Mount Vernon News
 
 
In this photo from 2007, Danville running back Gatlin Ridgway (15) runs for a first down while fullback Nash Helms (44) blocks in the regional championship game against Newark Catholic at Yellow Jacket Stadium. The Green Wave won, 43-6, on their way to a Division VI state championship.
In this photo from 2007, Danville running back Gatlin Ridgway (15) runs for a first down while fullback Nash Helms (44) blocks in the regional championship game against Newark Catholic at Yellow Jacket Stadium. The Green Wave won, 43-6, on their way to a Division VI state championship. (Photo by ) View Image

By Mount Vernon News
November 15, 2012 11:42 am EST

 

DANVILLE — There’s a sight in Danville that people there haven’t seen for a few years — football in late November.

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The Danville Blue Devils are one step away from their third regional championship in 14 years. Last week, the Blue Devils overcame three early turnovers to defeat Bishop Rosecrans, 28-14. It was their third meeting in just over a year, but it was their first win, which tossed the proverbial monkey off Danville’s back. On Friday, the football team will travel to Westerville Central High School, where vitually the entire village will convene to cheer on their Devils.

“These kids know what they have to do,” said Danville head coach Ed Honabarger. “They’re motivated at the thought of winning a regional championship.”

The opponent is fomidable — and all too familiar.

Newark Catholic came from behind in the other regional semifinal to oust Glouster Trimble, 21-14. The Green Wave has met Danville four times in playoff history. All four times, Danville went down, by an total cumulative score of 93-9.

Perhaps that is a little extra motivation for the players. As the Blue Devils (11-1) gathered on the field at Gahanna Lincoln Stadium following last week’s victory, the news of Newark Catholic’s come-from-behind victory had begun to spread. To a man, just about everyone on the team began planning for the Green Wave right away.

“I’ve never seen Newark Catholic play, but I’ve heard all kinds of stories about them,” Danville lineman Jamarcus Hershberger told the News after Friday’s semifinal victory over Rosecrans. “I’m looking forward to being on the first Danville football team to beat them in the playoffs.”

Newark Catholic (10-2) doesn’t have a single superstar that beats anyone. But the Green Wave roster is filled with good players, any of whom can step up on any given night. Kevin Bourne, the team’s leading rusher, has 532 yards. No receiver on the team has 400 yards.

Quarterback Chayce Crouch is the heart and soul of the offense, leading the balanced attack. The sophomore has thrown for 343 yards so far in the playoffs. He also ran in the winning touchdown against Trimble.

But this team wins with defense. Since their 34-20 opening-day loss to Bishop Ready, the Green Wave have allowed less than 10 points per game.

 

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