Fair or not, this year’s Danville football team could well be defined by one game.
That game is tonight, when the Admirals play at Somerset in a Class 2A second-round playoff game. They have lost three straight games to the Briar Jumpers, including two in the previous two seasons that weren’t particularly close and one earlier this season that their coach called “embarrassing.”
They have the chance to wipe those games off the board — or at least this year’s game — with a victory tonight at Clark Field, and it’s certainly within their power to do it. Somerset has been up and Danville has been down in the last two or three years, but the swinging pendulum has brought them closer together this season.
In other words, there really isn’t that much difference between these two teams right now. And it’s a good bet — a very good bet, I’d say — that the Admirals will give a much better account of themselves than when they were last in Somerset five weeks ago.
Still, they have been all over the map this season, and that makes this game nearly impossible to predict. A Danville team that is clicking on all cylinders wins at Somerset; a Danville team that doesn’t seem to be in the game gets boat-raced. I’m going to have to pick Somerset until the Admirals show me they can get over this particular hurdle, but don’t be surprised if I’m wrong.
A few miles to the northwest, Boyle County makes its first visit to Rockcastle County in more than a decade for a 4A game. That’s no easy place to play, and the Rockets are no easy team to beat. It’s the kind of tough second-round game you have to deal with when you don’t win your district, but it’s the kind of game the Rebels should still win.
And back to the northeast of Mount Vernon, Garrard County hosts the biggest game Dyehouse Stadium has seen in some time when Russell rolls in for a 3A game. It’s only the second time the Golden Lions have hosted a second-round game, and the first time since 1993, one of their best seasons ever. Russell is a name-brand team with one of the state’s most recognizable coaches, but I think the Lions are good enough to get the win.
The road will be a tough one tonight for Mercer County and Lincoln County, who play at Lexington Catholic (4A) and Harlan County (5A), respectively. Getting a first-round win was a coup for both local schools; getting a second-round win against those opponents will be an awful lot to ask.
- Boyle County over Rockcastle County.
- Garrard County over Russell.
- Harlan County over Lincoln County.
- Lexington Catholic over Mercer County.
- Somerset over Danville.
Last week: 4-2; season: 51-10 (.836).