Prep Football: Danville worries Green County coach Griffiths
Danville¿s Trevon Sandifer (74) tackles Southwestern¿s Logan Campisano during last week¿s 31-7 win. Sandifer and the Admirals will try and slow down host Green County on Friday night in Greensburg. (Clay Jackson / September 20, 2012)
“I think Danville has the best high school team I have seen in a while at this level (Class AA),” said Griffiths as his team prepares to host the Admirals on Friday. “Their lineman have great size, speed and technique. Not to mention the level of coaching they receive. I have a great deal of respect for coach Harp and (assistant) coach (Jerry) Perry. Most coaches do not stick with it like they have. Danville is fortunate that they have had this consistency that hurts many programs.
“(Quarterback) Devonta Alcorn is having a great senior season and is difficult to prepare for because of size and ability to run. He reminds me a lot of Derrick Ramsey that played at Kentucky. He is just a great player that will only get better.”
Danville (4-1) is coming off wins over Corbin and Southwestern where Harp feels his team did not play with the energy or focus it did in a win over rival Boyle County Aug. 31.
“It would be nice to get out of the gate fast, something we have not done all year,” Harp said. “We will definitely be looking for that. We have to go there focused and not worry about all the other stuff going on around us.
“This is a good game for us before our bye week and start of district play. Their offense is diverse and defensively they are aggressive and physical. It is good competition. They only have three guys I count that go both ways all the time, so they have good depth and numbers to throw at you.”
Green (3-2) has scored at least 20 points every game this season and is coming off a 58-28 win over Campbellsville.
“They have been pretty good offensively for years and are again,”¿Harp said. “They have good running backs and have one (Evan Jaggers) that can outrun anybody we have in open space. They use him a lot of different ways and will also throw the ball to him. We can’t let him get loose or we won’t catch him.”
Harp calls senior Elliott Taylor a “hard-nosed fullback” who also plays linebacker. “He runs hard inside,” the Danville coach said.
Quarterback Weston McDermott, a junior, throws the deep ball well.
“They will run a lot more than they throw. They don’t throw a lot of short routes. They will lull you to sleep with the run and then hit a fade route behind you. They will also run some quick screen passes for big plays,”¿Harp said. “They also run a lot of counter plays that can cause the defense trouble.
Defensively, Green is allowing 29 points per game and gave up 34 to North Bullitt and Frankfort in its two losses.
“They are young in spots, but I¿think they are still pretty good on defense,” Harp said. “They have played some good competition, but they are always a pretty physical team. “They have good size across the line, including one lineman who weighs 365 (pounds). I like (senior) Dakota Westmoreland, who plays tight end and either defensive end or tackle. He just plays where they need him and is a big kid that can run.”
Harp knows winning at Green is not easy.
“It’s a tough place to go play. We got embarrassed there (61-22 in the 2009 playoffs) the last time we were there. It was a running clock, so we know how tough it will be to play there,” the Danville coach said.
Still, Griffiths thinks this is one of Danville’s better teams in recent years and says it reminds him of Danville’s 2003 state championship team — the last time Danville won a title — in many ways.
“Except this team is more physical,” the Green coach said. “Danville had great linemen on both of these teams. I think line play is the key for everyone. We cannot get into a slugfest with them. We have to play with intensity and try to outnumber them to the ball on defense, and on offense take what they give us. Not try to do things because we like to do them but play very smart.”
Griffiths likes facing Danville in the regular season and thinks the game will benefit his team entering district play as well.
“Bottom line it makes you better in every aspect. They are very well coached in every position, as well is all areas of the game. When you play them it is 48 minutes of concentration that will help every player and coach down the road in a game,” Griffiths said. “I have never felt that you ever get any better unless your players, coaches or program is completely challenged. This is a program that will do this.”