Admirals use ground game, flatten Mayfield

December 01, 2003|JILL ERWIN

MAYFIELD - Ronnie Hawkins couldn't get a good grip on the ball Friday night as temperatures hovered around freezing and the field at War Memorial Stadium had taken on a lot of water in the previous couple of days.

So Danville focused on its running game and the Admirals ran over Mayfield 25-3 to advance to the Class A state championship game.

The Ads will face Beechwood, a 45-12 winner over Lynn Camp, as they bid for their 10th state title this Friday in Louisville.

The running game was the story for Danville's offense, as four players combined to rush for 335 yards.

"I know (Hawkins) was having difficulty with it tonight with the wind and the cold," Danville coach Sam Harp said.

"He just was out of sync tonight, but we threw it a few times to let them know we would throw it and to keep them off the line. I think we accomplished that part of it."


Both Charles Penix and Kelvin Turner reached the 100-yard rushing mark for the Admirals, and Hawkins came close with 83 of his own as all 335 Danville yards came on the ground.

"I think they ran hard tonight," Danville coach Sam Harp said. "They didn't really get the great, big, huge runs tonight that they usually get, and a lot of those yards came tough. I think sometimes they made their own holes, but our line did a great job and I felt like we wore their defense down as the game went on late in the third and then the fourth."

"We knew they had problems tackling," Penix said. "If we ran hard, we knew it would take three or four people to bring us down."

The game was revenge for Danville (13-1), which lost 17-10 to Mayfield last year at Admiral Stadium. Last year was the first time the Cardinals had ever beaten Danville, and the Ads weren't about to let it happen two years in a row.

"They beat us on our field last year," Hawkins said. "We knew they were going to play hard, but we just kept our focus and got the job done."

"We really didn't talk about it that much," Harp said. "I think they probably thought about it themselves a little bit, but we really just talked about it one time and that was right before the game. Mayfield, I think they were so psyched out when we first came out, and I think that helped us a lot."

Perhaps the Cardinals (10-4) knew what was coming. After a slow start - Danville went three-and-out on its first possession and lost a fumble on its second - the Ads found themselves trailing 3-0 after a 32-yard field goal by Adam Ivey.

But that was the only time Mayfield's effort would pay off on the scoreboard. Danville, meanwhile, had plenty of points to put up.

Penix returned the ensuing kickoff 43 yards to the Danville 45-yard line, then carried the ball three straight times for 26 yards to get to the Mayfield 29. Turner carried the ball three times around an incomplete pass and gave Danville the lead with an 18-yard scoring run with 3:43 to play in the first quarter.

"Their backs keep running hard," Mayfield coach Joe Morris said.

"They keep pounding, their O-line's good. We just made too many mistakes."

Penix scored on a 6-yard run with 7:40 left in the second quarter, giving Danville a 13-3 lead before Mayfield had even earned a first down.

Mayfield used up over four minutes of clock on its next drive, picking up its first two first downs, but still never got past the Danville 32.

Danville took over on its own 17, and two runs by Turner put the Ads in business at the Mayfield 22. Hawkins scored on a nine-yard run just two plays later to put Danville up 19-3.

Kenny Gambrel blocked a field goal as time expired in the first half to keep Danville's 16-point advantage.

Mayfield had a good opportunity to score on its final possession of the third quarter. Mitchell Dumas appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage on a carry, but continued to churn and inexplicably broke free for a 47-yard run to the Danville 3 with just under three minutes to play.

However, two short carries, a sack and a penalty put Mayfield on a fourth-and-goal from the Danville 8.

Quarterback Greg Cook's pass into the end zone was incomplete and Danville took over.

Hawkins broke a 77-yard run for Danville's final score with 10:22 to play.

Mayfield's final two possessions ended in interceptions, one by Hawkins and one by Darius Baughman as Danville ran out the final 5:51 on its final possession.

Now Danville makes a return visit to the state championship game, its third in four years.

Harp said he knew this team had the ability, he just didn't know if everything would fall into place.

"I always felt like they had enough talent they could do it," Harp said. "You just never know about the chemistry and how bad the 'want-to' is. You have to have a lot of things come together.

"I was really concerned about our linemen. You've got to give credit to (assistant) coach (Marty) Jaggers. He's molded that group and really brought them along. Also credit coach Jaggers on the offensive game plan tonight. I'm kind of the figurehead, organizing everything, but I've got some tremendous coaches and I certainly couldn't do it without them."

Pep rally Thursday

Danville's cheerleaders are sponsoring a community-wide pep rally Thursday. It will begin at 6 p.m. in the Danville school lobby.

Central Kentucky News Articles