Admirals fall to Somerset for first time in six years
By JOE MATHIS
Danville’s offense was gearing up to take the ball and the field to start the game against Somerset.
Then the game kicked off.
After Somerset won the toss and deferred to the second half, the Briar Jumpers pooched the opening kick in the air which died right in between the Danville kick coverage unit and was recovered by Somerset.
It didn’t take long for the Briar Jumpers to take advance.
Six plays and 37 yards later, Somerset running back Alex Miller scampered in for a four yard touchdown run. The Briar Jumpers then tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0.
The score remained 7-0 through the end of the first quarter, when lightning delayed action just before the start of the second quarter for just over an hour.
With the lightning came the drenching rain. And with the downpour, came the turnovers.
Somerset punted the football to Danville three plays into the second quarter, pinning the Admirals back to their own 14 yard line.
On Danville’s first play of the second quarter, the Admirals handed the ball off to Damon Jackson who came in motion from his receiver spot but had the ball popped loose by a Briar Jumper defender. Somerset jumped on the loose ball, then two plays later fullback Jase Bruner’s touchdown allowed Somerset to jump ahead of Danville 14-0.
Danville’s ensuing drive made it to the Somerset 47 yard line, but holding a wet football Admiral quarterback Zach Thornton’s pass was underthrown and picked off by Tate Madden.
The turnovers would continue.
After the Madden interception, Somerset drove inside the Danville redzone before fumbling. It was a fumble that Danville would recover, before giving it back on their offensive possession on an interception.
Somerset’s ensuing drive would last all of one play, as Briar Jumpers quarterback Kaiya Sheron fumbled at the Danville 34 yard line with under a minute to play, giving the Admirals a last chance to score before the half ended.
Danville did score–albeit it wasn’t the touchdown the Admirals wanted. Instead, after picking up one first down, Danville’s drive stalled and with 14 seconds left, Ads kicker Nathan Hazlett hit a 37 yard field goal to trim the Somerset lead to 14-3 at the half.
Danville remained within striking distance until the fourth quarter, when the Briar Jumpers effectively put Danville away.
Starting with the ball on their own 20 yard line with 11:44 left, Somerset proceeded to march 80 yards on 14 plays–a drive that took 8:32 off the clock and by the time Alex Miller finished off the drive for his second touchdown of the night, Somerset led 21-3 with only 3:02 left.
Danville struck back quickly in under two minutes, as Brennen McGuire took a double reverse for 37 yards, then Thornton found Seth Gosser three times to push Danville down to the one.
The Admirals then capped the drive off with a one yard touchdown run by McGuire to make the score 21-10, where it would remain until the final buzzer sounded.
It was Somerset’s first win over Danville since November 16, 2012, snapping a 6 game skid to the Admirals.
Danville travels to Middlesboro on Friday for their final district game against the Yellow Jackets before next year’s redistricting. They’re a team Danville has had success against, winning four straight versus Middlesboro and outscoring them 183-28 in those four games.