NEW MARKET — The fact Danville kicked and made an extra point to conclude its 53-20 win over Southmont on Friday night showed just how in the zone the Warriors were.
For the first time all season, the Warriors decided not to go for a two-point conversion in a game they controlled late, scoring 33 unanswered points to leave with their second Sagamore Conference win of the season.
The Warriors (2-5, 2-3) did it mostly on the ground. Danville quarterback Christian Schubert had 149 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns, but it was his running back who stole the show.
Autry Pickens finished with 233 yards on 17 carries and scored five rushing touchdowns. His TDs weren’t easy either, as he went for 39, 17, 40, 28 and 46 yards, respectively, for each score.
Danville coach Russ Sumner said working with the offensive line was a point of emphasis in practice.
“We’ve been really disappointed how our offensive line has played the majority of the year,” Sumner said. “We made a couple adjustments, but you got to hand it to the kids there.”
Danville went up 14-0 in less than four minutes to start the game. Schubert had two rushes for 65 yards on the first drive, including a 60-yard TD to get the Warriors on the board.
On the second play of their second drive, Schubert found Tanner Hubbard for an 76-yard touchdown.
Southmont (3-4, 2-3) responded as Zach Richardson rushed in for a 7-yard score to make it 14-6, but Pickens followed with his first TD to cap a three-play, 45-yard drive.
The first quarter ended as Southmont was threatening in the red zone. On the first play of the second quarter, Nathaniel Farabee scored from two yards out to make it 20-12.
Yet, the ensuing two-point conversion would change the outcome of the game. As the Mounties failed to convert, quarterback Devon Burton went down and stayed down.Burton had to be put on the stretcher, and an ambulance would take him away.
The word was after the game that he broke his leg.
The loss put the Mounties down another starter for the game. They were already playing without Hunter Isenberg and Chance Brown, who gave it a go but were simply not 100 percent.
“We were already thin to start with,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “Any time you’re down four positions like that it’s pretty tough.”
Southmont was able to grab a small stretch of momentum. In the span of five minutes, the Mounties recovered an onside kick, recorded a safety, recovered a muffed punt and tied it at 20 before recovering another onside kick.
“They were able to play with emotion there,” Hannum said. “We were able to knot it there at 20, play really tough there for a little while. “It’s a tough situation when by the end of the night you’re down to six starters in three guys right there. The kids played their heart out.”
Danville would not see the ball again until four minutes remaining in the first half. Yet, they were able to score twice thanks to a 45-yard scamper by Schubert and a 17-yard run by Pickens to make it 32-20 at halftime.
“They grabbed the momentum right away after that happened,” Sumner said. “We were back on our heels. They got a couple onside kicks; we were in tough territory there.
“We finally got the offense back the ball and went down to score, and I think that kind of reset things, put things in perspective for us, and we played a little better after that.”
Pickens scored a touchdown in the third quarter and two more in the fourth quarter as the Warriors made it 53-20 with 9:12 remaining in the game.