Campbellsville presents 'big' test for Ads

November 04, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Danville coach Sam Harp says his team faces a "big" challenge in its opening Class A playoff game.

The Admirals host Campbellsville Friday as they start defense of the state championship they won for the third time in four years last season.

"Campbellsville not only is a good team, but they have a big team," Harp said. "They have good size and they will be a lot bigger than us."

Campbellsville's offensive line features four players weighing between 245 and 275 pounds and the top running back is 215-pound Cedrick Bridgewater, the team's top scorer with 13 rushing touchdowns. Fullback Jared Vaughn weighs 205 and quarterback Nick Holmes weighs 195.


"Their mode of attack will be to run the football, but they can mix it up at times," Harp said. "If they can stay in their I-formation and attack you, they will. Bridgewater is a hard runner with good speed. He runs with power, but is also good in the open field. Vaughn gets the tough yardage inside.

"But they will also jump in the shotgun and throw it, too. They are not bashful about doing that if needed. They like to play physical, but in their spread formation they also have a lot of finesse."

Harp says Campbellsville's top receiver is senior Chris Anderson. "He can fly," Harp said.

Danville's defense is led by sophomores Darren Ross, B.J. Strode and Justin Hill. Ross has 23 solo tackles among his 69 tackles, Strode 19 solos and 66 tackles, and Hill 16 solos and 61 total tackles. Daylen Morris has a team-high five interceptions.

Campbellsville averages about 230 yards rushing and 125 yards passing per game. The Tigers have limited opponents to about 250 yards per game, including just 130 rushing yards.

Harp says Campbellsville's base defense is a 4-4 alignment anchored by 320-pound tackle Brandon Hickman and 275-pound tackle Terrill Williams.

"Williams is their best defensive player. Bubba Lawless does a good job at defensive end, too," Harp said. "They only have five guys that go both ways. coach Herb Wiseman, a former coach at Campbellsville University, does a good job getting different people in the game."

Campbellsville won first five games

Campbellsville opened the season 5-0, but lost 48-14 to Bardstown, 55-14 to Louisville Holy Cross and 14-13 to Christian Academy in district play.

"Holy Cross has beaten everybody like a drum and Bardstown has some guys with great speed," Harp said.

Danville's offense also has big-play potential. Harp moved Ronnie Hawkins from quarterback to receiver at midseason to take advantage of his speed on the outside and get sophomore quarterback Jeffery Guest on the field.

Last week Harp used Hawkins at running back in the wishbone set with Kelvin Turner, the team's top rusher with 1,764 yards. Hawkins ran for 126 yards and caught two passes for 18 yards. Turner added 178 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving in the 56-6 win over Harrodsburg.

"We want to get Ronnie the ball any way that we can," Harp said. "He's a tremendous athlete. We can give him the ball, throw it to him or bring him in motion for a reverse. He gives us a dimension we have not had.

"By moving him around, defenses can't lock in on him. Defenses won't know where he will be. We were just testing the waters a little bit last week to see how some things will work, but he ran hard and you'll see him there more."

Turner is 11 TDs behind Homer

Turner became just the fifth player in state history to score 100 or more touchdowns last week, a milestone Harp knew nothing about until he read the newspaper. He's now fourth on the all-time scoring list with 101 touchdowns, 11 behind state leader Derek Homer of Fort Knox.

"That's a tremendous accomplishment for him," Harp said. "I am not much of a stat guy, and he's not, either. I want our guys to be team players, and he is. But if we could play five more games, it would be great for him to have a chance to get that record."

Five more games would mean Danville reached the state title game again. Harp felt better about his team's chances to do that after last week's win than he had the previous game when the Admirals barely beat Frankfort.

"We played a lot better against Harrodsburg except for our tackling," Harp said.

The coach isn't worried about going into the playoffs with Guest at quarterback, either. He's completed 26 of 43 passes for 493 yards and 10 scores and ran 18 times for 247 yards and three scores.

"I like what he has done. He played in a tough game against Frankfort and made plays," Harp said. "He wants the ball and he wants to be a quarterback. Will he make mistakes? Yes. Will he get better? Yes. With Ronnie as his backup, we have the best of both worlds."

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