DANVILLE — In the past two weeks, the Mount Vernon News Game of the Week has featured an overtime thriller and a Miracle Touchdown.
This week, it features the game that will likely decide the Mid-Buckeye Conference championship.
The Johnstown Johnnies, winners of 14 straight MBC contests, will travel to Danville to take on the Blue Devils, whose spread offense has become the talk of the district.
“We want to get into a track meet with Johnstown,” Danville head coach Ed Honabarger said. “We’re not interested in getting in a fistfight.”
Danville’s offense centers around quarterback Bryce Staats, who took Honabarger’s offensive scheme and has orchestrated it to near-perfection. In seven weeks, the Blue Devils are averaging 32 points and 369 yards per game. That includes a shocking 21-7 loss to Zanesville Rosecrans in Week 2.
“We could have won that game if we didn’t drop so many passes,” said Honabarger. “The 90-minute halftime didn’t help, either. Our strategy was to wear them out. But they had a chance to rest.”
However, as much attention as the offense has received, the defense deserves just as much credit. Danville has given up just 12 points per game, mainly due to the pass-defending ability of players like Staats and Bryant Blubaugh. The front seven is formidable as well, with run-stuffers like Kyle Shultz and Marshall Magers; both happen to be the top two tacklers in the area (96.5 and 68.0 tackles, respectively). Conway Baldridge is an effective shutdown defender who leads the area in sacks (eight).
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