Davie secures playoff berth

Published 9:47 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

WINSTON-SALEM – Davie hit the snooze button and fell behind Parkland 12-0 before Friday’s road game was four minutes old.

Freshman Peyton Hampton’s 61-yard run on the first play following the Mustangs’ second score awakened the War Eagles, who scored 33 unanswered points on the way to a 39-19 win that secured a playoff berth.

Parkland (3-8 overall) finished last in the Central Piedmont Conference at 0-6. Davie’s second win in a row lifted it to fourth place at 5-6, 3-3. The War Eagles had to win the final two regular-season games to qualify for the postseason, and they got the job done.

“We went through a cloud – a really bad storm – but it made us battle-tested for later in the season,” Davie coach Devore Holman said.

But after week 10’s rousing victory over Mt. Tabor, the War Eagles suffered a momentary letdown at the outset at Parkland, which flirted with an enormous upset the week before in a 27-26 loss to a North Davidson team that tied West Forsyth and Reagan for first place. Kyndel Dean shocked them with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game. Cody Hendrix blocked the extra point to keep the deficit at 6-0.

Davie quarterback Chris Reynolds threw an interception on Davie’s first series. The pass was intended for Ben Ellis, and Parkland defensive back Cam Wagner may have gotten away with an old-fashioned New York City mugging as he grabbed Ellis’ right shoulder and threw him to the ground.

“Hey, that’s going to happen from time to time,” Holman said. “Chris made a lot more positive things happen than negative.”

Immediately after the pick, running back Quantay Kobe-Young dashed 58 yards around right end for a TD. A two-point run failed, but Davie was in a 12-0 hole.

Davie safety Avery Williford saved two points on the conversion attempt. Parkland quarterback Qartez Barber was flushed to the right. He backpedaled to the 19 as he looked for a receiver. When he headed around the left end, there was nothing to stop him from getting to the end zone, but he began to coast and Williford knocked the ball out just before he crossed the goal line.

“You try to tell them it’s not the same Parkland,” Holman said. “Their coaching staff has done a great job, and those guys have kept believing and believing in what they do.

“They came out on Senior Night, they laid it on the line and they hit us in the mouth early. We had to withstand that. We overcame that, were able to stop their momentum and have some success.”

Indeed, Parkland tried to wreck Davie’s playoff plans, but Hampton’s 61-yarder through a gaping hole up the middle turned the game around. Right tackle Luke Pratapas knocked his man to the right. Right guard Zach Clubb velcroed a linebacker. Center Bailey Sloan drove his guy to the left. Left guard Ross Starnes steered a linebacker to the right. Left tackle Gabe Gonnella blocked his guy to the left. Hampton rumbled to the Parkland 11. Reynolds scored two plays later.

After only managing 49 yards on 17 carries in his first six games, Hampton has run for 143 on 28 carries in the last two, including a season-high 89 at Parkland.

“I’m glad to see that freshman come to life and get more confidence,” Holman said.

On the two-point play, Reynolds connected with Cameron Thomas out of the muddle-huddle formation as Davie pulled within 12-8. It was Thomas’ first points of the year.

“Thomas is in there a lot of times (in the muddle huddle) and he knows what to do,” Holman said.

Davie’s glide path to the finish line was in high gear when it marched 81 yards in 11 plays. The key was Reynolds’ 25-yarder to Cooper Wall on third-and-13. The TD was Reynolds’ 25-yard fade to the back right corner of the end zone to Ellis. Jared Griggs’ extra point made it 15-12 in Davie’s favor.

Broc Barnette sacked a scrambling Barber 17 yards back to force a punt. The sophomore linebacker had two sacks on the night.

“We stunted a lot tonight,” Holman said. “We brought four-man pressure. We try to come from a variety of angles.”

Davie drove within Griggs’ field-goal range to go up 18-12. Stephon Dalton’s 15- and 16-yard runs pushed Davie to the red zone. After not appearing in the Tabor game and not being a factor in his last three games, Dalton responded with a season-high 77 yards.

“There’s no doubt about it, he’s got speed to run,” Holman said. “He’s just got to have some confidence, and I’m glad he had a good outing tonight.”

After Dalton moved Davie to the red zone, Reynolds somehow avoided a sack and found Beau Byerly for 11 yards. Four plays later, Griggs nailed a 22-yard field goal.

