War Eagles win CPC opener

Published 9:45 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

WINSTON-SALEM – Davie’s football team was drooling in anticipation for Friday’s game at Reynolds for two big reasons. No. 1, it was the Central Piedmont Conference opener. No. 2, its highly-regarded quarterback (Chris Reynolds) and receiver (Cooper Wall) were back on the field after missing the North Rowan and Hopewell games.

Reynolds and Wall returned in spectacular fashion as the War Eagles beat the Demons to a pulp, 54-7. While the Demons fell to 1-5 overall, Davie (5-1) is off to its best start in four years.

“That’s two major parts of our offense,” coach DeVore Holman said. “They worked really, really hard in practice this past week, and there’s something special about those two guys. They have a connection, as well as some of our other receivers. But those two guys have a really, really special connection.”

Four plays into the game, Reynolds’ Adonis Jones tried to get outside on a jet sweep. Broc Barnette’s hit knocked the ball loose. The Demons recovered the ball but lost 10 yards. On the next play, Jack Little’s tackle forced a fumble that De’Maura Isaac recovered at the Reynolds 38.

Davie’s first offensive play raised goosebumps. Reynolds went downtown and hit Wall in stride for a 38-yard touchdown. From the muddle-huddle formation on the two-point try, Reynolds completed a pass to Spencer Wilson as Davie took an 8-0 lead.

Just like that, it was clear that Wall’s ribs were as good as new, and Reynolds’ ankle was A-OK.

“We were at pregame meal and Bum (offensive coordinator Todd Bumgarner) comes up to me and goes: ‘We might go for the bomb on the first play,’” Reynolds said. “I said: ‘If you’re for it, I’m for it.’”

“I was pumped up,” Wall said. “It hurt missing two weeks and having to watch from the sidelines. Once I saw the first call was coming my way (on a takeoff route), I knew it was time to go. There was no time to get ready. It was like getting thrown into the fire again. Bum said in pregame we’re going to go up top early, but I didn’t know ‘early’ was going to be the first play of the game. I figured we might run it a couple of times, get into the groove and then go over the top. It was great.”

Linebacker Cody Hendrix shot up the middle like he came out of a cannon for a sack that brought out the Reynolds punting unit. Then Davie’s offense blazed 82 yards in nine plays. Reynolds completed passes for 18 yards to Cameron Thomas, 27 yards to Will Shepherd and 19 yards to Peyton Hampton before going Wall’s way. On a post route, they connected for a 23-yard TD, and Davie had a 14-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.

“It’s great (having Reynolds and Wall back), except for the fact that we scored a little bit too fast and I didn’t get a chance to catch my breath,” linebacker James Boyle said. “The dynamic plays they bring, that’s just something that is invaluable.”

“I’d been going outside and I baited the outside and made an inside move,” Wall said. “Once I got inside of him, that was it. The corner shot underneath to try to make a play on it. The safety never got over there in time.”

Two plays after d-lineman George Cuthrell’s tackle for loss, the Demons tried to fool Davie with a reverse to Rashon Bethea, their No. 1 running back. He fumbled and Kinston Whitener recovered at the Davie 40.

Davie made it three scores in three possessions as Reynolds hit Tyler Roberts on a slant for 22 yards. Then Adrian Cranfill, the freshman with jitterbug moves, made a nasty cutback and went 15 yards to the end zone.

Hendrix and Jack Little stoned Jones 6 yards behind the line on first down, and Reynolds went three-and-out. The Demons found some life when Bethea demonstrated his speed on a 57-yard TD that cut Davie’s lead to 21-7. It was the longest run Davie has allowed in ‘16.

“Against a Wing-T offense, you have to be very disciplined,” Holman said. “And at times we weren’t disciplined.”

But Davie’s immediate answer was demoralizing to the Demons: 80 yards in eight plays. Reynolds went 6 of 7 for 71 yards on the drive, and Davie reached the end zone in 1:58.

Reynolds hit Roberts for 17 yards and Thomas for 11.

“The defense was giving us a lot of open areas, coach Bum made the right calls, and next thing you know we’re pushing it down the field,” Reynolds said.

The final 41 yards on the drive – in a span of three plays – were as good as it gets. Reynolds rolled right and whipped a sidearm-Brett-Favre-like delivery to Beau Byerly for 11. He found Roberts for 16. He lobbed a high one to the corner of the end zone, and Byerly ran under it for a 14-yard TD with 31 seconds left in the half. A two-point run by Reynolds opened the bulge to 29-7.

