GREENSBURG - At times, Sam Harp thought his team played “great football.” At other times, the Danville coach thought it was “poor football” by the Admirals.
The bottom line: Danville used a variety of big offensive plays to build a 35-6 lead after three quarters over Green County on Friday night, then held on for a 42-26 win.
The visiting Admirals scored first for the first time all season, but Green outscored them 20-7 in the fourth quarter to close the gap in their final game before the start of district play.
“We have got to get better than this,” Harp said. “We didn’t stop the counter play the second half. It’s a basic simple play that we practiced against and we couldn’t stop it. We just didn’t put the game away like we should have.
“Maybe we needed this. Green is good, tough competition and this is not an easy place to play. We have a bye week now and then we’ll face Somerset, the best team we will have played this year. We’ll have to play a lot better than this if we want to win that game.”
Danville (5-1) rolled up 406 yards on offense and had three big scoring runs — 78 yards by Damani Del Rosario in period two, 57 yards by Jadarius Brown in period three and 52 yards by Ray Bradshaw in period four for the final score.
The Admirals had five other runs of 10 yards or more, including a 38-yard jaunt by Brown, and also had four pass completions for 10 or more yards. That was 12 plays that gained 10 or more more yards and accounted for 342 yards.
“The first half we played well and we had some big plays in the game. Del Rosario, Brown and Bradshaw all had huge runs for us, and I thought (quarterback) Devonta (Alcorn) played well,” Harp said.
A 32-yard pass to Ace Ray on the game’s second play set up Ray’s 2-yard scoring run 3 minutes into the game, and Ray’s 49-yard punt return set up an 11-yard strike from Alcorn to Jacobie Harris to give Danville a 14-0 lead 3 minutes later.
Alcorn was 4 for 10 for 63 yards, with Ray having two catches for 42 yards and Harris catching two passes for 21 yards.
“Harris has good hands. He did a good job catching the ball in traffic and hanging on,” Harp said.
Danville lost senior lineman J.K. Howard to a hand injury late in the first quarter — Harp is not sure about his status for the Admirals’ game against Somerset in two weeks since it was the same hand he broke in the preseason — and that forced senior Sabe Ruggles to take over at center. On his first series, Danville drove 99 yards to score on Del Rosario’s nifty 78-yard run in which he outran and outmaneuvered defenders.
“(Ruggles) has not practiced center that much, but he played there last year,” Harp said. “He did not have one bad snap. He deserves a lot of credit for the way he played.”
Danville opened the second half with back-to-back turnovers. First, Ray fumbled after making a 10-yard catch and Green (3-3) came to life with a seven-play, 53-yard drive that ended with Evan Jaggers’ 6-yard scoring run — the first of three touchdowns for him.
The Admirals fumbled away the onside kick — the third time that has happened this season — but the defense held on downs at the 23-yard line when a blitzing Bradshaw hit Green quarterback Weston McDermott on fourth down to force an incompletion.
On Green’s next series, Del Rosario had a sack before a high snap in punt formation set the Admirals up at the Green 23. Four plays later, Olyjawan Ford scored on a 1-yard run. Two minutes later, Brown broke free for his 57-yard dash, which gave Danville a 35-6 lead as the third quarter ended.
However, the Admirals couldn’t finish the rout. McDermott had a 50-yard run to set up Jaggers’ 15-yard touchdown, and Jaggers’ 62-yard punt return set up his 4-yard score to cut the lead to 35-20 with 6:36 left.
Bradshaw countered on Danville’s first play after the Admirals recovered an onside kick with his 52-yard touchdown run with 6:16 to go.
Karapandzic put all seven of his kickoffs into the end zone, but the Dragons moved 80 yards, aided by two Danville penalties, to score on McDermott’s 3-yard run with 3:30 left.
“We fumbled after catching a pass to start the second half and then fumbled the kickoff away. That’s when we just deflated,” Harp said. “I don’t know why. We have not done that this year. We played so well the first half, what was the difference the second half. We have to get that figured out and figured out in a hurry with Somerset coming next.
“I was never ready to panic in the second half. I was glad we finally got off to a good start (Danville had not scored first in any of its previous five games), but we can’t let up when we are in position to put a game away.”
Danville 14 7 14 7 — 42
Green County 0 0 6 20 — 26
Danville — Ace Ray 2 run (Damir Karapandzic kick), 8:59.
Danville — Jacobie Harris 11 pass from Devonta Alcorn (Karapandzic kick), 6:03.
Danville — Damani Del Rosario 78 run (Karapandzic kick), 11:37.
Green — Evan Jaggers 6 run (kick failed), 9:01
Danville — Olyjawan Ford 1 run (Karapandzic kick), 2:25.
Danville — Jadarius Brown 57 run (Karapandzic), :30.
Green — Jaggers 15 run (pass failed), 10:25.
Green — Jaggers 4 run (Jaggers run), 6:36.
Danville — Ray Bradshaw 52 run (Karapandzic kick), 6:16.
Green — Weston McDermott 3 run (run failed), 3:30.
First downs 14 19
Rushes-yards 32-343 281
Passing 63 27
Total Net Yards 406 308
Comp-Att-Int 4-7-0 2-9-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-0
Penalties-Yards 11-89 4-17
RUSHING—Danville, Ray Bradshaw 3-89, Damani Del Rosario 3-78, Jadarius Brown 3-66, Devonta Alcorn 8-41, Jawan Grey 7-30, Olyjawan Ford 3-23, Tyquan Matthews 4-14, Ace Ray 1-2. Green, Weston McDermott 18-115, Elliott Taylor 20-93, Evan Jaggers 19-89, team 1-minus 16.
PASSING—Danville, Devonta Alcorn 4-10-0-63. Green, Weston McDermott 2-9-0-27.
RECEIVING—Danville, Ray 2-42, Jacobie Harris 2-21. Green, Matt Sherrill 1-14, Chase Shive 1-13.