Somerset's Tucker to test Admirals

September 11, 2003|MARTY WARREN

Danville faced an outstanding quarterback last week in Boyle County's Brandon Smith, but coach Sam Harp says the Admirals may face an even better one this Friday.

The Ads travel to Somerset and Harp expects Somerset senior quarterback Neal Tucker to throw the ball 40 to 50 times to a variety of receivers during the contest.

"He could be the best quarterback that we have seen," Harp said. "Brandon (Smith) is a good quarterback, but this kid is a senior and I think rated a little bit above that right now. We will have our work cut out for us trying to defend his passes."

Scott Newell, a sophomore, will line up in various positions in the backfield and is one of Tucker's primary receivers.

"He is a tremendous athlete with great speed," Harp added. "They like to throw it to him a lot when he lines up in the slot."


The Danville coach said that the Jumpers also have two other big-time receivers that can score at any time.

"Anthony Godbey is a 215-pound tight end that they like to flex a lot with," Harp said. "He has outstanding hands and also plays linebacker for them on defense. Ray Norman is their wide receiver. He didn't play last year, but he has a world of speed."

Harp said Somerset (2-1) likes to spread the field and that Tucker isn't afraid to throw the ball to any one receiver.

"They will line up with no backs, one back, two-by-two sets and traps with a split on the other side," Harp said. "It really woundn't surprise me to see them throw it a lot, though."

The Briar Jumpers' defense looked vulnerable in their season opening loss to Corbin (54-22), but they have bounced back the last two weeks to beat Southwestern (33-22) and Russell County (41-10).

"Their weakness appears to be their defense, but after the way we played Friday (in a 45-26 loss to Boyle) it appears to be ours as well," the Danville coach said. "We did things last week that are uncharacteristic of this football team.

"I felt like our defense would be one of our strengths, and if you had told me that Boyle would have scored 45 points against our defense, I would have bet you my salary that they wouldn't. Our linebackers, for some reason, would line up and get in pass coverage on run reads and vice versa. Our secondary was allowing too big a cushion for their receivers and then were late getting back at times also."

Offense played well, at times

The Danville coach was pleased, at times, with his team's offense against Boyle.

"I am seeing signs that they are coming around," Harp said. "We did some good things, but are obviously making mistakes at times, too. We put ourselves in first and 15 situations on different occasions, and if you do that against good teams, it is hard to get yourself out of the hole.

"We had some big plays and did a good job at times. Our offense is getting better every week, but we just didn't have the football a lot last week."

Kelvin Turner rushed for 205 yards on 17 attempts and the Admirals had five plays that went for over 35 yards. Sophomore quarterback Ronnie Hawkins had touchdown passes to Phillip Dunn and Charles Penix and Harp said his young quarterback is getting better every game.

"Ronnie is getting better every week and I feel very good about where he is at right now," Harp said. "He has only played three games at quarterback in his life and what he has done so far has been remarkable."

Danville rallied after losses in 2000 and 2001 to Boyle to win the Class A state championship, but Harp is just glad to be playing this week.

"We have to put last week's game behind us," Harp said. "You have to correct what you did wrong and get things going in the right direction. Thank God we have a game this week instead of having to set on this loss for a couple weeks."

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