BENNETT'S MINUTES: Danville pulls surprise in victory over Chatard

Thursday, November 10, 2016

While the Putnam County fall sports season has been over for a while now, the Danville Warriors are one team left alive which some local fans have been curiously following.

After the Warriors eliminated Greencastle with a painfully memorable 21-14 win in the sectional semifinals, thanks to the 99-yard touchdown pass, most observers gave Danville little chance against the private school Bishop Chatard Trojans.

Danville would have none of that talk last Friday night, however, and pulled off a 40-35 victory that gave the school its seventh football sectional championship and first since 2007.

Greencastle can look at Danville’s success two ways — either taking pride in giving the Warriors such a great game in the sectional, or feeling ill at knowing how much closer a sectional title was than before.

Probably a little of both.

The victory by the Warriors was the first win by a 3A public school over Chatard since the 2005 state championship game (Northwood 7-0).

Clinging to the five-point lead, Danville missed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 2:29 left and the Trojans took over on their own 20.

Danville’s defense held, and the Warriors picked up the first win over Chatard in school history in 14 attempts. Chatard had ended the Warriors’ season 10 of the last 15 years.

Danville (10-2) will host 11-1 Lawrenceburg on Friday in regional action.

The game will be telecast on

Odds and ends

• The fall signing period for all sports except football, soccer and men’s water polo began Wednesday.

Cooper Neese became the first Putnam County basketball player to sign with a Division I program directly from high school since Chad Tucker in 1983.

No other signings have been reported, although Greencastle’s J.T. Matthews has made a verbal commitment to high jump for Bethel College in northern Indiana.

DePauw has picked up some recent commitments from prominent programs in Indiana.

Josh Hall, a 6-6 forward from Bloomington South, will join Bill Fenlon’s men’s basketball program next year. So will Ken Decker, a 6-5 forward from Crown Point.

In baseball, catcher Colin Donahue of Carmel and Lawrence North pitcher Sam Paddock will join new the program of new DePauw coach Blake Allen.

• Greencastle’s Devin Clar set a school record this season in career rushing yardage. More on that as the all-county football teams are published later this month.

He has had interest from many schools, ranging from NAIA power Marian to Division II St. Joseph’s and every Division III program imaginable. Clar will make someone a fine college player.

• I had a nice talk earlier this week with Greg Maish, the producer of the documentary film on legendary Indiana basketball coach Pat Rady.

The premiere is coming up next week, at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Cloverdale. Make sure to mark your calendar.

A story on the making of the film will be in Monday’s Banner Graphic.

• I’m looking forward to some time off this weekend, and if you know me very well you know it will be spent in a gymnasium.

I will be trekking to Eastern Kentucky on Friday night and Michigan’s Crisler Arena on Sunday to watch IUPUI open its season.

Jaguar senior Matt O’Leary of Terre Haute North and his family are longtime friends, and this is his last go-around.

It’s always nice to go to sports facilities for the first time.

Matt’s older brother Chris played football for Indiana State, and it was great to watch him play at Penn State, Chattanooga, South Dakota State and many points in between.

• It was good to see former Indiana basketball standout Cody Zeller receive a $54 million contract extension recently from the Charlotte Hornets.

Former IU teammate Victor Oladipo got an extension from Oklahoma City for about twice that much.

I understand how much the NBA salary cap has skyrocketed recently. My big question is: Where is all this money coming from?

I have a lot of friends who are basketball fans, and we talk about the sport a lot, but none of it is ever about the NBA unless the finals are going on or Steph Curry or LeBron James has a great night.

Who is watching all these games on TV to drive the ratings so high and produce all this revenue?

• My dad would be happy about the Cubs winning the World Series. He’s been gone for nearly 30 years now, but was a die-hard Cubs fan.

I purchased a front row seat on the bandwagon to help root them on since he couldn’t.

The coolest stories were the ones about sons visiting their father’s graves, and the guy who drove from North Carolina to Indiana to listen to Game 7 on the radio in a cemetery at his father’s grave site.

Great stuff..

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