DANVILLE — A broken fuse shut off the stadium lights on the visitors side of the field early in Friday’s game, and the Danville Blue Devils went ahead and shut down the visiting Centerburg Trojans offense, limiting it to 128 yards in a 42-0 win.
After both teams went three-and-out to open the contest, Centerburg got the ball back, but during their drive, half of the stadium lights shut off, causing a 10-15 minute delay in the action, but that delay did not slow down the Blue Devils. They shut down the ensuing Centerburg drive and got good field position on the next drive, moving the ball 37 yards, ending in a 29-yard run by Corbin Hazen, putting Danville ahead 7-0 with 4:20 to go in the first.
“We just executed,” Danville junior Alex Holt said. “We’ve been busting our butt off all week at practice and what we do in practice, we show on the football field on Friday night.”
Both teams struggled to move the ball for the rest of the opening frame and into the second quarter, before Centerburg put together a 10-play drive that ended in a punt, pinning Danville on its own 5. The Blue Devils worked the ball down the field, with the drive sprung by a 44-yard pass to Hazen, followed by a 22yard pass to Holt. Danville quarterback Dalton David closed out the drive himself, scoring on a 5-yard run, putting the Blue Devils ahead 140 with 1:39 to go before intermission.
A three-and-out by the visitors gave Danville the ball on the opposing 35 with 52 seconds left. On the third play of the drive, Dalton linked up with Holt for a 29-yard connection for a score, giving the home team a 21-0 lead heading into the break.
“It was just a breakdown in coverage because of a communication error within the coverage we called on that particular play,” Centerburg coach Andy Colella said of the big passing touchdown. “It led to that big play, and we knew that that was going to be their thing and we had to be able to stop those plays in order to give us a chance.”
Danville coach Ed Honabarger noted that those two late scores were a big momentum boost heading in to the locker room.
“What was really big was our two touchdowns there in the second quarter,” Honabarger said. “In a county rival game like we are playing with Centerburg, it was fortunate that we were able to do that. … It was good to be able to build that momentum because it was a backbreaker.”
Returning to the field, Centerburg shut down Danville on the first drive of the half, regaining some momentum, but that was quickly squandered. Holt flashed his hands on the defensive side of the ball, coming up with a 27-yard pick-six to put the Blue Devils ahead 28-0 early in the third.
“Coach gave us a good speech before the game and it hyped us all up,” Holt said of his big night. “We went out there and put points on the board.”
With the wet conditions setting in, neither team could really get their offenses going in the third, before another big pass play from Dalton to Hazen early in the fourth set up another 5 yard run for Dalton, setting the score at 35-0 with 7:29 to go. That score installed the running clock.
The Centerburg offense was again limited on the next drive and punted to Hazen, who picked up some blocks and sprinted down the sideline for 55 yards to score on a punt return, giving Danville its 42-0 lead with 4:07 remaining.
“We’ve struggled in some of our special teams and it’s cost us a little bit in a couple games,” Honabarger said. “It’s nice to get that punt return and get some nice blocks and get up the sideline and get a score.”
David ended the night with 255 yards on 13 of 20 passing, with Hazen coming down with five catches for 86 yards. Langdon Johnson notched 65 yards and three catches and Holt recorded 64 yards on three catches. Greenawalt was the top runner with 74 yards on 18 carries. Hazen and Dalton combined for 48 yards on five carries.
Centerburg John Sheasby was limited by the Blue Devil defense, notching 51 rushing yards on 13 carries. He was 5 of 13 through the air for 46 yards, but he was sacked five times for almost 40 yards.
“Obviously, he is a large part of our offense, whether it was the run game or the pass game,” Colella said. “We weren’t protecting him in the pass game. He didn’t have hardly any time to throw the ball and obviously the run game wasn’t working. That makes a huge difference.”
Behind Sheasby, Trey Kendrick notched 27 yards on five carries and Stephen Schmitt kicked in another 23 yards on six carries. Schmitt also had 36 yards on three catches.
Danville takes its threegame winning streak into a Week 9 home matchup against Mount Gilead Friday, while Centerburg hosts Northmor. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.