The Vikings knew exactly what the Wildcats were trying to do on that final drive but that didn’t matter.
“We knew when they got into that last drive, all they were going to try to do is grind it on us and see if we could hold up,’’ Danville coach B.J. Luke said. “They did a nice job of driving the ball down and putting it into the end zone.
“We had trouble standing up in the last drive.’’
But, Luke didn’t put all the blame on his team’s defense.
“We kept putting them on the field, again and again in that four quarter,’’ he said. “We just gave them too many chances.’’
That was because the Viking offense, which had produced 233 yards of offense in the first three quarters, managed just 26 in final 12 minutes against the Wildcat defense.
“I think it came down to the fact that they made plays when they had to and we didn’t execute when we had to,’’ said Danville senior quarterback Trent Sherfield, who was 12-of-28 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. “They played Chris (Collier) and Denzel (Smith) real tough. I think that’s the best defense they have played all year. It was real tough.’’
In the fourth quarter and the final play of the third quarter, Sherfield was 0-for-9 passing with two interceptions.
“We just didn’t make plays when it came time to make plays,’’ Luke said. “It was crunch time and we struggled making plays at the end.’’
And Normal West not only took away the Danville passing attack, but the Wildcats held the Vikings to just 77 rushing yards in the game on 25 attempts — that’s just 3.1 yards per carry. The Vikings came into Friday’s game averaging 3.4, and Danville’s last playoff team in 2011 averaged 6.2 per rushing attempt.