Danville can’t slow Knox’s Partin

Published 4:17 pm Monday, September 18, 2023


Danville did everything it could do to get into the win column Friday night, and it took one of the best rushing performances in Kentucky high school football history to keep them out.

The Admirals displayed diversity on offense and resiliency in all phases of the game to stay in the hunt before falling to Knox Central 50-40 in Barbourville.

Email newsletter signup

Steve Partin of Knox had the third-highest single-game rushing total in state history, running for 526 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Panthers’ victory.

Visiting Danville (0-5) led by 10 points late in the first half before Knox (3-2) took control of the game with 28 unanswered points, who carried the ball on every one of the Panthers’ plays in the second half.

The Admirals cut an 18-point deficit to 10 late in the game on the strength of two receiving touchdowns by Demontrae Trumbo, who had four TDs in all, but they got no closer.

“I’m proud of my guys @danvilleadsfb tonight,” Danville coach Frank Parks Jr. wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “With all of the adversity our guys went through tonight they never quit.”

Danville overcame penalties, turnovers and ejections to stay in the game but had no answer for Partin carried the ball on every one of the Panthers’ plays in the second half and bulldozed his way through the Admirals’ defense for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

Partin, who has committed to Yale, became the third player in state history to rush for more than 500 yards in a game. His 526 yards placed him behind only J.J. Jude of Johnson Central (584 yards in 2010) and Monquantae Gibson of Moore (574 in 2001) in the KHSAA record book.

Trumbo had his biggest game of the season for Danville, accounting for 168 offensive yards. He caught five passes for 87 yards and rushed for 81 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He had 93 combined rushing and receiving yards in his first four games.

“(Trumbo) was big time tonight,” Parks tweeted.

Trumbo recovered a fumble on a Danville kickoff and returned it 20 yards to the Knox 11-yard line, then recovered his own fumble following a reception and ran 13 yards to the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Admirals a 26-16 lead with 3:01 remaining in the first half.

Knox answered in less than a minute when Partin ran 53 yards to the Danville 1 and Mason Griffin scored from there.

Partin scored on runs of 28 and 8 yards in the first half and 2, 23, 9 and 5 yards in the second half, and he ran for two two-point conversions. He averaged 12.8 yards per carry.

His first touchdown of the third quarter gave the Panthers a 28-26 lead. He scored again less than a minute later after teammate Tanner Hinkle recovered a Danville fumble at the Admirals’ 35, and he got his third TD in just over six minutes to give them a 44-26 lead with 10:34 to play.

Trumbo returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards to the Knox 43, caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Enrique Gutierrez-Jacobs to pull Danville within 44-32, then recovered an onside kick. The Admirals got as far as the Knox 41 before turning the ball over on downs.

Trumbo answered one more Partin score with a 35-yard TD reception with 1:38 left and Danville’s Richard Norris recovered another onside kick by teammate Kaleb Wilcher, but the Admirals could not score again.

Braidin Baughman rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries for Danville, and he scored on runs of 2 and 15 yards in the first half.

Baughman accounted for 77 percent of Danville’s offensive yardage in its first four games, but the Admirals had more players involved on offense in the first half Friday.

Danville has an open date this week before hosting Campbellsville on Sept. 28.


Scoring summary

DHS 7 19 0 14 – 40

KC 8 14 14 14 – 50

First Quarter

DHS – Braidin Baughman 2 run (Kaleb Wilcher kick), 8:21.

KC – Steve Partin 28 run (Matt Elkins run), 4:02.

Second Quarter

DHS – Demontrae Trumbo 56 run (kick failed), 9:26.

KC – Partin 8 run (Elkins run), 6:44.

DHS – Baughman 15 run (pass failed), 5:03.

DHS – Trumbo 13 fumble recovery (Wilcher kick), 3:01.

KC – Mason Griffin 1 run (run failed), 2:03.

Third Quarter

KC – Partin 2 run (run failed), 4:38.

KC – Partin 23 run (Partin run), 3:54.

Fourth Quarter

KC – Partin 9 run (Partin run), 10:34.

DHS – Trumbo 17 pass from Enrique Gutierrez-Jacobs (pass failed), 8:30.

KC – Partin 5 run (pass failed), 3:08.

DHS – Trumbo 35 pass from Gutierrez-Jacobs (Trumbo run), 1:38.