When Danville has the football

September 03, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

It's not hard to know what Boyle County will concentrate on trying to do against Danville's offense Friday.

"If you can't stop their run, you can't beat them," said Boyle coach Chuck Smith. "Danville is a running team that passes to keep you honest and open up the run. Lexington Catholic is a passing team that runs to keep you honest. Different teams do different things. But Danville relies on the run and you have to find a way to stop that."

The first player Boyle knows it must stop is senior running back Kelvin Turner. He's averaging 205 yards rushing per game. He's rushed 42 times for 410 yards, an average of 9.7 yards per run, and five touchdowns in easy wins over Garrard County and Lincoln County.

"He's the main player, no question about that," Smith said. "He is an outstanding running back because of his explosiveness and balance. He is hard to knock off his feet and that separates him from most running backs. One mistake and he's gone."


Danville coach Sam Harp doesn't want Turner feeling like he has to be Danville's only offensive threat in Friday's game at Boyle.

"He knows he's not going to the house (end zone) every time he touches the ball," Harp said. "He's matured as a running back. What a lot of people don't see is how great he blocks, too. He is probably the best blocker we have on the team. He can run, catch and block."

However, Turner has not been Danville's only offensive weapon. Sophomore running back Darren Ross has averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Ronnie Hawkins doesn't have the numbers Boyle quarterback Brandon Smith does. Still, he's thrown for 261 yards and three touchdowns and is averaging 24 yards per completion. His top target has been Darius Baughman with five catches for 89 yards, but Daylen Morris has turned both of his receptions into touchdowns.

"Ross is a nice running back and you certainly can't forget about Hawkins," Smith said. "He can get outside and hurt you with his running. He's also a good enough passer to make you pay when you load up to stop the run.

"Nobody has slowed them down yet. They have a big offensive line and you better not just focus on one person because of their speed and agility."

Harp doesn't expect Boyle to change its defense for the Title Town Showdown.

"I think they try to take the run away from everybody," Harp said. "We are not special. They will try to take Turner away. Anybody with common sense knows that. We've got to be able to throw the ball to keep them from putting eight or nine guys right on the line.

"Ronnie is a good quarterback. He's led us to a state championship. But we are still trying to find out what we do best other than just hand the ball off. It will be a little tougher, too, if Darius (knee) can't play. We'll need a guy like Ryan Harper to step up and make more plays because he's a big target and he can run."

Smith has not been pleased with his defense, which is allowing 372 yards and 33 points per game. Boyle has given up an average of 181 yards rushing and 191 yards passing in its two games.

"We have not played very good defense yet at all," the Boyle coach said. "We are not competitive as far as our defense goes. Our kids have got to take more pride in our defense. If we don't get a lot better, we are not going to be in position to win the state (title) again.

"We need better leadership. It's certainly been noticeable the first two games that when we need a breather, we are taking it on defense."

Cornerback Phillip Dean leads Boyle with 12 solo tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. End Andrew Bertram has 11 solo stops and linebacker Danny Commarford 10.

"They just swarm to the ball," Harp said. "All that's wrong with Boyle is that they have played two good teams and it's not unusual for a defense to wear down early against Catholic like they did. But they are still very good defensively."

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