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Danley Shoulders Load for Washington

Casey Danley bouncing back from shoulder surgery to pace unbeaten Panthers

WMBD/WYZZ-TV - WASHINGTON, Ill. - A three-year starter at strong safety, Casey Danley has always loved to play defense.

"Defense wins games, it comes down to defense," said Danley. "If your defense plays bad, the offense doesn't get the ball in good field position."

Danley has also played wide receiver for the Panthers (7-0) until this summer when the coaching staff asked him if he could run the football.

"He's a very good team guy," said Washington head coach Darrell Crouch. "He thought, 'I'll get more touches if I get back there than at wide receiver with the style of ball we're playing this year."

But the senior has found a big difference between playing receiver and tailback.

"You get hit a lot more at running back," said Danley. "I wasn't used to it at all. But it's all part of the experience. I'm starting to like it."

Getting hit was the concern. Danley's football season was cut short last fall by a dislocated shoulder.

"It popped out a couple of times," Danley said of his 2012 shoulder injury. "I sat out out a few games, it started getting bad. I tried to come back Metamora week and I dislocated it three times that game. Then I called it quits for the season."

Strengthened by a successful surgery, the three-sport athlete is shouldering the load for the Washington offense these days. And he's moving on from the past and eyeing the Panthers' future.

"We're trying to win a conference championship here at Washington," said Danley. "And see how far we can go in the playoffs."

Danley gets another shot at Metamora on Friday when the Panthers host the Redbirds (4-3) at 7:30.

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