DANVILLE - Danville's Weston Baylor drew comparisons with record-setting quarterback Andrew Andreychik following Friday's season opener against Milton. It's not a bad place to start for the first-year starting quarterback.
Baylor, a junior, threw two touchdowns and led his Ironmen to a convincing 35-8 win over Milton, answering the question for at least a week on how the Ironmen are going to replace Andreychik, who threw for more than 50 touchdowns in his high school career.
"It was good to see because he put in so much hard work," said Danville coach Jim Keiser. "Seeing him have success means a lot to the team and him."
It meant a long night for the Black Panthers.
Milton (0-1, 0-1 HAC-I) had chances to remain in contact with Danville even after Baylor's first touchdown pass gave the Ironmen a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but the Black Panthers' offense bogged down in the red zone twice in the first quarter - turning the ball over on downs after reaching the 8 and fumbling at the 2 on their next drive.
"We dug ourselves a hole early," said Milton coach George Goodwin. "We were down near the goal line twice and turned it over on downs and then coughed the ball up and that gave them momentum."
Danville (1-0, 1-0) made it 21-0 in the final minute of the first half when Baylor found a dragging Bret Berg in the Milton secondary for a 18-yard touchdown.
Baylor finished 10 of 13 with for 160 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Zack Kozick caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and Berg three for 42 and a score.
"Those two are like bookends and they do a nice job of complimenting each other," said Keiser.
Danville's running game did a nice job of complimenting Baylor, Kozick and Berg.
Isaiah Croll rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns and teammate Sam Dressler ran for 78 yards on 17 carries. The Ironmen finished with over 200 yards rushing and the offensive line - a concern for Keiser entering Week 1 - put any concerns to rest by protecting Baylor and allowing the offense to grind out some drives and protect and build on the lead.
Milton's offense broke through in the third quarter with a 4-yard run by Josh Brown, but it was the only drive the Black Panthers could finish.
Brown (48 yards) and Jared Fogelman (56) combined for over 100 rushing yards, but the Black Panthers turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions.
One of those interceptions turned into a Baylor 7-yard touchdown run and another into a Croll 22-yard run for the game's final score.
"We showed some glimpses tonight," said Goodwin, whose team started 0-5 last year before rebounding and reaching the District 4 Class AAA title game. "We need to maintain and sustain drives.
"We have to play fundamental football and get back to what we do."