By Mike Beas
INDIANAPOLIS – In the parking lot located immediately south of Lucas Oil Stadium, fans of Danville’s football team decorated one of the car windows with a very fitting message.
The town might be small, but it’s heart would be evident in the Class 3A championship game.
And it was.
Outmatched by Indianapolis Chatard, a program making its 15th finals appearance since 1983, coach Jayme Comer’s squad scrapped until time expired in a 42-14 loss.
It was the Warriors’ lone setback of the season. Danville finished with an 11-1 record under Comer, the former Western Boone assistant leading a program for the first time.
“We weren’t ever going to quit. It’s not in our nature and not who we are,” said Comer. “We challenged the kids to play the second half with the same intensity they did the first. But hats off to Chatard. It’s a great team and a great program.”
Three touchdown runs by Chatard junior Tommy Hannon and a trio of scoring passes from Trojans quarterback Carter St. John formed a hill simply too steep for Danville to climb.
Chatard led, 28-7, at halftime, and elected to stay mostly on the ground the final two quarters in an attempt to consume clock on its way to the school’s 14th championship.
Play was stopped for approximately 15 minutes with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter when Danville senior Daniel Church was injured near the Chatard sideline on a Warriors kickoff return.
Church was worked on by trainers from both teams and eventually carted off the field for further examination.
Danville’s first-half score was on a 36-yard TD pass from junior Kale Payne to senior Luke Wooten at 1:48 of the second quarter.
Earlier in the period, the Warriors chose to go for it on a fourth-and-1 form their own 13, but Chatard stopped them short on the play, took over the ball and scored on the next play, Hannon’s 12-yard burst up the middle, to make it 21-0.
Matthew McGovern rallied Danville’s final points, scoring on an 8-yard run with 2:48 remaining.