"Our kids came out ready to play, even though I didn't think they were really mentally prepared coming into this game," said Danville coach Sam Harp. "I don't know if Kelvin's run on the first play was the reason, but it certainly helps. Sometimes when you score first so easy it can take the fire out of you, but that wasn't the case tonight."
It certainly wasn't. Not only did the Ads (9-1) come out with all cylinders firing on offense, the defense limited the Centurions to only 19 yards on the ground in the first half and 88 yards total for the game. Christian Academy (6-5) crossed midfield only once in the contest, and that came on the game's final play.
"We played well on offense, on defense and we had a good kicking game," said Harp. "That's the third week in a row we played all three phases well, and it's a good time of the year to be doing that."
A complete turnaround from last year
Friday's game was a complete turnaround from last year's Region 2 championship game in which the Ads battled to gain a 24-8 win over the Centurions.
"They're a good team, but we were able to take their strengths away from the start," said Harp. "They run that option offense very well, but our defense stayed with their assignments and swarmed to the ball very well."
Charles Penix provided a quick follow-up to Turner's opening score by racing 56 yards for a touchdown on Danville's third play from scrimmage, and on the next possession, Dexter Grey bounced off several would-be tacklers on a 52-yard run to paydirt.
Danville's final score of an explosive first period came after Chase Overstreet picked off a Centurion pass at the Christian Academy 47 and returned it 41 yards to the 12. Three plays later Turner bulled up the middle to score from 12 yards out, dragging three defenders over the goal line.
"Our downfield blocking was very good tonight," said Harp. "I was extremely pleased with the fact that we didn't do anything silly in our blocking behind the play. We've been working on that."
Danville was penalized only twice in the contest for 25 yards, and turned the ball over just one time.
The Ads scored three more times in the second period on a 50-yard run by Penix, a 45-yard pass from quarterback Ronnie Hawkins to Phillip Dunn, and an electrifying 85-yard scamper by Turner that put Danville on top 49-0 at halftime.
Turner finished the game with 193 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries, while Penix tallied 130 yards and three touchdowns on seven runs.
Hawkins had a jewel of a game throwing the ball, completing all four of his passes for 84 yards and a score.
Danville, trying to get back to the form that produced state titles in 2001 and 2002, next plays this Friday at home against Carroll County (9-2), a 34-31 winner over Bethlehem in overtime.