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Danville game notes

December 05, 2004|MIKE MARSEE and MARTY WARREN

Coming at 'em: Beechwood was the first team this season whose offense was successful at running up the middle against Danville, and Harp said the Admirals' coaching staff hoped not many teams would try that this season.

"We were hoping nobody would line up and ran it right at us all year long," Harp said.

Tackle trouble: Harp said poor tackling was partly to blame for the success of Beechwood running backs Dustin Menetrey and Eric Sawyer, who combined to rush for 241 yards.

"We just didn't do a good job tackling Menetrey, and we didn't do a good job tackling Sawyer," Harp said. "We didn't wrap up. They ran through our arms."

Defensive leaders: Sophomore linebacker Justin Hill led the Danville defense in tackles with eight. Hill and linebacker Kelvin Turner had seven solo tackles each.

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The Admirals' other tackles leaders included George Brown with 51/2 and Masaak Tagarook with five, and they had the team's only two tackles for losses. Ronnie Hawkins and Darius Baughman had four tackles each, followed by Ryan Harper with 31/2 and Jacob Moore and Darren Ross with three each.

Jeffrey Guest had the interception and an 11-yard return on Beechwood's only turnover, and Hawkins was credit with Danville's only pass breakup.

Single digits: This was not the lowest scoring output for Danville in a state championship game, but it equals it. The Admirals scored just seven points in the 1989 Class AA final against Mayfield, but they won that game 7-3.

Coach watch: Danville coach Sam Harp finishes the season ranked fifth in wins among Kentucky's active coaches and 12th all-time with a record of 252-76. Harp could pass as many as three coaches on the list next season.

Tie-breaker: Beechwood coach Mike Yeagle became the winningest coach in state finals history by winning his eighth championship Friday. Harp has seven championships and would have done the same had Danville won.

"It's a special feeling," Yeagle said. "But it's all for the kids. That's what I'm about, the kids."

Numbers: Danville converted on only three of eight third-down plays, all of them in the first half. The Admirals were 0-for-1 on fourth down. ... Danville averaged just 4.0 yards per play, while Beechwood averaged 6.1. ... Danville's longest play from scrimmage was a 16-yard run by Turner just before the half. Darius Baughman's 15-yard reception late in the game was the longest pass play and more yardage passing than in Danville's prior two games as they had one yard against Holy Cross and two against Mayfield. ... Friday's attendance of 5,917 was the largest crowd for a Class A title game since the 2000 game, when a record 7,714 fans saw Danville beat Newport Central Catholic.

Time change: If Danville returns to the state finals next year, Admiral fans will have to adjust to a different schedule. There will be a new format for the championship games next season, with a single night game played on Friday, Dec. 2 and three games the following day.

Kentucky High School Athletic Association media relations director Butch Cope said there will be a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday and games at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, but Cope said which classes will fill which slots won't be determined until as late as next summer.

Cope said the KHSAA hopes the move leads to increased attendance and should mean players and other students will have to miss less school time.

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