Danville treating finale as a playoff game
Published 1:56 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022
The playoffs start this week for Danville.
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Not literally, of course, because elimination won’t be on the line when the Admirals travel to Whitley County on Friday. But coach Mark Peach said that’s how he’s looking at their final regular-season game.
“We’re going to try to approach it like a playoff game,” Peach said.
Peach said Danville (4-5) will travel by charter bus to Williamsburg in anticipation of similar trips in the postseason, and he said when the Admirals arrive they will play as if their season were on the line.
“We’re going to try to play our best football game,” he said. “It’s one of those real tricky ones where district play’s over and the playoffs are right around the corner.”
It’s another chance for Danville to test itself against a team from a larger school. All seven of the Admirals’ non-district opponents play in higher enrollment classes, and Whitley (2-7) is one of five from Class 4A or above.
Whitley has struggled against its own challenging schedule — it snapped a five-game losing streak last week with a victory over South Laurel — but Peach said the Colonels are better than their record indicates.
Peach said the Colonels are particularly effective at running the ball. Two-thirds of their offensive yards have come on the ground, and their top three rushers have combined for more than 1,400 yards, led by Shane Parker with 651 yards and three touchdowns.
“They’ve run the ball on everybody they’ve played,” Peach said. “And they’ve been in position in some of their games against some quality opponents.”
That was also the case last year at Danville, where Whitley led 22-14 in the second quarter before the Admirals flipped the script with 33 unanswered points to win 47-28.
Danville comes into this game off a loss to Lexington Christian in its district finale last week, but Peach said the Admirals played well even in defeat.
“I think we’ve played really well the last three weeks,” he said. “We played a pretty good football game (Friday), and it was a great experience for our guys to be in a big game like that and battle like we did. We played right with them … and it seemed like our guys weren’t discouraged after the game.”