MATTAMORAS – Well, not exactly in New Matamoras. The game
was held at Frontier High School south of New Matamoras. On their
nicely-crowned field down the hill by the river. So close to the
river in fact that the river took over that real estate during
week 3 of the season and 5 feet of water covered the gridiron.
Thus the Frontier Cougars were 9-0 instead of playing the typical
the game as the #1 seed in Region 23 and held a #3 state ranking
in the ONN Power Poll. The Columbus Dispatch picked them to advance
to the final game in Division 6. They had well deserved respect
with their 3rd straight playoff appearance and their first home
playoff game. This community had the signage up along Rt. 7 and
the team was ready for action.
the game with an 8-2 record and a #8 seed in the region. Two losses
to powerful D5 MBC opponents denied them the playoff points they
needed for good seeding. Only a final week win by Woodsfield Monroe
Central over Beallsville gave Danville the opportunity for post-season
was cool and the field was dry as Danville kicked off to start
the game. Frontier moved the ball with a mix of rushing by their
all-time leading rusher #4 Jake Amos and passing to 6’6”
Sr. #11 Daun Lutes (9 TDs on the season) and efficiently advanced
to the red zone on the shell-shocked Danville defense. Challenged
early, the Danville defense responded with a defensive stand and
took over on downs at their own 10-yard line.
offense handed the ball repeatedly to #2 Sr. FB Kasey Doup with
a determination to establish the run. Some seriously tough defenders
like Frontier’s #2 Sr. Anthony Mossberg had other ideas
as he came up and laid lumber on the blockers and ballcarriers.
However the Danville line was blowing holes bigger than the Devils
had seen for a month, the Devil offense hammered their way to
the red zone before finishing with a pass from #3 Sr. QB Randy
Clouse to #5 Jr. WR Nick Miller. The PAT made it 7-0.
After a couple
1st downs and a Frontier punt, Danville continued their dominance
in the trenches and powered through the Frontier resistance to
make the 14-0 statement that they felt their team was under appreciated
as a #8 seed. After another Frontier punt and some tough defense
from the Cougars, Danville was faced with a 3rd and long at mid-field.
Another Randy Clouse pass to Nick Miller solved that problem as
Miller took the play all the way for a touchdown.
Danville OLB #25 Lance Smith intercepted a Frontier pass and broke
tackles as he weaved his way down the sideline to the endzone
putting Danville in the commanding position leading 28-0.
the half, Frontier showed why they are 9-0 as they fought through
their desperate situation. Senior QB Anthony Mossberg put together
a confident, tough and determined drive. Using mostly running
plays they advanced to point blank range where their Sr. Fullback
#40 Danny Reed finished the job with only 17 seconds remaining
in the half. Halftime score Danville 28 Frontier 7.
half began with Danville receiving the kickoff and selfishly eating
8 minutes off the clock as they earned yards mostly in small bites.
After a holding penalty and a nice defensive play by Frontier’s
#7 Sr. Heath Greenwood, Danville was faced with 2nd and 20. A
pass from Clouse to Doup was tipped in the air, but #28 Sr. TE
Kyle Thorpe was there to snatch it and deliver an 18-yard gain.
They converted 4th downs twice in Cougar territory before fumbling
the ball away at the 12-yard line. Even though Danville did not
score, this drive was very damaging to the Frontier hopes for
were forced to the air and their desperation began to show. Mossberg
was under heavy pressure as he threw a pass that was intercepted
by Danville’s #53 Jr. LB Kyle Watson. Danville moved the
ball down to within inches of a touchdown, but was denied on a
QB sneak on 4th down. The Cougars were unable to get a first down
from there as #7 So. DB Nathan Morton made a great defensive play
on a pass intended for 6’6” #11 Daun Lutes. Morton
was giving up almost a foot in height, and certainly more than
that in reach, but he got the job done for the Devils. After the
punt from the endzone, Danville powered the ball in for the final
Nick Miller made a great athletic play for Danville’s 3rd
interception of the night as the last Frontier effort was snuffed
out on their first play. Danville ran the ball from mid-field
earning more yardage and first downs before taking a knee inside
the Frontier 10-yard line. Final score Danville 35 Frontier 7.
most of their scoring in the first half, but actually dominated
the second half even more than the first. The Cougars only totaled
16 yards of offense in the second half. Danville got over 100
yards rushing from Kasey Doup, and the passing game was extremely
effective in this one with Clouse throwing 2 touchdown passes.
some very tough guys who were absolutely not afraid to take on
the Danville power game. Despite the Blue Devil dominance on the
scoreboard and the fact that they never punted, Frontier made
them pay a price for every yard. These teams seemed matched pretty
well on team speed, but Danville’s miss-direction running
plays seemed to be well-blocked and worked well for the most part.
The Frontier attention to the Danville running attack, opened
things up for WR Nick Miller who took full advantage catching
2 touchdown passes. Danville won the turnover battle, which contributed
greatly to the lopsided nature of the score.
play Lancaster Fisher Catholic in second-round playoff action
next week. The other game in Region 23 next week will feature
Newark Catholic against Symmes Valley. The winners will play the
following week to determine the R23 representative to the final