Warriors prepare for duel with unbeaten Heritage Hills
By Mark Ambrogi
Danville High School football coach K.C. Woods and his staff spent plenty of time in the film room. They watched “loads of film” on Heritage Hills, and Woods became convinced of one thing.
“They are as advertised,” Woods said. “They are big and strong. You can tell this is a class of seniors that is really good and they’ve been excited about for awhile. It’s showing.”
The Warriors (8-5) will play host to Class 3A No. 2 Heritage Hills (13-0) at 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 22) in the semistate at Danville. The winner advances to Class 3A state championship Nov. 29 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Danville Warriors were busy this week preparing for a semistate matchup with Class 3A No. 2 Heritage Hills (13-0) tonight at Danville, 8 p.m. (Photo by Rick Myers)
“We know we have our work cut out for us,” Woods said. “We are going to have to tackle like crazy. Get a lot of hats to the football and out sophomore quarterback is going to have to play like a senior, like he did last week.”
Sophomore Kale Payne completed 18 of 23 passes for 185 yards in a 35-14 triumph over host Vincennes Lincoln in the regional.
“We got better throughout the year,” Payne said. “We fixed some wrinkles throughout the year. The last game we had most we fixed most of those winkles.”
Danville and Tri-West were in scoreless tie in the sectional opener before the Warriors turned it on for 28-12 victory to begin its four-game winning streak.
“We knew it was do or die and we had to step it up,” Payne said.
Warriors senior running back Chandler Schubert, who has rushed for 1,896 yards, said the offensive tempo has improved in the playoffs.
“I think the O-line has battled every game,” Schubert said.
Schubert, a strong safety, said the defense improved during the postseason.
While Danville has gotten hot in the playoffs, Heritage Hills has rarely been challenged this season. The only narrow victories was 17-14 over Class 4A Jasper Sept. 13 and 21-20 over 3A No. 8 Gibson Southern in the sectional semifinals.
The Patriots have outscored opponents 513-80 and registered five shutouts, including a 22-0 victory over Lawrenceburg in the regional.
Senior running back Jacob Wetzel leads the team with 1,050 yards on 135 carries. Senior quarterback Cole Sigler is second on the Patriots with 954 rushing yards on 102 attempts. Senior running back Phoenix Rodgers is third in rushing with 612 yards on 102 attempts.
Sigler has thrown more than 10 passes in a game just once this season. Sigler has completed 36 of 62 passes for 625 yards with eight touchdowns and one intersection.
For Heritage Hills, it was the team’s 10th regional title. The Patriots won a 3A state title in 2000 and were runners-up in 2004. “They’re always around,” Woods said.