Penix, Turner help Ads run over Beechwood

December 07, 2003|JILL ERWIN

LOUISVILLE - Sam Harp didn't expect Danville's 10th state championship to come so easily Friday, but all he had to do was ask Charles Penix and Kelvin Turner for help.

Penix had a career day with 268 yards and two touchdowns and Turner had 186 yards rushing and four touchdowns as Danville ran roughshod over Beechwood in a 42-7 victory in the Class A state championship game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

"I was quite surprised we were able to win it the way we were," Harp said. "You've got to bet your money on your aces, and those two guys have certainly been that all year."

Danville (14-1) got all 500 of its yards on the ground, the second consecutive game in which the Ads haven't had a single passing yard. They didn't need one in this game, as the rushing attack gave Danville all the offense it would take to capture the title, especially since Danville's defense limited Beechwood (13-2) to 211 yards and forced four turnovers.


"I knew coming into this game that I could have a good game, but I was hoping for a great game," said Penix, a senior. "Thank God I had a great game and now everyone will remember us as champs."

"I wanted to have a big game just to go out, my last game of this year," Turner said. "I'm losing one of my best friends, Charles Penix, and I'm going to miss him next year. I tried to have a big game for my last game with him."

They split the load evenly with each carrying the ball 27 times. Penix had a 73-yard run in the fourth quarter and averaged 9.9 yards per carry.

"I've said all year long we've got the two best running backs in the state," Danville assistant Marty Jaggers said. "Everybody talks about the kid from Paducah Tilghman (UK recruit Joe Casey), but these two are the best in the state because they've got power and speed."

He won't get any argument from Beechwood coach Mike Yeagle, who watched the Danville backs go through his defense and pick up extra yardage with second and third efforts.The coach said his team had never faced a performance like that in any of its previous 11 championship games.

"If you give up 500 yards in a game, you're going to get beat," Yeagle said. "They beat us up front. They're so powerful and so quick, plus they do well in all their schemes. I give them all the credit in the world. We have no excuses, we just got beat."

The Ads spent much of the game in the wishbone formation, with 5-7 senior Dexter Grey playing fullback. Both Penix and Turner credited the blocking of the players in front of them for giving them the opportunity to make the plays.

"Dexter gave us some great blocks, we hit the hole and it was just open," Turner said.

The game didn't start off as well for Danville as it ended. On the fifth play from scrimmage, Danville quarterback Ronnie Hawkins was intercepted at the 10-yard line by Jack Potter. It was the first pass attempt of the day for Hawkins, and one of only two he would put up in the game.

Turner said the lack of passing attempts by the Ads didn't surprise him.

"We always knew that this would basically be a running team with a first-year quarterback," Turner said. "Ronnie's good as a passer, but he's not as consistent as Adam (Schott) was (last year). We knew to win this game we'd have to run the ball."

The Admirals forced Beechwood to punt on its first possession, but gave the ball back without scoring.

Penix and Turner picked up 75 of the 76 yards as Danville moved the ball to get to the Beechwood 7. However, after Phillip Dunn carried it once for a loss of two and an incompletion, Hawkins fumbled the ball at the five-yard line and Beechwood's Griffin Howard recovered it.

"When we first did that, I really thought we were getting ready to self-destruct," Harp said. "Fortunately our kids didn't think that way and they kept battling."

Davis Teater recovered a Tigers fumble at the Beechwood 41 in the second quarter, and Turner scored five plays later from 6 yards out. Turner was hit at the 4, but spun in on second effort.

"I don't think there's one person in the state of Kentucky who can bring me and Dukey (Turner) down by themselves," Penix said. "If you keep your feet driving, you'll break one or two tackles every time and that's where the weight room pays off."

Turner added another touchdown with 23 seconds to play in the first half, giving the Ads a 14-0 lead, and Harp said that paved the way for Danville to run the ball on every snap after that.

"When we were able to get up 14 points on them, my main focus then was to eat up as much clock as we possibly could," Harp said.

Turner's other scores came on runs of 10 and 3 yards, while Penix scored from 38 and 11 yards out.

Beechwood's only score came with 40 seconds to play against Danville's defensive reserves.

"It's probably going to take some time to sink in, that we're state champions again," Penix said.

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