DANVILLE — For eight months, the New Palestine Dragons emphasized getting bigger and stronger.
It showed on Friday night.
The Dragons were dominant on both sides of the line of scrimmage in a 64-8 season-opening rout of Danville. Their offense scored on eight of its first 11 possessions, the defense produced two safeties and 20 negative-yardage plays, and the special teams produced two field goals and blocked a punt.
“They did an outstanding job playing assignment football, playing as a team, as a family,” NP coach Kyle Ralph said. “Defensively, we were absolutely relentless. The offense was what we designed it to be, a relentless, attacking offense that took what we had.”
The victory was also the first for Ralph, the Dragons’ new coach who had been an assistant at three Cincinnati-area high schools before coming to New Palestine in January.
The Dragons’ uptempo offense was just that — running 66 plays in the first half alone, during which they racked up 437 yards. They finished the night with 613 yards on 98 snaps — 327 on the ground and 286 through the air.
“The kids have bought in,” Ralph said. “I’m really happy with how they’ve adapted to this no-huddle offense. Coaches can give you the Xs and Os and put you in the right spot, but the kids have to go out there and execute. The kids did a phenomenal job of executing this week. I couldn’t be prouder of how our kids came out and competed tonight. We were just firing on all cylinders.”