Mayfield hoping to solve Danville in state championship game
Mayfield will face Danville in the KHSAA Class 2A State Championship game Saturday in Lexington. While it’s been 13 years since they’ve last played, the Mayfield football family is very familiar with the Admirals.
These two schools have met for state titles on four different occasions: 1987, 1989, 1991, and 1992. Danville won all four of those games, although the first three were decided by a total of seven points. Hall of Famer Jack Morris coached Mayfield in all four of those games. Of course now, Jack’s son Joe is the head coach of the Cardinals. While Saturday’s game is all business, it’s definitely a little bit personal as well.
“I can think back at several losses,” Jack Morris said. “We didn’t have that many, but they’re painful.”
Jack Morris won four state championships at Mayfield, but four of his state title losses came against Danville — including the 1987 final where the Admirals won 24-23 on a blocked extra point in overtime.
“You know, it was tough times for me,” Jack Morris remembered.
His son, Joe, was an assistant under Jack for all those losses to Danville. In 2002, Joe was in his fourth year as Mayfield’s head coach. That year, in the state semifinals, for the only time in program history, Mayfield finally knocked off Danville.
“I enjoyed it,” Jack Morris said. “I was coaching then, I was one of (Joe’s) assistants. That was really a relief.”
“I guess that up there was a big load off my shoulders,” Joe Morris said. “That was a great, great win for us and probably one of the best of my career.”
The 2002 win over Danville was in the state semifinals. Saturday, they’ll meet again for the state championship. While a win won’t erase all the heartache from thirty years ago, Joe Morris hopes a victory would be a bit of a football exorcism for his dad, and the entire Mayfield football family.
“I hope so,” Joe Morris said. “They just always had the upper-hand some way, and hopefully we can get the upper-hand Saturday.”