback Tuck Woolum capped the drive with a 2-yard keeper up the middle. Fuson added the two-point run to make it 14-0.
The Pineville special teams recorded the next score. Matt Hubbard scooped up a high snap and raced 23-yards into the end zone. Ford ran in the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 22-0.
The Mountain Lions tacked on another touchdown early in the second quarter, after forcing Harlan to punt. Pineville put together a six-play drive that covered 54 yards and into the end zone. Fuson closed the possession with a 23-yard score with 8:87 left in the half. Woolum found freshman Will Adams for the two-point conversion to make it 30-0 at the break.
“I don’t know if anything went right. I have been doing it a long time, and this is one of the few times I don’t know what to say. My hat’s off to Coach Elam and his staff and those kids. I know they have waited a long time for this,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue.
Harlan was unable to come up with an answer during the intermission, and Pineville continued to add to the lead in the second half.
Ford opened the third quarter with a 49-yard scoring run. Adams added the extra point to put the Mountain Lions up 37-0.
Fuson recorded the final two scores. The first came on a run of 52-yards. Fuson then capped a short drive with a 4-yard run. The Mountain Lions gained possession after recovering the kickoff at the Harlan 8. Adams added an extra point on the final touchdown.
“I wouldn’t care if we won 1-0. Some things bounced our way tonight. We played really well, but we also scored on defense and got a recover on a kickoff,” Elam said.
Harlan was unable to find a way to slow Pineville’s combination of Ford and Fuson. Each member of backfield duo turned in a big performance in the win. Fuson led the way with 111 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries. Ford added 104 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
“They controlled the line of scrimmage. I told the kids before the game that whoever controlled the line of scrimmage controlled the game, and they controlled the line of scrimmage,” Donahue said.
Harlan (1-7) returns to action next week at home against Jenkins.
Pineville (6-2) will travel to Hazard.