Danville whips Good Hope 21-6, starts 3-0
Paul Wilson, Enquirer Correspondent
Over the last several years the words "road trip" and "homecoming" have been synonymous to fans of Danville High football. Last Friday night was no exception as the Good Hope Raiders were celebrating their homecoming. But the post-game celebration belonged to Danville, as the Hawks remained undefeated following their 21-6 victory over Good Hope. With the victory, Danville goes to 3-0 and is off to its best start since the 1985 team began the year with four consecutive wins.
After a penalty called back an apparent Good Hope touchdown on a fumble return, the two teams traded punts before Good Hope began a drive that would take them deep into Hawk territory.
Facing a third-and-seven at their own 40, Raider sophomore QB Justin Raper ran 23 yards down the left sideline to give Good Hope a first down at the Danville 37. The quarter ended with Good Hope at the Hawk 34.
The second quarter began with the Danville defense jumping offside on consecutive plays to give Good Hope a first-and-10 at the Hawk 24. Good Hope would get as far as the Danville 14 before the Hawk defense forced a Raider fumble to end the scoring threat. But two plays later the Raiders were threatening again as Hawk senior FB Lee Waddell was stripped of the football and Good Hope fell on the pigskin at the Danville 24.
The play seemed to give Good Hope the momentum but, as they have so many times this year, the Danville defense quickly took the momentum away. Three running plays gained only eight yards leaving the Raiders with a fourth-and-two at the Danville 16.
Instead of attempting a field goal, Good Hope elected to go for the first down. The Hawk's Patrick Pinchon whipped his defender to tackle Raper for a four-yard loss and Danville had stopped the Good Hope threat.
The defensive stand brought the Hawk offense to life as Danville took the ball 80 yards in 14 plays for the first touchdown of the game. Jeremy Orr raced in from 21 yards to give the Hawks a 6-0 lead. Key plays in the drive included runs of 14, 12 and three yards by Orr. The 14 and 12 yarders converted two third-and-long situations, while the three-yard run came on a fourth-and-three at the Good Hope 35. Junior Tyree Murphy also played an important role in the drive as he caught a 13-yard pass from Suggs and ran eight yards on a reverse to set up Orr's touchdown. Craig Poole added the point-after and with 31 seconds left in the first half Danville led 7-0.
With two minutes to play in the third period Pinchon turned in the games biggest play. Good Hope was facing a fourth-and-long near midfield and had elected to punt. This time the punter proved too slow as Pinchon rushed in from the left side and blocked the punt. Pinchon then picked the ball up at the Raider 40 and raced untouched into the end zone. Poole's point-after was good and with 1:56 left in the 3rd period Danville had a 14-0 lead.
Again the two teams traded punts, but this time it was the Good Hope offense that brought the crowd to its feet. On third-and-27 Raper lofted a pass down the right sideline. Two Hawk defenders batted the ball away but Good Hope's Nathan Johnson was able to catch the deflected pass and he took it 64 yards for a Raider touchdown. The conversion kicks was blocked but with 7:56 left the Raiders were back in the game trailing 14-6.
The Hawks then threw a knockout punch. Poole returned the Raider kick to the Danville 32 and from there the running tandem of Orr and Waddell took the game over as the Hawks drove 68 yards in nine plays for the final score of the evening. Danville used 3:07 of the clock before Orr ran in off right tackle for 13 yards and a Danville touchdown. The game-clinching drive saw Orr carry the ball six times for 40 yards and Waddell added 28 yards on three carries. Poole kicked the point-after to give the Hawks a 21-6 lead. Good Hope would not threaten again.
With the win the Hawks are 3-0 overall, but more importantly 2-0 in Class 3A, Region 7.
Jeremy Orr had his best game of the year as he rushed for 185 yards on 27 attempts. Lee Waddell had 39 yards on eight carries.