Parkland completed a pass for 6 yards, but Gregg Williams fumbled and Davie safety Caleb Wallace recovered at the Parkland 31. On the next play, Reynolds threw short to Ellis, and Ellis did the rest. He caught it two yards across the line of scrimmage. Byerly put a DB on skates at the Parkland 17. Ellis was bracketed by two DBs, but he split them with a stutter-step at the 12 and he made another cut to reach the end zone.

Man, are Reynolds and his 1-2 receivers fun to watch. Reynolds threw for 244 yards and three TDs. He’s been so hot that this was actually his lowest output in five games, and it was still the 20th-best game in history in terms of passing yards. Ellis had seven catches for 80 yards and two TDs as he extended his record for single-season TD receptions to 16. Wall is on a tear, his five catches for 126 yards marking his fourth straight 100-yard game. Ellis has 1,099 yards for the year, and Wall (973) is on the brink of hitting the 1,000 milestone.

Ellis burned Parkland even though he was noticably less than 100 percent because of a sprained ankle.

“When the lights come on, Ben is ready to go,” Holman said. “I made a game-time decision on whether he was going to play or not. He looked good enough in pregame to play. I say it every week – God gave him talent. He’s a very intelligent player, and he makes it happen.”

Following Ellis’ 31-yard TD, Reynolds directed the muddle huddle. He’s always so smooth, even when he has to scramble around for 11.9 seconds and heave a pass from the 27 to the back left corner of the end zone. Remarkably, James Boyle, the stud linebacker, caught it behind two defenders to bump Davie’s lead to 26-12.

At halftime, Parkland was clearly rattled. Its final four possessions of the half went punt, punt, fumble and turnover on downs. Meanwhile, Davie was scoring on four straight possessions.

Davie didn’t let up, putting together a 16-play, 80-yard drive to start the second half. Reynolds gained 42 yards on five keepers during the drive, Hampton scored from the 1 and the margin was 33-12.

Reynolds ran for 92 yards as Davie produced great balance (247 rushing yards, 244 passing yards).

“Chris has the read on the run,” Holman said. “His reads told him what to do.”

Parkland went 72 yards, scoring on a 21-yard pass, but Davie answered with the dagger, a 76-yard TD pass to Wall. He reached high to catch it, spun out of a tackle at the Davie 43 and then turned on the jets.

“Anytime we’ve got that type of coverage – when we see it, Chris sees it and Cooper sees it – they make it happen,” Holman said. “Cooper got his hand banged up earlier. He sat out a series, I looked up and he was back in there.”

Notes: Midway through the fourth quarter, Boyle got his second interception of the year. … Safety Hite Merrifield (concussion) and running back Greg Dalton did not play. … Davie dominated to the tune of 27-14 in first downs, 503-265 in yards, and it went seven of 11 on third downs. … Zach Oxendine quarterbacked the entire fourth quarter. He’s an unselfish senior who works “his butt off every day of the week” even though he seldom plays. “So I’m glad to see him get to contribute,” Holman said.

Davie        8    18  13  0 – 39

Parkland       12  0    7    0 – 19

First Quarter

P – Dean 85 kickoff return (kick blocked), 11:48.

P – Kobe-Young 58 run (run fail), 8:26.

D – Reynolds 8 run (Thomas pass from Reynolds), 7:12.

Second Quarter

D – Ellis 25 pass from Reynolds (Griggs kick), 10:32.

D – Griggs 22 FG, 3:27.

D – Ellis 31 pass from Reynolds (Boyle pass from Reynolds), 2:43.

Third Quarter

D – Hampton 1 run (Griggs kick), 5:38.

P – Dean 21 pass from Barber (Buenaventura kick), 2:29.

D – Wall 76 pass from Reynolds (run fail), :58.




Rushing 43-247 30-185


C-A-I 14-24-1 11-21-1

Punts 1-35 3-32

F-L 0-0 1-1

Penalties 6-70 9-90

3rd conv. 7/11 6/12



RUSHING – Reynolds 13-92, Hampton 11-89, S. Dalton 9-77, Oxendine 5-1, Summers 3-0, team 2-(-12)

PASSING – Reynolds 14-24-1-244

RECEIVING – Ellis 7-80, Wall 5-126, Byerly 2-38


RUSHING – Kobe-Young 16-142, Barber 13-43, Cobb 1-0

PASSING – Barber 11-21-1-80

RECEIVING – Dean 6-62, Sharpe 2-8, Williams 1-6, Kobe-Young 1-2, Rodriguez 1-2