Ads suffer letdown in 45-10 win over Owen in district opener

October 05, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Playing teams like Manual, Boyle County and Highlands in the first half of the season potentially set Danville up for playoff success. However, it also set the Admirals up for a regular-season letdown.

After playing two Class AAA schools and a Class AAAA school, Danville opened Class A district play Friday night here against Owen County. A lackluster performance from the Admirals was still good enough for a 45-10 win, but it wasn't good enough to satisfy coach Sam Harp.

Danville was coming off a come-from-behind 26-25 win over AAA Highlands, and Harp said he expected his team to have a letdown. He just didn't expect it to be as severe as it was.

"All of a sudden we play somebody the kids have never even heard of before," Harp said. "I knew it would be mentally tough to get up for this game.


"They got all kinds of pats on the back this week from the win over Highlands, and I expected to come out flat. You can still come out flat and come out business-like and get the job done. You've got to give their kids credit. They came in and played hard against us. Their kids were more focused than we were. We have to learn from this and move on."

The lack of emotion showed up in the statistics for Danville. The Admirals (5-1) were whistled for six penalties, five of which came on plays that would have either allowed Danville to reach a first down or to score.

Also the Danville defense was susceptible to the running attack of Owen (2-4). The Rebels ran for 228 yards against the Admirals, the highest total Danville has allowed an opponent this season. Senior Graham Reinke ran for 88 yards on 12 carries and sophomore quarterback Shane Perkins had 13 carries for 62 yards.

"If you don't play defense with emotion, you don't play very good defense," Harp said. "There was no emotion out there tonight."

Turner runs for 198 yards

But Danville still did enough right to easily handle Owen. Junior Kelvin Turner ran 14 times for 198 yards and three scores, and Phillip Dunn scored two touchdowns - one on a 29 yard reception and one on a 13-yard interception return in the third quarter.

"(Kelvin) had a good game, but it was not his best either," Harp said. "We just were not in sync tonight. I think we did some good things out here, but it was just hard to get fired up and get into it when you're not playing with any kind of emotion. We're a good football team when we come to play, and we're average at best when we don't."

Danville ran 47 offensive plays and picked up 464 total yards, an average of 9.9 yards per play. The Admirals had several more big plays, as they have all season, to boost the average. Turner scored on runs of 78 and 20 yards while quarterback Ronnie Hawkins also had a 50-yard pass to Mario Berry for a touchdown. Hawkins was 5-for-11 for 125 yards, an average of 25 yards per completion.

The Admirals' six offensive touchdowns came on a total of 26 plays, including three drives that involved no more than four plays.

Danville jumped on top early when Turner jumped over a pile of linemen to score from the 1 with 6:43 to play in the first quarter. Hawkins ran in the two-point conversion for an early 8-0 lead.

The Admirals scored on their first three possessions as Berry followed with his 50-yard touchdown and Turner took the handoff on the first Danville play of the second quarter and scampered 78 yards for the score and a 21-0 lead. Owen had a field goal with 7:47 to play to set the halftime score at 21-3.

Turner scored on a 20-yard run just over a minute into the second half, then Dunn returned an interception 13 yards for a touchdown just 1:38 later. Hawkins found Dunn from 29 yards out one play after Charles Penix' touchdown was called back for a block in the back by Danville.

After Owen made it 29-10, freshman running backs Darren Ross and B.J. Strode took over for Danville. Ross had four carries and picked up 51 yards and a touchdown from 11 yards out.

"I want our guys to be happy with the win, because I think you always have to be happy with that, but I think we can be happy with that and not happy with our performance," Harp said. "It's another part of the growing process and we have a bunch of guys that just have not been to battle that often.

"You don't play extremely high one week and then get down the next. You have to approach each and every week the same. We don't sneak up on anybody. We're going to get the best performance out of everybody that we play."

Jill Erwin can be reached at

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