BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
DANBURY TWP. — Hopewell-Loudon scored early and often, and defeated Danbury, 45-8 on the home town squad’s Senior Night.
The Chieftans got four touchdowns in the first half from Ashton Bour, two of which came via the passing game, and two of which came via the ground.
Bour connected with Travis Milligan on a 10-yard touchdown pass to give H-L (4-4, 4-1 SBC River) the lead for good, and Bour’s extra point made it 7-0.
Bour then scored on a 7-yard run, hit Jordyn Jury on a 32-yard touchdown pass and ran a touchdown in from 14 yards out to make it 27-0 early in the second quarter to put the game out of reach.
Danbury’s lone score came in the fourth quarter when Kaden Conrad connected with Tommy Owens on a 7-yard touchdown pass.
“H-L is a lot better team than their record indicates. What our league is doing to each other is knocking one another off in a roundabout way. H-L beats Lakota, and H-L gets beat by Margaretta. Lakota turns around and beats Margaretta. We try to look at it on a game-by-game basis,” said Danbury (0-8, 0-5) coach Keith Mora. “They are a good team, they have 2-3 wide receivers that can hurt you, the quarterback is a nice athlete, and they have a nice running back.
“They’re big and physical up front. We had our hands full (because) they had the ability to kind of hurt us in different areas. It was hard to find a couple areas to hone in on. We made a change on defense and they did a nice job adjusting quickly on the fly.
“I’m proud of the fact that we’re playing all the way through the game. I was hearing the same things from the kids in the fourth quarter that I was in the first quarter. That’s all you can ask for. The kids are remaining invested, the coaches are doing the same. Even though we’re going through a tough stretch, I was pleased with the way the kids played and stuck by each other. We had some guys playing new positions, and it would’ve been easy for them to quit. I’m proud of them. We won’t turn this thing around if we have (internal strife).”
It was also Senior Night, and it was a chance to honor six players that have meant a lot to the program — James Peacock, Brady Lenthe, Matthew Seaman, Coy Belcher, Kody Seiger and Everett Overmyer.
“James came out a little bit later (during) his junior year and has been a steady contributor. The other five were among our freshman class the year we made the playoffs. It meant so much because they’re the last group that was highly successful. We’ve got to get ourselves back to that point. Those guys helped to set that standard,” said Mora.
“Coming out of that season, those freshman were relied on to take that next step up. Everett Overmyer was a wide receiver who was out of position. He was small, wasn’t very fast, (and) going into that sophomore year, we tried to find a better spot for him. He’s a senior that is playing nose guard and is our starting center. He brings a competitive fire, he brings a lot of heart, and he’s been working at it.
“Kody started as a freshman, a mind-numbing situation for him. Every play mattered because we were in the playoff hunt. He didn’t want to be the guy who cost the seniors a chance at the playoffs. Brady played a bunch on special teams, he was that kid as a freshman that we would stick out there to give the older guys a rest. That was great.
Matt was someone who from Day One had 100% attendance during his freshman year. He’s not the biggest guy on the field, but we saw a lot of improvement with him over the years. Coy came out as a freshman, and I just remember he showed up during one of our toughest conditioning days. It was tough for him, but he made it. He’s a starter for us as well. He’s given us a lot of depth.”
This Friday, the Lakers travel to Kansas to face Lakota (3-5, 0-2).
“They’ve had the injury bug like we have had. They had to make some changes. I know they lost a couple of quarterbacks. They’ve got a lot of nice athletes, they run a tough offense — they don’t do a whole lot, but what they do, they do it well,” said Mora. “They’re a sound offensive football team, and they play hard. What they can do on offense feeds into their defense, When one plays off another, they’re in great shape.”