For the second time in three seasons the Pineville Mountain Lions have advanced past the first round of the Class A playoffs. Friday night Pineville doubled up Campbellsville 44-22 behind three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Jamie Roan.
Lion coach Bart Elam said the win shows that his program is growing, but added they still have room to grow.
“It’s good for our program. Both of those wins have been as a three seed on the road and that tells you just how good our district is. But we’re playing good football and we’re feeling really good about our program,” he said. “We still have a ways to go, but we’re getting better and the kids are believing. I’m excited just to still be in the mix this time of year, that wasn’t the case five or six years ago.”
Pineville jumped on top quickly as Roan hooked up with Andrew Douglas for a long touchdown pass on the very first play from scrimmage for a quick 6-0 lead. Later in the first quarter Roan found Tanner Mike also out of the backfield and Mike did the rest on the way to a 69-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run from Connor Ford made it 14-0.
“We just played a real good ballgame. The kids came out and scored on the very first play and they just kept rolling. Campbellsville made some adjustments in the second quarter but then we made some adjustments. I can’t say enough about how the kids adapted as the game went along and kept finding ways to score,” Elam said.
The Eagles cut the lead to 14-7, but Roan struck again with the big play finding tight end Byron Asher deep up the seam. Ahser hauled in the pass at the five yards line and stumbled into the end zone. Another Ford run made it 22-7 and Pineville was up 22-14 at the half.
Ford came up with an interception in the third quarter and returned it all the way to the Eagle 4-yard line to set up another PHS score.
Roan hooked up with Jared Philpot for a big gain later in the second half to set up a short Douglas touchdown run and the Lions went on to the 44-22 win. Roan completed 10-of-20 passes for 285 yards to go along with those three touchdowns.
“Jamie has grown up as a quarterback these last four years and it couldn’t happen to a better kid to be playing the best ball of his career right now,” Elam said of his senior signal caller. “Off the field you won’t find a better kid. I’m really proud of him and all of our seniors and just happy that we can keep them playing football for at least another week.”
A big key in the game was the the Lions were able to spread the ball out to several different receivers while mixing in the running game as well. Mike led the Pineville ground attack with 156 yard and a touchdown on 19 carries. Douglas ran for two TDs and totaled 26 yards on nine runs while Ford added 36 yards on seven carries and converted three PATs running the ball.
Asher led the Lion receivers with three catches for 57 yards. Douglas caught two passes for 77 yards, Mike two for 72 and Philpot two for 68. Senior Kyle Capps added one catch for 11 yards.
“Our receivers played a good game, too. Philpot made a big catch, Asher had a big one and Tanner Mike did too. When you run a multiple spread like we do it helps when the kids know the offense well enough to come up to you during a game and say this is open or that is open. That’s what we’ve had these last few weeks,” said Elam. “Shoot, most of the big plays we’ve called on offense have come from the players. It’s just good to see the kids working so well together on the field.”
On the other side of the ball, Pineville’s 3-4 held the Campbellsville running game in check and did enough to slow down the passing game as they pulled away for the 22-point win. Douglas paced the defensive effort with 13 tackles while Dalton Ledbetter added eight stops. Mike also had an interception in the game.
“Our defense played really, really well. They gave up a couple of big plays but other than that we had nice game on that side of the ball. Defense is something we hang our hats on and you’ve got to be able to play strong defense in the playoffs,” Elam added. “Campbellsville has a really good football team. We’ve beat two really good teams the last two weeks. We’re playing really well, but we’ve had to in order to win these last two games.”
Pineville (6-5) faces another tough test this Friday as they head to Hazard to take on the Bulldogs. Hazard advanced to the second round with a 62-18 win over Berea. The Lions played the Bulldogs tough three weeks ago in a 28-22 home loss.
“We’re confident based on how we played against them. Now we know the road goes through Hazard and it has for years,” Elam said. “It’s a tough place to play but we’re very happy to still be playing and to have the opportunity to go up there. Our kids are going in feeling like they can win.
“We’re definitely the underdog, but who cares? We’re going to give it our best shot and see what happens.”