Danville heads to Hazard for season opener Friday
Game location has been moved to Perry Central High
By MARTY WARREN
While most teams are preparing to open their unusual season due to Covid-19 this Friday, Danville will wait one more week and open its season on September 18 when the Admirals travel to Hazard to take on the Bulldogs. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Hazard High School, but the site has now been changed, and it will be at Perry County Central High School’s field.
The Admirals used week one to scrimmage Madison-Central and get valuable practice time before opening their season.
Hazard (0-1) opened its season last week with a 24-21 loss against Floyd Central, rallied in the final seconds last season with the aid of two controversial calls to hand the Admirals a heart-breaking 30-29 homecoming loss last season.
Danville, 3-7 in 2019, had rallied twice to grab a 29-24 lead and looked poised to pull out the victory, only to have an apparent pass interception called back on a pass interference call. Three plays later, Hazard’s Reece Fletcher appeared to have his knee down at the two-yard line,but the officials didn’t see it that way. Fletcher fumbled into the end zone on the play and Andrew Ford recovered the fumble in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
“Sometimes things just don’t go your way,’ Clevenger told the Advocate-Messenger’s Mike Marsee after the game.”We competed, we fought and sometimes you have to make your own breaks.”
The Admirals will attempt to make their own breaks beginning next week. Sophomore quarterback Sage Dawson (76 of 152, seven touchdowns, 894 yards, seven interceptions) returns to lead the offensive attack while junior Caleb Burns, the team’s leading rusher in 2019 with 1150 yards and 15 touchdowns and senior Corydon Crawford, last year’s leading receiver (41 catches, 417 yards and five touchdowns) also return.
“Offensively, our strength will be our offensive line and running game,“ Clevenger said. “Sage is getting better everyday. We are still working on our accuracy and wide receivers consistency catching the ball.”
Clevenger is pleased with how his team has responded in practice.
“I have been impressed with how our kids are working and preparing for the season,” he said. “We have 16 seniors who are doing a great job leading and have really matured over the last year.
We play a tough schedule and are in a tough district. I expect our guys to compete and play hard. As long as we do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
Defensively, Danville will have to replace Darrian Bell, who led the team in tackles in each of the last three seasons.
“Defensively we are going to have to rely on quickness and the ability to get to the ball,” the Danville coach said. “I think you will see a lot of bodies playing defensively early and we hope for guys to step up with the absence of Darrian Bell.”
The Millers – seniors Garrett and Nick – return to lead the Bulldogs at quarterback. Garratt completed 77 of 130 attempts for 1188 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. Nick completed 28 of 56 passes for 278 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Hazard is in its first season under new head coach Daniel Howard, who replaced long-time coach Mark Dixon, who moved across town to take over the reins at Perry County Central.
Sophomore Elijah Garner is the Bulldogs leading returning rusher with 228 yards and four touchdowns while senior Braydon Thomas added 155 yards.
Ford returns as Hazard’s leading receiver with 496 yards on 36 catches and two receiving touchdowns.
Juniors Zane Deaton (78 tackles, five fumble recoveries), Thomas (68 tackles) and Ford (53 tackles) lead a young group on the defensive side of the football.
2020 Danville Schedule
Sept. 18 at Hazard
Sept. 25 Wayne County
Oct. 2 at Allen County-Scottsville
Oct. 9 Somerset
Oct. 16 at Washington County
Oct. 23 Lexington Christian
Oct, 30 Shelby Valley
Nov. 6 at Boyle County