Quick start pushes Danville past Harrodsburg 57-0

November 02, 2003|JILL ERWIN

HARRODSBURG - Danville had no problem getting off to the quick start it desired Friday against Harrodsburg, and the Pioneers couldn't rebound from the early deficit.

The Admirals (9-1, 5-0 Class A, District 4) scored three times in its first seven offensive plays and took advantage of good field position early to beat the Pioneers 57-0. Danville totaled 440 yards of offense to Harrodsburg's 23, and the Pioneers had only three first downs.

Danville's average drive started at its own 48-yard-line, and its first-quarter drives had an average starting point of the Harrodsburg 41.

The Admirals made that work for them early in the game. Dexter Grey recovered a Freeman Edwards fumble at the Harrodsburg 20, and Ronnie Hawkins lofted a perfect pass to Charles Penix three plays later for a 21-yard score.


The Pioneers (7-3, 2-3) had to punt on a 4th-and-22 play on its next series, but Grey blocked the punt and Danville took over on the 26. Kelvin Turner, who finished with 149 yards rushing, scored on the next play for a 15-0 lead.

Harrodsburg got its first first down on the next possession, although it came on a penalty, but Phillip Dunn intercepted Edwards' pass and returned it to the Pioneers' 42. Three plays later, Hawkins found Dunn in the end zone for a 23-0 lead with 4:43 still to play in the first quarter.

"When we made those big plays, I think Harrodsburg kind of laid down for us," Hawkins said. "We just kept pounding them down. It kind of took their confidence away when we got those big plays early."

Hawkins completed only 3 of 8 passes, but they were all for touchdowns and totaled 107 yards. He also ran the ball three times for 55 yards.

Danville coach Sam Harp said Hawkins' ability to go long pays off often for the Ads.

"Ronnie throws the deep ball as well as any quarterback that I've had," Harp said. "That's saying a lot over 27 years of coaching. I was extremely pleased with Ronnie's performance.

"We knew coming in we were going to see man coverage all over the field and not too many people play us man coverage. We feel like we've got very capable receivers going deep."

Hawkins and Dunn hooked up once more, this time on a 41-yard scoring pass with 23 seconds to play in the first half.

"They had no safety, and that's my read. If they have no safety, then I know the long ball is going to be there," Hawkins said. "Phil ran a great route and we always connect in practice, so we came out and showed it in a game."

"It doesn't surprise me they can do that. I'm surprised at how open they got," Harrodsburg coach Terry Yeast said. "We had a guy stop in his backpedal and not turn and run. When you're covering Phillip Dunn, you can't do that."

Those 30 first-half points were more than enough for the Admirals, who had their second consecutive smothering defensive effort.

One of Harrodsburg's three first downs came via a Danville penalty, and the Pioneers had only nine first-half yards of offense.

Part of the problem was that star running back Mark Dunn was hampered by an ankle injury he suffered two weeks earlier.

Dunn played three quarters, picking up 42 yards on 17 carries, before re-aggravating the injury in the third. That leaves him 82 yards short of the school's career rushing record going into next week's playoff opener at Louisville Holy Cross.

"He kind of re-aggravated it, and at that point it wasn't worth it to take a chance," Yeast said. "We know that whoever we play next week is going to be a tough opponent and we need him and everyone else to be at 100 percent."

That could be a problem for Harrodsburg.

The Pioneers lost two other players - Shane Webb and David Hunt - to injuries during the game, and it's unknown if they'll be ready for next week's game.

"About midway through the second quarter, we had to pretty much take this game plan and throw it out because everybody got hurt," Yeast said. "Every formation we ran we couldn't run because of injuries."

Danville didn't have too many problems running its plays. Turner scored on a 63-yard run to start the third quarter, Penix had scoring runs of 1 and 9 yards and Darren Ross closed out the scoring with a 34-yard run with 3:06 to play.

Harp said his team is finally understanding what kind of effort it will take to get to Louisville for the state championship game.

"We keep trying to drive into their heads that it's going to take that discipline to make a run at another state championship," Harp said. "I think we're very capable of doing that, but any less of a performance and there are good enough teams in our opposing district that can knock us right out of it."

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