Danville dominates Sullivan in regional championship game
DANVILLE — In a game featuring almost 100 plays, two in the first quarter set the tone.
Sullivan took the opening kickoff and marched 42 yards to the Danville 30-yard line. But on fourth-and-two, the Warriors defense limited Sullivan junior William Newby to a 1-yard gain, taking over on downs.
On Danville’s opening march, Luke Wooten burst through the Sullivan defense for 17 yards. On the next play, the seventh of the drive, Ethan Dutna scored easily on a 2-yard run behind the Warriors' dominating offensive line. Braden Walliser booted the first of five PATs as Danville scored the first seven of 35 unanswered points in the first half as the Warriors went on to repeat as Class 3A Regional champs, defeating Sullivan 35-16 in a game where the outcome was never in doubt. This was Sullivan’s first regional appearance and first game in two weeks after receiving a forfeit from Washington in what would have been the sectional championship game.
“Danville is a good team. They are not undefeated for nothing,” said Sullivan coach Blaine Powell. “We just were not very aggressive early. Had we been able to punch it in on our first drive, things might have been different.
“But they had a simple dive play that went for 10 or 12 yards (17 actually). After that, we were deflated and never got it back.”
Dutna capped the next Danville drive with another 2-yard scoring run as the Warriors led 14-0 after the opening quarter.
The Warriors were even more dominating as they put up 21 points in the second quarter. Quarterback Kale Payne, who completed 14 of 21 for 192 yards, tossed a 13-yard TD pass to Dominick Wynn and a 13-yarder to Tyler Dostin. They sandwiched a 23-yard scoring run by Luke Wooten as the Warriors led 35-0 at intermission. The 35-point lead forced a running clock in the second half.
The Arrows did not go down without a fight.
Sullivan marched 51 yards on five plays. The four-minute drive was capped by a 31-yard scamper for a touchdown by Rowdy Adams. Randy Kelley ran in the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 35-8.
Then Sullivan senior Karver Queen picked off a pass by backup quarterback Chris DiBendetto. Queen raced 55 yards in front of the Danville bench for Sullivan's final touchdown in an 8-4 season.
Kelley hit Seth Dyar with the two-point conversion pass to complete the scoring.
“The kids did what I asked them to do in the second half,” said Powell. “They went out and competed and battled and did not back down.
“I was proud of them for the way they finished off the season.”
Led by Payne’s passing numbers, the Warriors rolled up 349 yards of total offense, compared to 88 for Sullivan. Jaeden King finished off a good season with 13 carries for 62 yards.
Adams was 3 of 10 passing with two interceptions and 15 yards. Queen had three receptions for 18 yards and Bell had one for eight.
“Danville is going to be a tough out,” Powell said of the 10-0 Warriors. “Their defense really kept us in check.”
Powell said this team had to overcome so much in this crazy 2020 season.
“It was heartbreaking for these kids to not have the chance to win a sectional on the field because of COVID-19, said Powell. “But they were able to shake off being quarantined and put together some of their best practices in preparation for the regional.
“They had to overcome more than any team in the history of Sullivan football. We had two players that were quarantined on Thursday — our kicker and our outside linebacker who did not play tonight. This is not the way we wanted this to turn out. I am so proud of this team. I can’t thank our seniors enough for everything they have given to this program over the past four years.”
Danville will play Friday at Southridge in the southern semi-state championship game.
WARRIORS 35, GOLDEN ARROWS 16
Sullivan 0 0 0 16 — 16
Danville 14 21 0 0 — 35
D — Ethan Dutna 2 run (Braden Walliser kick), 5:45.
D — Dutna 2 run (Walliser kick), 1:28
D — Dominick Wynn 13 pass from Kale Payne (Walliser kick), 6:07.
D — Luke Wooten 23 run (Walliser kick), 5:14.
D — Tyler Dostin 13 pass from Payne (Walliser kick), :3.1
S — Rowdy Adams 31 run (Randy Kelley run), 8:06.
S — Karver Queen 55 interception return (Seth Dyar pass from Kelley), 2:55.
First downs 5 15
Rushes-yards 28-66 29-157
Passing yards 22 192
Total yards 88 349
C-A-I 4-11-2 14-22-2
Penalties-yards 2-17 4-40
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-0
Return yards 188 10
RUSHING — Sullivan: Jaeden King 13-62, William Newby 8-18, Dylan Williams 1-(minus 4), Queen 1-(minus 4), Adams 5-(minus 6). Danville: Matthew McGovern 17-136, Wooten 2-25, Payne 1-11, Dutna 3-7, Zack Barrick 3-5, Chris DiBendetto 2-(minus 6), team 1-(minus 21).
PASSING — Sullivan: Adams 3-10-2-15, Kelley 1-1-0-7. Danville, Payne 14-21-2-192, DiBendetto 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — Sullivan: Queen 3-18, Bell 1-4. Danville: Dostin 6-67, Wooten 3-44, Matthew Brabec 3-53, Dominick Wynn 2-29.