Prep Football: Danville faces familiar scenario against Lexington Christian
Danville quarterback Devonta Alcorn (15) throws a pass during the Admirals¿ loss to Somerset earlier this season. Alcorn and the Admirals host Lexington Christian on Friday. (Clay Jackson / October 18, 2012)
With one district game remaining, the Admirals are exactly where they were at this time last season, facing a game against Lexington Christian that will determine second and third place in District AA-7 and award the winner a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
The Danville coach remembers what happened last year, and he wants his team to avoid a similar fate Friday at Admiral Stadium.
“We were in this same position last year, and we went up there and laid an egg and they beat us,” Harp said.
A one-point loss to LCA last season forced Danville to go on the road for the first round of the playoffs, and while the Admirals survived that game, they didn’t survive their second-round game at Somerset.
Now they face an LCA team that bears a strong resemblance to the one that beat them a year ago — and to the way Harp wants his team to look in its final regular-season home game.
“The biggest thing about them is they play smart and they play hard. They’ve got good athletes, but their athleticism is not what gets you beat. What they do well is they play smart, they take care of the football and they play hard. They look like they’re going out there with a purpose,” Harp said. “We’ve got to do the same. That approach served us well early in the season ... and we’ve got to hope that shows up for us again.”
LCA (5-3, 1-1 district) was a young team last season, and in many respects it still is. Harp said the Eagles still play a number of sophomores and juniors, with only a couple of seniors starting on each side of the ball.
“Next year they’ll be a veteran team for sure,” he said.
After a 12-9 loss at Somerset last week, LCA has scored and allowed exactly the same number of points — 20.3 per game.
The Eagles took Somerset to the wire, driving for a chance to win or tie the game in the last 2 minutes before they were stopped by an offensive pass interference penalty at the 1-yard line and an incomplete pass.
The Eagles’ offense generated only 240 yards at Somerset, which isn’t far off their season average. They are averaging 86 rushing yards and 156 passing yards per game, but they allow only 121 rushing yards and 155 passing yards per game.
“They’re well-coached, they play hard, they’re fundamentally sound, and in order to combat that we’re going to have to do the same,” Harp said.
Dima Ballard and Lincoln Henzman split time at quarterback last year for LCA, but Ballard has gotten the bulk of the snaps this year, and he has thrown for 1,054 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Leading receiver Justin King has 21 catches for 498 yards, and Sam Maybriar is the leading rusher with 355 yards and three touchdowns. Both were also the team leaders in those categories last season.
Danville (6-2, 1-1) averages 196 rushing yards and 93 passing yards per game. The Admirals ran for 240 yards and threw for 87 last week in their 28-19 win at Middlesboro, where they rallied with two touchdowns in the final 6:35.
“I think we had very good focus all week long, but honestly, I felt like our kids felt like Middlesboro was just Middlesboro and they were going to roll over and die for us,” Harp said. “We’re going to get the best out of everybody we play, I don’t care what class they’re in. We’re not going to sneak up on anybody ... and we used to intimidate people, but we don’t intimidate people any more.”
Jawan Grey rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns for the Admirals last week, and he has 453 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Devonta Alcorn has rushed for a team-high 464 yards and seven touchdowns and has thrown for 747 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.
Defensive back Nolan Spann suffered an ankle injury last week, and his status for Friday’s game is in doubt. Harp said X-rays on the ankle were negative and said Spann is day to day.