DANVILLE — During the B.J. Luke era at Danville High School, the Vikings have held their own against Chicagoland competition — until the 2012 season.
After beating the likes of Crete-Monee, Lemont, Lincoln-Way North, Oak Lawn and Oak Lawn Richards during its playoff runs in 2009 and 2010, the Chicago St. Rita Mustangs came to Ned Whitesell Field and crushed the Vikings 42-7.
”Last year, we just basically laid down for St. Rita,’’ said Danville senior Trent Sherfield.
The Mustangs, who were a disappointing 4-5 a year ago, ran for 384 yards and they led 42-0 at halftime. It was also a game where the Vikings lost both of their starting inside linebackers.
t. Rita, who opened its season with a 28-26 win, are ranked No. 7 in the latest Class 7A poll.
”They are a big team. They are a strong team,’’ Danville senior defensive tackle Tim Pittman said. “We have to come out and compete. We know it’s going to be a very tough game, but we have trained for this all summer.
”Everything I’ve heard this week has been negative about us. I feel like we can go up there and surprise everyone by just playing them tough.’’
Some of the negativity towards Danville (0-1) can be directly related to the fact that the Vikings gave up 55 points in their loss to the Bloomington Purple Raiders.
”We definitely had some errors defensively,’’ said Danville defensive end Tyvon Cooper. “We need to eliminate the big plays and we would have been much better on defense.’’
Bloomington gained 197 of their 410 yards of total offense on just four plays and that doesn’t include the Purple Raiders 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
“That’s tackling,’’ Luke said. “If we just get them on the ground, and make them go the distance — something good could have happened for us on each of those occasions.’’