Danville's Dunn delivers big blow in hard-hitting game

June 11, 2004|MARTY WARREN

When Phillip Dunn saw the football coming his way with a clear field to run in, he couldn't believe his eyes. All he could envision was a chance to score a touchdown in an all-star game.

However, when the play abruptly ended with the South's Neal Tucker stepping out of bounds, he vowed that when the next pass was thrown in his direction, he wasn't going to let that pass get away.

He got his interception early in the third quarter, one play after a crushing collision to break up a pass intended for Somerset's Matt Barber, and was named most valuable player for the North in its 10-8 win over the South in the Kentucky Mid-State Football Coaches Association's all-star game Thursday at Centre College.

"(Tucker) kept scrambling out of the pocket and would look at the same receiver the whole time," Dunn said. "My eyes lit up on the near interception when I saw the end zone, but then I realized (Tucker) stepped out of bounds. That disappointed me a lot."


Dunn said he played in several physical games during his career at Danville, but none were more physical than this.

"This was the hardest hitting game that I ever played in," Dunn said, "We were more of a defensive team, but we had a back (East Jessamine's Wes Coleman) who wasn't afraid to take on a defender. It's the first time I've had a chance to see him play, and I'm glad he was on my team."

He also played wide receiver on offense, and had two passes thrown in his direction. Both attempts, however, were overthrown.

"(East Jessamine quarterback Patrick Hunt) overthrew the first pass, and he threw the second pass before I broke," Dunn added. "I was just able to practice with them three days and our timing was off."

He enjoyed playing with Boyle County players

Dunn enjoyed playing with everyone from the other area schools, especially players from Boyle County.

"We had a fierce rivalry during our high school days, but it was really fun playing with them in this game," he said. "We are friends off the field and played together as a team. Everybody tries to win when they play each other, and it was nice to be on the same team for a change."

It was also the final time that he would play with Danville seniors Dexter Gray, Mario Berry, Ryan Hundley, Peter Thomas and Bryan Williams as teammates.

"All of our seniors were able to play in the game and that was nice, too. We won a state title our senior year and now we get to win an all-star game. It doesn't get any better than that."

He admitted that he was worried when the South cut their lead to 10-8 with 3:37 to play.

"We hurt ourselves with personal foul penalties on their touchdown drive. Before that, we were playing well. We knew we had to dig down deep and make something happen, and (Western Hills' John Keene's) interception helped us pull out the win."

He isn't sure about a football career as he prepares for his freshman year at the University of Louisville. However, Dunn, a standout guard on the Danville basketball team throughout his career, will get the opportunity of a lifetime in August when he will tryout for the Cardinals' basketball team.

"That is a big opportunity for me and I thank God they are giving me a chance," Dunn said.

Which was something he did for his football team with his play Thursday.

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