Why Danville will win

December 04, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Ten reasons why Danville could, and will, win its 10th state championship Friday when it faces Beechwood in the Class A title game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.

* Scheduling: Coach Sam Harp put his schedule together to prepare his team for this game. The Ads beat Class AAAA Manual and Class AAA Highlands in non-district games. They lost to Boyle County - but so does everyone else.

* Momentum: In the last two weeks, Danville has won 28-22 at Holy Cross thanks to a touchdown pass with 37 seconds to play and won 25-3 at Mayfield after a five-hour bus ride.

* Experience: While few of these players played key roles on Danville's 2001 state title team, they all know what playing in a state title game means and won't be overwhelmed by the atmosphere.


* Charlie Perry: Since his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers are so bad this year, there's no way the Admirals can add to the the WHIR disc jockey's misery by making him call a losing game Friday.

* Masaak Tagarook: The weather forecast calls for cold, gloomy weather with a chance of snow. Who could feel more at home in that weather than a defensive lineman with an Eskimo bloodline?

* Bryan Williams: I don't think I've ever seen a player enjoy his high school football career more than "George," the only name teammates ever use for the lineman. Plus, if Danville wins, you know he's going to give at least one coach an ice-water bath after the game and with the weather forecast (see reason 5) that should be fun to see.

* Coaching: Sam Harp already has six state titles and has lost just two playoff road games since coming to Danville. He knows what it takes to put a team on a bus and win.

* Kelvin Turner-Charles Penix: They remain the best pair of running backs in Kentucky. They have accounted for 3,249 yards rushing and 41 touchdowns. Championship teams almost always need a sound running game and they give Danville that.

* History: Danville and Mayfield have played in the semifinals four straight years. The last three years the winner of that game won the state title. Why go against that trend?

* Title Town: Where else can a team win a state title and yet probably be upstaged in its own town less than 24 hours later when Boyle County goes for an unprecedented fifth straight state crown? But it's a whole lot better to share the spotlight as state champ than be state runner-up and that extra motivation will help Friday.

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