The 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter on a run up the middle was the first time that Danner, listed at 6-foot-1 and 260 pounds, had found the end zone in his varsity career. The stalwart of the Lightning line said he hadn't run for a score since his flag football days.
"That was pretty exciting," Danner said. "I'm used to the trenches. I'm used to hitting. I don't think defensive backs are used to it as much. Once I got through that first line, I wasn't going to let him [tackle] me."
Sage Hill also wasn't going to let overmatched Crean Lutheran (0-10, 0-3) stop it, although Sage Coach J.R. Tolver knows the Saints are much-improved. Last year, they didn't score a single point.
"If you look at them this year as opposed to last year, they're the most improved team in the Academy League," Tolver said. "No doubt about it."
But Tolver knows his Lightning are also improved. They found plenty of ways to score Friday, first through the air as senior quarterback Randall Mycorn (three touchdown passes) found Taylor Petty for a couple of touchdowns.
Senior tailback Taylor Ross was used sparingly on offense, but he ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. In the second half, he let Danner and junior Eric Cheng — who had a 65-yard touchdown run — have the fun.
The Lightning were ahead, 50-6, after three quarters before the Saints got on the board on a pair of touchdown passes from senior quarterback Matt Homan.
"I was proud of the way my guys played, and the sportsmanship they showed," Tolver said.
He said if he had to put it on a scale of one-to-10, he'd put the Lightning at about a seven on the likelihood of hosting a playoff game Friday.