Danville coach still concerned about focus going into playoffs

November 06, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Just in case his team might have considered overlooking Christian Academy of Louisville, Sam Harp replayed the game film from last year's Class A playoff contest.

The Admirals beat Christian Academy only 24-8 in last year's Region 2 championship game and did not take control of the game until late in the third quarter.

"They are a pretty good football team again this year," said Harp. "They are very well-coached and they will not beat themselves. We've certainly reminded our players of the game they gave us last year and they better know we've got to play a good game to win."

Danville (9-1) goes into the Class A playoffs ranked No. 1 in the Durden Ratings and is coming off an impressive 57-0 win over Harrodsburg. However, Harp says ratings and records are now meaningless.


"It's do-or-die every week now," the Danville coach said. "I would like to say that I'm not worried about our focus for this game, but that's worried me all year. The last couple of games I think our guys have got the message, especially defensively, and we need to be ready to play our best every week now."

Christian Academy (6-4) is averaging 30.6 points per game and has impressed Harp with its versatile offense.

John Moody, a 225-pound fullback, keys the ground game and junior quarterback Eric Carpenter directs the offense.

"Moody is tough to bring down. He likes to run inside, but he'll go outside, too. They will split him out at receiver some to try and get him the ball," Harp said. "Carpenter does a good job running their option game as well as throwing the ball. They'll mainly run out of the I-formation, but they will spread the field. They are most effective passing out of play-action plays, but they are not afraid to spread it and throw deep, either."

Carpenter's top receivers are Kellen Rollins and Garrison Polsgrove. Matt Murray, a 210-pound tight end, also concerns Harp.

"Because they don't have great size, they don't try to overpower you. They run the option and do other things to take advantage of the skilled players they do have," Harp said.

Christian Academy's defense is giving up 22.6 points per game, including 53 in a loss to district champion Holy Cross. Like Danville, most of Christian Academy's players go both ways.

"Their basic alignment is a 4-4, but they will go 6-2 or 5-3 depending on what the offense is doing," Harp said. "They are sound in what they do and they make you have to adjust your offense."

Christian Academy has not played anyone with the offensive firepower of Danville. Christian Academy lost to Western Hills, Bethlehem and Fort Knox along with Holy Cross.

Hawkins, Turner had big offensive games last week

Danville again got big offensive games from quarterback Ronnie Hawkins and running back Kelvin Turner last week. Hawkins completed only three passes against Harrodsburg, but they went for 108 yards and three scores. He also ran for 55 yards. Turner got only 12 carries, but ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

"They both had exceptional games, but that's what we expect from them," Harp said.

Turner now has 1,326 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns while teammate Charles Penix has rushed for 834 yards and 13 scores. Hawkins has thrown for 913 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Harp praised the blocking of interior lineman Bryan Williams and tight end Mario Berry in last week's win.

"Bryan dominated the line of scrimmage. He had quite a few pancake (knockdown) blocks and really had a great game," Harp said. "Mario really blocked well, too."

Defensively, Danville blocked one punt and deflected three others against Harrodsburg while limiting Harrodsburg to just 23 total yards. Linebacker Dexter Grey blocked a punt for the second straight game and led the defensive surge.

"Offensively, we've been pretty consistent all year," Harp said. "The whole key for us is defense. If the defense steps up and plays the way we want, then it flows over to the offense and the kicking game. Our defensive play can become very contagious."

A win Friday would enable the Admirals to host the Carroll County-Bethlehem winner next week. After that, the Admirals will likely be on the road if they keep winning.

"We can't look ahead," Harp said of possible future matchups with Holy Cross and Mayfield. "We have to focus on Christian Academy first or the season ends. If you don't win now, there are no more chances."

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