Danville continues to have Greencastle’s number
DANVILLE — An old football adage says “The game is won in the trenches,” referring to the play of the offensive and defensive lines.
The Danville Warriors proved that theory to be true on Friday night, as they dominated the line of scrimmage to defeat the Greencastle Tiger Cubs 27-7 in the opening round of the 3A Sectional 30 at Danville.
The Warriors, who eliminated Greencastle from the state tournament for the third straight year, rolled up 466 total yards with 324 of them on the ground, while limiting the formidable Tiger Cub rushing attack to just 124 yards and 167 total.
Chandler Schubert churned out 212 yards for Danville, which will move on to play the Tri-West Bruins next week.
“We got beat up on both front lines. We just couldn’t put anything together,” Greencastle head coach Mike Meyer said.
The Tiger Cubs had early chances as the first part of the game was played almost exclusively in Danville territory.
The Greencastle defense stopped the Warriors on the opening possession and although the Cubs couldn’t move the ball, Alex Costin pinned Danville deep at its own six-yard line with a 40-yard punt.
Another stop by the Tiger Cubs gave them field position near midfield, but they couldn’t capitalize; Costin pinned Danville deep again with a 45-yard punt down to the seven.
But this time, the Warrior offensive line began to open holes and six plays later Danville opened the scoring on a Ben Slaton seven-yard run and a 7-0 lead after the PAT kick.
“Alex did a nice of job of kicking the ball. We just couldn’t get anything going. We couldn’t take advantage of it,” Meyer said.
Greencastle finally got its first scoring opportunity as the Cubs drove inside the Warrior 20-yard line, but a sack led to a 45-yard field goal attempt. On the attempt, the snap was mishandled and the Warriors snuffed out the first real chance for a Tiger Cub score.
Danville took over and Schubert carried on five of six plays, capping off a 62-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Tiger Cubs threatened again, driving into the red zone — but a 37-yard field goal attempt was wide left and Danville took over with 1:55 left in the half.
After a couple of running plays led to third down and 11 with :24 left on the clock, it appeared Danville was content to go the locker room at halftime with a two-score lead, but...
Slaton found Zane Thomas deep down the middle for an 81-yard touchdown pass with just 14 seconds left in the half to give Danville a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Tiger Cubs looked as if they would rally early in the third quarter. Four plays into the second half, Damon Moody broke off a 73-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 21-7.
Then the Cub defense appeared to have the Warriors stopped on the next possession, but a penalty and then a tough run by Schubert picked up a first down and the Warriors began to eat up chunks of yardage as they moved down the field and scored on 20-yard strike from Slaton to Thomas on fourth down. The PAT kick was no good, but Danville led 27-7.
“There were a couple plays that didn’t go our way, but we were beaten up front on both sides of the ball,” Meyer said.
Danville spent most of the remainder of the game controlling the ball with its strong rushing attack, while limiting the Cubs to just one first down in the last quarter and a half.
Danville ran 19 more plays than the Cubs in picking up its sixth win of the season against four losses.
Greencastle finished the season with an 8-2 record and a third-place finish in the Western Indiana Conference.
“It was a disappointing finish to a good season,” Meyer said.
DHS — Ben Slaton 7 run (Braden Walliser kick), 7-0, 3:12.
DHS — Chandler Schubert 13 run (Walliser kick), 14-0 6:28.
DHS — Zane Thomas 81 pass from Slaton (Walliser kick), 21-0, :14.
GHS — Damon Moody 73 run (Hector Lezama kick), 21-7, 10:43.
DHS — Thomas 20 pass from Slaton (kick failed), 27-7, 6:36.
Rushing: Greencastle: Damon Moody 12-111, Gavin Bollman 9-50, Andrew Fajt 1-(-1), Dakota Campbell 2-(-1), Hector Lezama 1-(-9), Brayden Baxter 7-(-26). Danville: Chandler Schubert 26-212, Ben Slaton 11-77, Alex Skinner 5-36, Zane Thomas 1-(-1).
Passing: Greencastle: Brayden Baxter 6-11-0 43. Danville: Ben Slaton 7-19-0 142
Receiving: Greencastle: Dakota Campbell 4-24, Tanner Sanders 1-11, Gavin Bollman 1-8. Danville: Zane Thomas 2-101, Tyler Dostin 1-11, Mark Broderick 1-11, Chandler Schubert 2-8.