The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

August 30, 2013

Danville wants redemption

Season opener features a matchup of conference favorites

DANVILLE — A season-opening 43-42 loss to Bloomington was a harbinger of things to come for the 2012 Danville Vikings.

“Losing by one point was really hard,’’ said Danville senior Trent Sherfield.

Danville acutally scored seven touchdowns to six for Bloomington, but the Vikings were 0-for-7 in two-point conversions and the Purple Raiders were 6-of-6 in extra-point kicks and all-conference quarterback Jake Romani successfully executed his team’s only two-point conversion with 36 seconds left to give Bloomington the 1-point victory.

“It was very frustrating,’’ Danville senior Chris Collier said. “We had seven chances to get a conversion to win the game, and we couldn’t get it done.’’

The Vikings went to finish with a 4-5 record, the school’s first losing record in seven seasons and it was also their first non-playoff season in that time frame.

Collier said this team is completely different from last year’s squad, that surrendered 29 points in the final 14 minutes of the contest.

“We really didn’t practice that hard before the first game,’’ Collier admitted. “We just took it for granted, and everyone got really tired at the end. We are going to hold up for all four quarters this time around.’’

In this final week of practice, Collier said things have gone really well for the Vikings.

“It’s like most first games,’’ said Danville coach B.J. Luke, beginning his ninth season at his alma mater. “You are not sure where you are — you think you’ve covered everything and you think you are ready for a game. I know the players are ready to play, but some things are going to pop up that we will need to adjust to happening.’’

And Luke knows that it could be anything on either side of the football.

“That’s the thing about a first game,’’ he said. “They could have put in a brand-new offense or defense during the off-season. But, with an established program like Bloomington, you figure that they will stick with the things they’ve done in the past. But, we know they are probably going to have a wrinkle here or there, that we will need to adjust to on the fly.’’

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