Defenders get in offensive finale
TURBOTVILLE — Warrior Run seniors Forrest Seybold and Ty Kirkner visited the end zone one final time in Defender Stadium and quarterback Gage Anzulavich added to his career total with two more touchdown passes on Friday night to close out their careers, but Danville scored the games final six touchdowns in a 63-21 rout of the Defenders.
Seybold scored on a 90-yard kickoff return and Kirkner caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Anzulavich all in the game’s first six minutes as the Ironmen and Defenders traded scores. A second Anzulavich touchdown pass — a short 2-yard route to Riley Daubert — tied the score for a third time in the first quarter with 1:36 left, but Danville began to take control of the game with two more first-quarter touchdowns for a 35-21 lead.
“It was the craziest thing I’ve seen,” Danville coach Jim Keiser said of the start of the game. “Give (Warrior Run coach) DJ (Flick) and Gage and his wide receivers credit. Their gameplan was beautiful. They attacked our weakness with three new kids back there and they did a really great job.”
Danville’s defense finally slowed the Defenders (3-7) in the second quarter and kept giving the ball back to an offense that didn’t allow its defense much of a chance at catching their breath. The Ironmen scored three more second-quarter touchdowns and led 56-21 at the half.
It was hard to pinpoint which offensive number for Danville was the most impressive in the first half. Danville (8-2) accumulated over 500 total yards of offense and scored on all eight of its first-half possessions. No scoring drive lasted longer than five plays and two — a Joey Harris 57-yard run and Gannon Feldmann 97-yard run — needed just a single snap. Feldmann scored twice in the first half and had 226 yards on just six carries.
Freshman quarterback Kayden Riley was not to be overshadowed, either. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 169 yards and three first-half touchdowns. Eric Sees caught three balls for a 100 yards and a touchdown and Shane Kozick added three catches – two which went for scores.
The Warrior Run passing game took advantage of an injury-ravaged Danville secondary in the opening 12 minutes as Anzulavich threw for over 200 yards in the first quarter. He finished 17 of 31 for 269 yards. Kirkner caught five passes for 129 yards, including his 65-yard touchdown catch.
“I was real happy for those guys,” Flick said. “We tried to get the seniors more involved and they were able to make some plays for us.”
The Defenders’ offense suffered a blow in the first half when offensive lineman Jeffrey Burkhart was helped off the field. The 280-pound junior watched the second half from the sidelines on crutches.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Warrior Run, which was playing its fifth home game against a team that will play in the district playoffs next week.
“We are happy the way we ended the season,” Flick said. “We may have lost tonight but consistently building as a football program throughout the season and we were playing some good football.”