Shannon Mitchell is beginning his third season at the helm of the Danville Hawks’ football program. After a 0-10 mark in 2018, his Hawks went 5-6 this past season and advanced to the playoffs – for the first time since 2009 under Joey Burch.
The Hawks return seven starters on offense but must find a quarterback to replace Luke Nail, who signed with North Alabama. On defense, Danville returns two starters.
Danville moved to Class 3A, Region 8, following AHSAA reclassification last fall. Joining the Hawks in Region 8 will be Clements, Colbert Heights, East Lawrence, Elkmont, Lauderdale County, and Phil Campbell.
Here’s a look at the Danville 2020 football schedule:
Aug. 21, vs. Brewer
The Hawks open the 2020 season with a visit from county rival Brewer. The Patriots defeated Danville 37-8 last season to open the season. Roles have reversed since last year, however, as the Hawks come into the game as the more experienced team, with Brewer returning only four starters on offense and two on defense.
Brewer leads the all-time series 4-3.
Aug. 28, at Falkville
Bitter Morgan County rivals clash in week two of the season. The Hawks are looking for some revenge following this past season’s 34-21 loss in which Falkville scored twice in the final 2:55, giving head coach Tyler Mitchell his first win. Both teams come into the game with experienced offenses; the Blue Devils, however, are returning QB Peyton Sallee, while the Hawks are searching for a quarterback.
Danville leads the all-time series 27-18.
Sept. 4, at Colbert Heights
The Hawks open region play on the road at Colbert Heights. The Wildcats finished fourth in the region this past season and lost in the first round of the playoffs at Susan Moore. The Wildcats averaged 22.7 points per game on offense while giving up 23.7.
The game will be the first matchup between the two teams since 2011.
Colbert Heights leads the all-time series 6-1. The Hawks’ only win in the series is a first-round playoff victory in 1994, which is also the last time Danville won a playoff game.
Sept. 11, at Lauderdale County
Danville travels to Lauderdale County for a week three region tilt that could help decide the region championship. The Tigers finished second in the region in 2019 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
The Tigers averaged 38.5 points per game on offense while allowing 19.8.
Lauderdale County leads the all-time series 4-0.
Sept. 18, vs. East Lawrence
Danville welcomes the East Lawrence Eagles to Smith-Owens Stadium for a region tilt. The Eagles are coached by former Hartselle head coach Bo Culver, who is in his first season at East Lawrence. The Eagles finished in fifth place in region play this past year.
The Eagles averaged 21.7 points per game on offense while allowing 22.2.
Danville leads the all-time series 4-3. The series has seen five shutouts since it began in 1979.
Sept. 25, vs. Priceville
Danville hosts a Priceville Bulldogs team looking to avenge last season’s 26-25 loss to the Hawks. The win helped propel the Hawks into the playoffs and cost the Bulldogs a region championship.
The county matchup will be a non-region game, with Danville now in Class 3A, Region 8.
The Bulldogs averaged 29.7 points per game on offense while giving up 27.3.
Priceville leads the all-time series 9-7.
Oct. 9, vs. Elkmont
Following their bye week, the Hawks host the Red Devils from Elkmont. The matchup will be the teams’ first meeting since 2011 and fifth overall. The Red Devils moved down from Class 4A, as well.
Elkmont averaged 8.6 points per game while giving up 51.5 – giving up 42 or more points in eight games.
Danville leads the all-time series 3-1.
Oct. 16, at Clements
Danville hits the road for a region matchup with the Clements Colts in mid-October. The Colts finished third in the region last year and advanced to the playoffs, but Clements’ leading rusher last season has moved on to college, and the team will be looking to replace some other key pieces on offense.
The Colts averaged 28.2 points per game while giving up 29.2 points.
Clements leads the all-time series 8-6.
Oct. 23, vs. Phil Campbell
The final region game of the season finds the Hawks playing host to the Phil Campbell Bobcats. The Bobcats are coming off a 4-6 season with one region victory.
Phil Campbell averaged 24.7 points per game while allowing 27.3.
Phil Campbell leads the all-time series 3-1, with the most recent game coming in 2003.
Oct. 30, at Lawrence County
The Hawks close out the regular season when they travel to Lawrence County. Lawrence County finished the 2019 season with a 4-6 record, but the Red Devils were just a few plays away from a couple more victories and a possible playoff spot. The highlight of their 2019 season was the 27-25 victory over Decatur, which was their first win over the Red Raiders in 65 years.
Lawrence County averaged 21.1 points per game while allowing 23.7 points.