DANVILLE — Somerset's football team channeled lots of emotion into its best performance of the season in beating Class 2A district rival Danville 24-7 on Friday night.
It was the Briar Jumpers' fifth win in a row over Danville over the last four years.
Somerset had extra incentive this time. The Jumpers were playing for starters Jacobi Gilmore and Will Hinton, who were seriously injured in a car accident after practice Thursday afternoon. They were air-lifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center and are listed in serious condition.
Gilmore, a sophomore, and Hinton, a senior, were able to listen to the radio broadcast in the hospital. Their teammates will visit them in the hospital Saturday morning and give them game balls.
Somerset junior Will Lange, who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown, said it was difficult to play without Gilmore and Hinton.
"But we came out with heart and came out with fire," Lange said. "Playing for them ... that's all it was about."
The Jumpers also kept Gilmore and Hinton in their thoughts by having Bryson Jones wear Hinton's No. 20 jersey and Devin Griffith wear Gilmore's No. 25.
"We played with a lot of emotion," Jones said. "We used that as motivation and went out and played good ball. That's what we should do for the rest of the year."
Somerset built a 17-0 lead in the first half thanks to Tanner Gadberry's two TDs, including a 73-yard burst up the middle on a third-and-one, and Chandler Dobbs' 33-yard field goal.
The Jumpers' defense limited Danville to just 13 yards in the first half.
"That's amazing," Somerset Coach Robbie Lucas said, "to do that against a team with that much speed."
But the Jumpers were the more physical team from start to finish.
Lucas was glad to see that. He was worried that the emotion his players had in the first half would "fall off" so he told them at halftime to stick to the basics.
"When emotion leaves, you need the fundamentals of blocking and tackling.
"We did that, and we beat a very good football team. I'm sure we'll see Danville again in the playoffs."
Somerset not only got a big rushing night from Lange, who carried 28 times for his 114 yards. Gadberry added 102 yards on the ground.
The Jumpers' defense got a swarming team effort, led by Jones, Griffith, Tyson Williams, Braden McWilliams and Bridge Smith.
Danville had only 18 yards late in the third quarter before Devonta Alcorn connected with Akeem Ray on a 25-yard pass.
Alcorn's 53-yard TD pass to Jawan Grey midway through the fourth quarter kept the Admirals from being shut out for the first time in seven years.
But Lange dashed Danville's hopes for a miracle comeback by dashing 36 yards for a TD with two minutes left.
"We put a whole lot of emotion into this," Griffith said, "and I think it showed."
Somerset 7 10 0 7—24
Danville 0 0 0 7— 7
S—Tanner Gadberry 1 run (Chandler Dobbs kick). S—Gadberry 73 run (Dobbs kick). S—Dobbs 33 field goal. D—Jawan Grey 53 pass from Devonta Alcorn (Damar Karapandzic). S—Will Lange 36 run (Dobbs kick).
Records: Somerset 5-2; Danville 5-2
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com