ZANESVILLE — Last season, the Danville Blue Devils were knocked out of regionals in stunning fashion at the hands of Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans.
With a renewed spirit and a revamped offense, the Devils went into Saturday’s rematch looking for a little revenge.
It never happened.
Instead, the Bishops held on in a tight game, finally breaking through in the fourth quarter to defeat Danville, 21-7, in Zanesville.
It looked at the start like Danville (1-1) would decide the matter early. The Devils went 86 yards on their first possession, with quarterback Bryce Staats finding Kyle Shultz in the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown on a fourth down play.
Rosecrans responded with a touchdown of its own on a drive highlighted by a successful fake punt. Luke Lloyd carried the ball 17 yards for a key first down. Five plays later, the Bishops scored on Adrick Cronin’s touchdown throw to Ben Baldwin.
With the score 7-6, Danville’s defense held its ground, bending but not breaking. Twice in the second quarter, Rosecrans had the ball in scoring position but came away empty. In the third, the Bishops struggled to move the ball at all.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Lloyd took a handoff 55 yards to give the Bishops a 14-7 lead.
Danville began to respond, driving the ball downfield for a potential tying score. But a personal foul penalty knocked the Devils back, forcing a turnover on downs.
Later, Chase Lanning scored on a 51-yard play with two minutes to go, sealing the Blue Devils’ fate.
Danville will try to shake off the bad taste on Friday with a home game against Grove City Christian at 7 p.m.