Admirals focusing on Pioneers, Dunn

October 30, 2003|JILL ERWIN

When Danville and Harrodsburg clash Friday night, both coaches will be looking to limit the damage the other team does on the ground.

Danville (8-1, 4-0 Class A, District 4) is focusing on Harrodsburg senior running back Mark Dunn, who is questionable for the game after bruising a muscle above his right ankle two weeks ago against Owen County. Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said it may be a game-time decision whether or not Dunn will be able to go.

Dunn has run for 1,561 yards, an average 195 yards per game, and 22 touchdowns this year on 134 carries. Dunn is back in practice this week, but Yeast said his activity has been limited.

"My gut (feeling) is that he may need a few more days to get ready," Yeast said. "His gut tells him that he's going to be ready. The two trainers working with him felt like he'd be ready last week, but once he took his first step to run, I knew he wasn't.


"As much as I know he wants to, and I know I'd like to see him play in such a big game, we still have the playoffs and in the long run, that's what's most important. This game is not going to change our seeding whether we win or lose."

For Danville coach Sam Harp, he's preparing as if Dunn will play. Harp said freshmen Brandon Brown and Cory Jackson have speed to burn, but they are not as dangerous as Dunn.

"Dunn is capable of running over you and by you and around you and every other way," Harp said. "We've got to stop him. We stop him, and we're going to be 90 percent on the way of shutting them down. Dunn is their offense. They know that and we know that.

"I think he'll be ready. If anything, he may have been looking forward to playing against Danville. You hate to say he's sitting out (of last week's game) so he can line up against us, but that's what we're telling our kids anyway."

Penix and Turner have combined for 1,960 yards

Yeast has been telling his players that they're going to have their hands full with Danville running backs Charles Penix and Kelvin Turner. The two have combined for 1,960 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground and have scored a total of 33 touchdowns between them.

"They're an exceptional running team," Yeast said. "Our goal is just to try to stop the running game. We're going to try to force them to throw the ball to beat us. We've let them know what it takes to play the caliber of team like Danville and the extra things they have to do. They're ready to step up for that challenge."

Harp has been impressed with the play of Dexter Grey and Phillip Dunn. He said those two are proving their worth every week.

"Dexter is in a position on defense (linebacker) where he should get the majority of the tackles, and if he doesn't, that means he's not doing a very good job during that particular game," Harp said. "He had a really nice game last week, getting an interception, blocking a punt and making beaucoups of tackles.

"Phillip's motor never quits. He's always first down there on kickoffs. He has the responsibility of what I call a license to miss. That means if he misses, as long as he makes the guy change direction, then he's OK. He's the only guy I give that license to. Everybody else better carry out their responsibility."

Both coaches agree that the play of the lines will also be key to the matchup. Danville has more depth, but Yeast said it will be up to his players to make sure the Pioneers (7-2, 2-2) can have a chance to win.

"I don't care how talented you are in the backfield, if you can't make some holes for those guys, open up some things, then you're in trouble," Harp said.

"Offensively, we've got two running backs as good as anyone in the state. All our linemen have to do is get them a little seam, a little air, and once they do that I feel like our guys can do a lot of damage."

"I think it's going to be one of those things where the team that controls the line of scrimmage will be the football team that wins," Yeast said.

"We do have a lot of speed, but this is not one of those games where speed will be the thing that takes us over the top. I think if we can get our three or four yards a pop, whether by throwing or running, that's the only way we'll be successful against Danville."

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