Sluggish Danville handles Lincoln

August 29, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

The fact that Danville had its way with Lincoln County was no surprise. It was what the Admirals didn't do that was so surprising to coach Sam Harp.

Even as Danville was dismantling Lincoln 48-0 Friday night at Admiral Stadium, Harp was fretting over the way his team slogged through a game in which it was heavily favored.

The Danville coach said the Admirals' play lacked passion, and he sounded angry as he blamed their mistakes on their approach to the game, which he said wasn't what it should have been.

"We were sloppy, and we played a very sloppy football game," Harp said. "I'm happy we won - I'll always be happy with a win - but I don't have to be happy with our performance."


Still, Danville (2-0) smothered Lincoln (0-2) under an offense that gained nearly 500 yards, including 222 rushing yards by Kelvin Turner and 165 passing yards by Ronnie Hawkins.

Lincoln's only scoring threat came in the closing seconds, when the Patriots drove inside the Danville 10-yard line before coming up inches short of the end zone on the game's final play.

"I'm thankful we did a few things right so we could win it," Harp said.

Lincoln coach Larry French said Danville didn't need to do much.

"They were just better than us, bottom line," French said. "They're a good football team. If they don't win the Class A title, I'll be shocked."

An absence of enthusiasm

What shocked Harp was what he saw as an absence of enthusiasm. He has seen such things before, of course, but he said it always comes as a surprise because it goes against his nature.

"You're only guaranteed 10 times a year to suit up. If you go all the way, you only get 15 opportunities for all the time and all the practice you go through," Harp said. "How can you not get excited and fired up on every given Friday night? I never understood that as a player, and as a coach I still don't."

The laundry list of mistakes Harp cited included nine penalties and two lost fumbles, and he also decried their special-teams play on kickoff coverage and punt returns.

Danville wide receiver Darius Baughman said the Admirals didn't seem to make much progress in the week since their season-opening win over Garrard County.

"We really weren't too much better," Baughman said. "We didn't have too much intensity."

The upside for the Admirals included a strong performance by Turner, who rushed 18 times for an average of 12.3 yards per carry and had touchdown runs of 15, 26 and 72 yards.

Hawkins completed seven of 11 passes, including touchdown passes of 12 yards to Baughman and 43 yards to Daylen Morris. Baughman had three catches for 67 yards, taking advantage of his size advantage over Lincoln's defensive backs.

"We felt like we had that all night as long as we wanted to do it, but there were some other things we wanted to see if we could work on," Harp said.

Baughman watched the fourth quarter with an ice pack on his right knee, which he injured on the kickoff following his third-quarter touchdown catch. He said he suffered a knee sprain, and Harp there is a good chance he would be able to play in this week's game at Boyle County, pending the results of an evaluation Saturday.

Danville led 21-0 at halftime after two touchdown runs by Turner and one by Darren Ross.

Some small victories for Lincoln

There were small victories for Lincoln along the way, such as the celebration set off in the second quarter when the defense snuffed out a sneak attempt by Hawkins on fourth-and-1 at the Lincoln 22.

But even that effort was negated when the Patriots turned the ball over three plays later and Danville scored the next time it touched the ball.

"We cut down on our mistakes, but we still made mistakes, and they capitalized on them," French said.

But French said he did see some signs of progress from Lincoln's first game to its second.

"I thought we played a little better out here at times," he said.

Three quarterbacks shared playing time in the opener against Harrison County, but Jared Long did most of the work behind center Friday, playing all but the Patriots' final series. He was 4-for-11 for 18 yards.

Hagan Folger rushed 21 times for 81 yards for Lincoln, which ran for 145 yards after gaining only 75 on the ground against Harrison.

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