Davie hosts Page in season opener

Published 9:11 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

If the hair on your football-loving neck is standing up, if you can’t wait for Friday’s season opener at War Eagle Stadium, then you’re far from alone.

Davie will host the Page Pirates at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the 2015 campaign.

“You can smell it in the air around the high school, and our kids are chomping at the bit,” coach Devore Holman said. “Our kids have had our first Friday night circled because that’s when you start to see what you’ve got, what you’ve done, how you’ve prepared, how you trust each other and how you execute.”

Both teams are looking to reverse trends.

Last year the Pirates finished 4-8 for their first losing record in nine years. They are 10-14 the past two years. But after sputtering through an 0-7 nonconference disaster in 2014, the Pirates reversed course and went 4-1 in the Metro 4-A Conference to finish alone in second. They exited in the first round of the 4AA playoffs.

The War Eagles have also taken their lumps of late, going 4-7 (2-4 Central Piedmont Conference) in 2013 and 6-6 (2-4) in 2014. The slide came on the heels of nine winning seasons in 10 years. Last year Davie finished fifth out of seven CPC teams and bowed out in the first round of the 4A playoffs.

The teams have traded punches the past four years, with Page winning 41-7 in 2011, Davie winning 31-14 in 2012, Page winning 32-22 in 2013 and Davie winning 45-40 last year.

Last year’s game in Greensboro was Davie’s biggest shootout in six years, dating to a 50-49 overtime win at Page in 2008. The War Eagles came out with their hair on fire, bursting to leads of 21-0 in the first quarter, 29-0 in the second quarter and 35-7 later in the second.

It seemed over at 45-19 with 5:18 remaining in the third, but the Pirates ripped off three touchdowns to pull within five with 2:05 to go. The War Eagles breathed a sigh of relief when the clock hit zeroes.

Page has lived with that painful 29-0 memory for 360-some days.

“I’m sure coach (Kevin) Gillespie will remind them a time or two about last year’s game at their place,” Holman said. “We got complacent, they came back and we were in a dogfight. There’s no doubt in my mind coach Gillespie and his staff, when they come down I-40 West, they’re coming to bring the fight.”

Chris Reynolds contributed to last year’s win, going 2 for 3 for 58 passing yards when he spelled Parker Correll, who threw for 273 yards, for a brief time. He also scored on a six-yard, second-quarter run on his lone carry of the game. Ben Ellis had four catches for 96 yards, and Cooper Wall had two receptions for 28 yards in his freshman debut.

“After all the hard work in the offseason, our kids are excited to see how it’s going to start paying off,” Holman said.

Notes: Davie holds a 6-4 lead in the series with Page. … The War Eagles are 35-22-2 in season openers. … They will kick off their 60th season with an all-time record of 347-288-15.