Harp aims for more consistent Admirals

October 02, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Now that Danville has shown coach Sam Harp that it can overcome adversity, he wants the Admirals to prove they can be consistently good.

The Admirals overcame a 25-13 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 26-25 at Highlands last week. This Friday they'll open Class A district play by hosting Owen County.

"We finally fought back and got a win," said Harp. "That was an important step for us because once the playoffs get here, you are going to face some adversity.

"Now we've got to respond to a big win the right way. Everybody has been patting us on the back for beating Highlands. We needed a win like that, but now we've got to show we can practice consistently well and play consistently well every week."


Owen does not look like a team capable of challenging the Admirals, who are ranked No. 2 in this week's Associated Press Class A poll as well as No. 2 in the Class A Durden Ratings.

Owen (2-3) opened the season by losing to Williamsburg, Simon-Kenton and Henry County before beating Dayton 21-6 and North Oldham 33-26 the last two games.

Coach Greg Ulasiewicz led his team to a 5-5 finish last year and Harp says he likes the way Owen plays.

"They are doing things the right way. They are fundamentally sound in what they do," Harp said. "They have a lot of kids that go both ways like we do. They are mainly a running team, but they will throw some. Their basic set is the Wishbone, but they'll also give you some different looks."

Harp wants a different offensive look

The Danville coach would like his team to provide a different offensive look in the weeks ahead. The Admirals (4-1) have depended on the running of junior Kelvin Turner and senior Charles Penix for most of their offense. Turner has rushed for 680 yards and six touchdowns while Penix has 398 yards and six scores.

"Kelvin is playing real well," Harp said. "He had 135 yards against Highlands and really ran hard. He gives a great effort and he showed his breakaway speed when he picked up that fumble and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown. He just won't go down on the first hit. He's done a tremendous job of getting extra yardage. Charles has also been very good. He's run with power and speed, too."

Harp wants to get more passing yardage from junior quarterback Ronnie Hawkins, who is 17 for 41 passing for 350 yards. However, seven of his 17 completions have gone for touchdowns.

"Ronnie is getting better each week and he'll continue to do that all year," the Danville coach said. "We've got to get our passing attack going better to make people honor the pass and back off the line some. We wanted to do some more things at Highlands, but they picked us up really well.

"We've got receivers that can step up and make plays. Darius Baughman can do that. If we get to where we throw the ball more consistently, it will help our running game even more."

Harp was pleased that the Admirals did a better job sustaining offensive drives at Highlands than they had in previous games. Even in easy wins over Lincoln County and Somerset, the Ads relied more on big plays to score than sustained drives.

"We got stopped inside the 10-yard line twice, but at least we drove the ball down there," Harp said. "We're glad to bust big plays because they win games just like a bunch of little plays do. But it was still good to see our offense move the ball more consistently and get good yardage against a very good team."

Harp also refused to fault his defense even though it gave up 25 points and 418 total yards.

"If there is a better overall offensive team out there than Highlands, I don't want to see them," Harp said. "They gave us a lot of problems. We made some big plays defensively, and when we got beat it was usually because they just made a great play."

Harp says junior defensive lineman Jacob Moore should be at full speed Friday after being held out last week because of an ankle injury. Backup linebacker-running back Chase Overstreet will miss his second straight game because of a hip injury.

Larry Vaught can be reached at

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