Williams: Ads focus is on win

November 25, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Bryan Williams still remembers what it was like last year when Mayfield came to Admiral Stadium and beat Danville 17-7 in the Class A semifinals to end the Admirals' two-year reign as state champions.

"We had several mental mistakes in that loss," said Williams, a senior offensive lineman. "In football, if you make mental mistakes at this time of year, you can hang up the equipment for your career if you are a senior. We've got to limit our mental mistakes because I don't want to quit playing and suffer that same horrible feeling again.

"We fell short of our goal last year because we did not beat Mayfield. We are determined to get to the state championship game this year. We're more focused. We know Mayfield is good, but we really want to win this game."

Danville and Mayfield will meet in the Class A semifinals for the fourth straight year when they play Friday at 6 p.m. in Mayfield. The winner of his game has gone on to win the state championship the last three years.


The Admirals won 17-10 at Mayfield in 2001. Williams was not a starter on that team, but he still remembers what playing at Mayfield was like.

"I remember the crowd was wild and very, very vocal," Williams said. "They have a big stadium and it seemed like everyone was wearing red. They had fans everywhere. We had a lot of fans, too, and it was just a great atmosphere for high school football. It will take four quarters of busting our butts and playing our best to be able to win at Mayfield."

Danville (12-1) is fortunate to even still be playing. The Admirals trailed 22-21 last week at Holy Cross when the home team gambled on fourth down at its own 29-yard line with just over a minute to play. Danville held and then quarterback Ronnie Hawkins hit Davis Teater with the game-winning touchdown pass with 37 seconds left.

"It was a close game, but I always knew we would pull it out," Williams said. "We proved we have a lot of heart in that game because we overcame adversity to win."

Still, Holy Cross gave the Admirals problems with its physical play. Mayfield also prides itself on having a physical defense and power-oriented offense. "First, we've got to protect Ronnie. He is the key. He is the leader of our offense. He's not a verbal leader, but he has the key role," Williams said. "Then we have to open holes for our running backs (Charles Penix and Kelvin Turner). We have to be more aggressive than Mayfield and make sure we match their intensity from the start."

Williams knows the offensive line could determine Danville's championship hopes. Here's what he had to say about his teammates in the line:

* Peter Thomas, center.

"He is a verbal leader," Williams said. "He has a tough job to snap and then block, but he has good reach and he's been able to make key blocks for our backs."

* Deangleo Durham, guard.

"Most teams play an even defensive front and cover up the guards so he has to block a big guy," Williams said. "He's only a sophomore, but he does a good job of pushing guys off the line. He's learned from his misakes and is an exceptional player."

* Masaak Tagarook, tackle.

"He's a big, physical player who just loves the game of football," Williams said. "He gets his block because he wants to win. He's never going to let anyone down."

* Ryan Hundley, tackle.

"He took it hard last year when he was taken off the offensive line, but he's turned it around this year," Williams said. "He's gotten stronger and more physical. He's focused on who he needs to block. He has the speed to get out on linebackers and get them out of the way so our backs can make big runs."

Williams doesn't want to make any rash predictions about Friday's game. However, he does have one guarantee. "I won't guarantee a win, but I will guarantee that we will bust our butts for four quarters to win," Williams said. "I don't want to look back and say I didn't give it everything I have in a game like this. That's the way we all feel. We control our own destiny, but we also know it's going to take our best effort to keep winning."

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