"They are better than last year," Harp said. "They have one of the top rushing teams in the state and are averaging about 340 yards per game. They are going to run the ball a lot and they have been effective all season. They will use some play-action passes, but they prefer to run the ball."
Frankfort has lost only to Franklin County (31-18) and Newport (55-26). It has three close district wins over Harrodsburg (23-12), Owen County (38-35) and Carroll County (35-27). Danville beat Owen and Carroll by a combined 108-18 and is coming off a 77-0 win over Trimble County.
"We better not underestimate how tough this game can be," Harp said. "I think this will certainly be the most hostile crowd we will have faced in any of our district games. Frankfort has been pretty successful this year and I'm sure they think they can beat us."
Frankfort's offense, which averages 28 points per game, is led by junior Alonzo Tillman. He plays tailback and receiver. The other top threat is sophomore fullback Antoine Robinson. The team's top receiver is sophomore tight end Josh Smith.
"Those two are the ones who stand out to me," Harp said. "The quarterback, Paul Auberry, is not a big runner. He throws adequately, but Tillman and Robinson are the ones who can hurt you the most. Auberry is not slow, but he's not as fast as them.
"They will use a lot of different looks and formations on offense. They will even try at times to spread the field. But they basically just like to run the football."
Panthers use different defensive alignments
Harp is not as sure of what to expect from the Panthers' defense. Frankfort has basically used a 4-3 defensive alignment and sometimes shifted to a 5-3 look. However, the Panthers went to a six-man line last year to thwart Danville's running attack.
"We've not seen the same look out of them all year, but I don't know if they might go back to that against us or not," Harp said.
Harp said Smith is a "physical player" who impressed him with his play at defensive end.
Danville will be without linebacker-fullback C.J. Lynn Friday. He injured a hip in last week's win.
That likely will mean Darius Baughman will stay at linebacker rather than play more at safety as Harp originally planned this week. The coach also said Chris Stacy likely will play at linebacker along with Justin Hill and B.J. Strode.
Offensively, Harp will give Hill more time at fullback, a spot he normally shares with Lynn. Darren Ross could also play more at that spot and Dominique Alcorn could be used there, too.
"Other than C.J., we are pretty healthy for this time of year," the Danville coach said.
A win this week would assure the Admirals of at least one home game in the playoffs. Wins Friday and next week against Harrodsburg would give Danville the home-field advantage in the playoffs as long as it won until the state championship game.
"This is an important game for the playoffs," Harp said. "If we don't win this one, then we probably will not be district champion and may not have more than one home playoff game. That's more than enough reason to make sure we are ready to play our best. Besides, that's what it will take to win this game, because Frankfort is a good football team."