Pats, Ads renew 'rivalry'

August 28, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Robbie Lucas still remembers the interest the Danville-Lincoln County rivalry attracted when he played football for the Patriots.

"It was a huge deal. I don't know if you can call it a rivalry because they lead the series 19-1, but it was a game that got players and fans excited," said Lucas.

That memory is why Lucas jumped at the chance to resume the Danville-Lincoln series that was ended in 1998 by the Patriots.

The two teams play Friday in Stanford, and Lucas knows his Patriots face another challenge against the Admirals.

Danville opened its season last week with a convincing 22-7 victory over Class AAAA Manual. Lincoln lost its opener 40-8 to East Jessamine, and Lucas has no false illusions about Friday's matchup.


"They are very, very good," Lucas said. "They are quick everywhere and they are so well-coached. Everybody says Danville is loaded with talent, and they are, but coach Sam Harp does a great job. Every year you see teams with talent that don't win. Danville's not like that.

"This year they can kill you with speed from so many positions. I like how fast they play and the confidence they have. It's going to be tough for us to find many answers, but we are going to play them as tough and hard as we can."

Harp likes what Lucas is trying to do in his second year as Lincoln's head coach following a successful stint as an assistant at Somerset.

"Offensively, they line up in every kind of formation I've seen," Harp said. "There's no telling what they might do. They seldom run the same play twice and it's going to be important for us to recognize what they are doing.

"We have an advantage in speed, but they'll counter with some different defensive looks. This was always a physical rivalry, and I'm sure they are looking forward to playing Danville again. We're expecting a hard-hitting, physical game."

Harp not real happy with offense last week

Harp was not overly pleased with his team's offense last week. He said he felt his team made too many mental mistakes and was confused by Manual's shifting defense. However, Danville's speed produced big plays to win the game.

"Manual is as athletic and talented up front as anybody we'll play all year," Harp said. "I doubt if we'll see anybody as athletic on defense as them all year."

Running backs Charles Penix and Kelvin Turner combined for 136 rushing yards and junior quarterback Ronnie Hawkins threw for 88 yards and two scores in his first start. However, he did throw three interceptions.

"For his first start, Ronnie did a good job," Harp said. "There was one pass he should not have thrown, but overall he did a lot of things well."

Lincoln's offense struggled against East Jessamine. The Patriots managed only 112 yards rushing and 30 yards passing. They gave up 423 yards, including 399 on the ground.

"Offensively, we were actually a little better than I thought we were in the game," Lucas said. "We were one or two blocks away on a lot of plays from doing some good things. A couple of times we should have broke a big play, but we just missed one block.

"Defensively, I was very disappointed in our tackling. I counted 61 tackles that we missed. That was a big disappointment because we work on that every day.

"If we don't tackle better this week, we won't get a a chance to miss 61 tackles because once Danville has someone break free, we are not going to catch them."

Danville will be best team Lincoln plays this year

Lucas says there's no doubt Danville will be the best team Lincoln will face this year. He reached that conclusion after watching the Admirals beat Manual.

"The scary thing is that I'm sure they will be better this week than they were last week because coach Harp is such a perfectionist," Lucas said.

Harp said he hopes his team does improve, and not because the annual showdown with Boyle County will be next on the schedule.

"I'm not worried about who we play next," Harp said. "We made plenty of mistakes in the first game that we need to correct. We have more than enough to worry about this week."

Central Kentucky News Articles