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to come back this fast,” Reynolds said. “I was expecting a little rust here and there. But I was fortunate enough to come back that fast and I’m happy for Coop.”

At halftime, Reynolds was – gulp – 18 of 22 for 253 yards and two TDs. He connected with seven receivers, with Roberts catching five, Wall four, Thomas three, Byerly and Hampton two each, and Mason Wilson and Shepherd one apiece.

“I love giving everybody a chance,” said Reynolds, who only attempted one pass in the second half, a 16-yarder to Roberts, as he finished 19 of 23 for 269 yards. “There’s some guys that work their butt off everyday in practice and they deserve it.”

There’s a reason Reynolds, who had not been healthy since the Aug. 26 West Rowan game, showed no rust.

“Even with a hurt ankle, Chris has still been throwing during practice,” Wall said. “He never lost any arm strength or accuracy, so I knew he’d be just like himself tonight.”

The War Eagles kept their foot on the gas in the second half. Reynolds faked a handful and went over left tackle – behind Luke Pratapas and Dex Bray – for a 16-yard score. Roberts caught a two-point pass and it was 37-7.

Reynolds threw for 250-plus for the seventh time in two years, and it was his 10th 200-yard game. Oh, and he orchestrated a 3-for-3 performance from the muddle huddle, with two pass completions and one successful run when he called his own number.

“Chris reads coverages and he’s going to throw it to where the coverage tells him,” Holman said. “He’s a great field general.”

Demons quarterback Jake Lang was flushed from the pocket and began to load up for a throw. Barnette was bringing heat and caused a fumble. S. Wilson scooped it at the Reynolds 21. Jared Griggs would nail a 34-yard field goal, making the senior kicker an eye-catching 7 for 8 on the season.

“Broc played his tail off,” Holman said.

Two plays after Griggs’ FG, Mitchell Ijames batted a pass up in the air and Little intercepted at the Demons 36. Davie went on to hold a third opponent to seven points or less.

“Jack played great,” Boyle said. “Jack was flying around all week at practice.”

“We had a couple different packages going on tonight, and Jack was involved a lot tonight,” Holman said.

Following Little’s first varsity pick, Cranfill took care of 36 yards in back-to-back runs as the margin ballooned to 47-7 before the end of the third. Cranfill’s 30-yard dash to the Demons 17 set up backup QB Josh Hall’s 6-yard score. The final 6:35 was played with a running clock.

Davie        14  15  18  7 – 54

Reynolds       0    7    0    0 – 7

First Quarter

D – Wall 38 pass from Reynolds (S. Wilson pass from Reynolds), 6:53.

D – Wall 23 pass from Reynolds (kick fail), :18.

Second Quarter

D – Cranfill 15 run (Griggs kick), 6:29.

R – Bethea 57 run (Gregg kick), 2:29.

D – Byerly 14 pass from Reynolds (Reynolds run), :31.

Third Quarter

D – Reynolds 16 run (Roberts pass from Reynolds), 6:35.

D – Griggs 34 FG, 3:35.

D – Cranfill 13 run (Griggs kick), 2:00.

Fourth Quarter

D – Hall 6 run (Griggs kick), 6:35.




Rushing 24-154 35-213

Passing 269 98

C-A-I 19-23-0 6-16-1

Punts 1-22 2-33

F-L 0-0 3-3

Penalties 7-56 9-92

3rd conv. 3/5 5/11



RUSHING – Cranfill 9-97, Hampton 8-35, Reynolds 5-18, Hall 1-6, Shepherd 1-(-2)

PASSING – Reynolds 19-23-0-269

RECEIVING – Roberts 6-83, Wall 4-73, Thomas 3-32, Byerly 2-25, Hampton 2-21, Shepherd 1-27, M. Wilson 1-8


RUSHING – Bethea 10-99, Jones 9-54, Lang 7-49, D. Wilson 3-12, Dunlap 1-1, R. Wilson 1-0, Branch 5-(-2)

PASSING – Lang 5-12-1-77, Mensh 1-3-0-21, team 0-1

RECEIVING – Bethea 3-54, Gaither 1-18, D. Wilson 1-21, Hines 1-5