Warriors will square off with Bishop Chatard in 3A finals matchup Nov. 28
By Mark Ambrogi
HUNTINGBURG, Ind. — The Danville Community High School football team puts opposing defenses in difficult positions.
“The thing about our offense is we feel like we do a lot of things really well,” Warriors first-year coach Jayme Comer said. “We can throw the football. We can run the football. I think that makes people really make a decision what are they going to do, what are they going to stop.”
Southridge didn’t have much success stopping, either. Senior Ethan Dutra carried 19 times for 155 yards, including two TDs, to help lead the Class 3A No. 5 Warriors to a 30-7 rout of No. 4 Southridge Nov. 20 in the semistate.Danville (11-0) will now face No. 1 Bishop Chatard (12-1) in the state championship Nov. 28. 3 pm. at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“The kids were excited for the game but they executed,” Comer said. “We got in situations where we didn’t panic. The kids understand the game plan. They understood what we were asking of them and did their roles. It was a team win. It was not one kid that won it for us but it was everybody. I’m proud of that for our program.”
Dutra said the offensive line gets a huge assist.
“The line and (fellow running back Matthew) McGovern were making holes for me,” Dutra said. “We were all doing it together. It starts with the O-line and running backs just follow. Our O-line did their job and then some.”
The only thing that stopped 5-foot-11, 220-pound Dutra, who also starts at linebacker, was some leg cramps which made him miss a handful of plays. Dutra said he wasn’t expecting to be quite as unseasonably warm as it was.
The Warriors dominated defensively as well.
“There was no doubt in my mind our defense was going to produce and that’s we did,” Dutra said.
Danville junior quarterback Kale Payne connected with senior Jake Comer, no relation to the coach, on an 11-yard TD to put Danville up 7-0 in the first quarter.
After Southridge (13-1) tied it on 5-yard TD run by Carson Niehaus early in the second quarter, Dutra’s 7-yard TD run put the Warriors up for good at 14-7 with 7:54 left in the second quarter.
Payne and junior receiver Tyler Dostin connected for 65-yards to put Danville ahead 20-7 with 4:47 left in the second quarter. The PAT was missed.
“That was Tyler Dostin being Tyler Dostin,” Coach Comer said. “He’s a big kid that has a lot of potential and he showed it right there. If we want to win next weekend, we need him to be a big time player.”
Following a 26-yard field goal by Braden Walliser, Dutra capped the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
Comer said the team showed its maturity in taking care of business.
“They handled leaving school early, a three-hour bus ride, doing things not normal and still came out here and performed,” he said. “Hopefully, that makes next week not seem as big of a deal, but it will be. This will be my first time playing Chatard and I’m excited for the challenge and our kids are too.”
Senior wide receiver/safety Luke Wooten said the Warriors were prepared.
“We had a great week of practice,” said Wooten, who had five catches for 72 yards. “The guys were locked in. On the bus ride here, no one really said a word. It was a business trip. We came out here and executed everything we worked on and it worked out for us. We had to make them choose what they wanted to stop. If they tried to stop the run, we passed on ‘em. If they tried to stop the pass, we ran on ‘em. They couldn’t really stop us.”
Wooten said the seniors were hungry for another shot after losing in the semistate last year.
“This is everyone’s dream,” he said. “That’s all we’ve been talking about since middle school. Now we’re going, we’ll see what happens.”