'Outplayed' Admirals hold off Frankfort

October 24, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

FRANKFORT - So much can change over the course of a year in the life of a teenager, and the Danville Admirals now know that applies to football as well.

A year ago, the Admirals had no problem putting aside Frankfort for one of their largest victories of the season. But a hungry Frankfort team very nearly took a bite out of Danville Friday night, staying within striking distance before the Admirals held on for a 22-14 victory.

"Good teams find a way to win sometimes when they don't play well," Danville coach Sam Harp said. "You see that on TV every Saturday and Sunday.

"For a large part of the game they outplayed us. We made some plays when we needed to make them."

The biggest of those plays included a blocked punt by Darren Ross that led to a touchdown and an interception by Daylen Morris that snuffed out Frankfort's last hope of tying the game.


Kelvin Turner scored all three touchdowns for Danville (5-4, 4-0 district), two of them on passes from Jeffery Guest.

But Frankfort (6-3, 3-1) scored twice in the third quarter to keep the heat on the Admirals, and the Panthers would have taken the lead after their second touchdown had their two-point conversion attempt worked.

Harp said Danville's players didn't heed his warnings about how dangerous Frankfort was.

"I really don't think they did," Harp said. "I don't think they took them seriously because we beat them so bad last year."

Harp not happy after game

If the Admirals weren't listening last week, they're listening now. An angry Harp voiced his displeasure during their postgame huddle, while a hundred yards away Frankfort fans applauded as their team left the field.

"I can't be more happy," Frankfort coach Craig Foley said. "Give or take a play here or there, and we might have had a different ballgame."

Harp said it was a far cry from last year's game, when Danville dominated the Panthers in a 68-8 win.

"We were a better football team last year," Harp said. "We just can't rely on our athletic talent."

Danville clinched a tie for the Class A, District 4 title only after stopping Frankfort on fourth down twice in the final 4 1/2 minutes, both times in Danville territory.

The last stop was Morris' interception - his fifth pick of the season - with 1:02 remaining at the Danville 41-yard line.

"I was running hard, and I heard my teammates (on the bench) say, 'Ball!'" Morris said. "They helped me out, and I saw it and tried my best to catch it."

Turner was held to 131 rushing yards, almost 50 below his season average, and a Danville offense that racked up 450 yards last year against Frankfort was held to 252. The Admirals netted minus-3 yards in three possessions after their last touchdown.

"I felt our line just got pushed around in there tonight," Harp said.

Frankfort's defense made its presence known on Danville's first possession with a stop on fourth-and-6 at the Frankfort 32.

"That first series was very important," Foley said. "When we made that stop, it made our guys realize we can play with these guys now."

Ads break scoreless tie

Guest's 11-yard scoring pass to Turner midway through the second quarter broke a scoreless tie and capped an 11-play, 63-yard drive. Frankfort then drove to the Danville 30 before Ross wrapped up Tillman as he attempted a halfback pass on fourth down.

Ross broke through to block a punt from the end zone by Josh Smith in the third quarter, giving Danville the ball at the 1-yard line.

"I just saw an opening and went for it," Ross said. "I had it the first time (on a first-quarter block attempt), and I just missed."

Turner scored on the first play after the punt block, and Darius Baughman caught a pass for the two-point conversion, but Frankfort responded with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Antoine Robinson, who also rushed for 114 yards.

The Panthers then recovered an onside kick that led a 5-yard run by Tillman that made it 15-14, but Robinson couldn't reach the end zone on the conversion attempt that would have given them the lead.

Danville answered with an eight-play, 51-yard drive for its final score. Turner rushed for 27 yards to the Frankfort 16 on the first play of the fourth quarter to negate a 5-yard loss caused by an improper spot when the teams switched sides, and he caught a 13-yard lob from Guest in the end zone three plays later.

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