Reynolds walks off as one of best ever

Published 8:44 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

There aren’t many things left that can be said about Chris Reynolds that haven’t already been said, but here goes: He will go down as a Davie football treasure.

The quarterback was almost impossible to stop. With his elusive improvisation, he was called the high-school equivalent of Johnny Manziel and Russell Wilson. Talk about a competitor. He gave up his body on two TD runs in the opening minutes of Davie’s eventual 54-30 quarterfinal loss to Dudley, leaping over defenders, stretching the ball over the plane of the goal line and giving his team a 14-0 lead. Over two seasons, he made more you-gotta-be-kidding-me plays than you can count.   

There’s much more to this gunslinger. He is a model of sportsmanship. He has charisma that endears him to everyone he meets. He has everything you could want in a QB – except height. He’s 5-11. If he were 6-foot-plus, he would be a big-time college prospect. It looks like he will go to Charlotte as a preferred walk-on.

Reynolds broke records you’re not supposed to break in 24 games. The incredible numbers will freeze in time – forever.

Season completions – Reynolds 207 last year, Garrett Benge 203 (2006) and Reynolds 191 this year.

Season passing yards – Benge 3,071 (2006), Reynolds 2,874 last year, Zach Illing 2,524 (2008) and Reynolds 2,513 this year.

Season TD passes – Benge 34 (2006), Reynolds 29 this year and Reynolds 28 last year.

Passing yards in a game – Reynolds 413 in this year’s 45-42 win over North Davidson. Reynolds owns three of the eight 300-yard passing games in Davie history. He holds the record for TD passes in a game with five.

Career completions – Benge 443 and Reynolds 409.

Career passing yards – Benge 6,392 and Reynolds 5,636.

Career TD passes – Reynolds threw two against Dudley to give him the record at 59. Benge had 57.

Career games with multiple TD passes – Reynolds 19 and Benge 17.

There are many, many more records and top-five finishes for Reynolds. He was the last War Eagle to exit the field late Friday night, his helmet still buckled as he walked slowly toward the locker room. How many times did fans look at the person beside them and say: “Thank goodness for Chris Reynolds.” As hard as it was to digest his final hour, time marches on and so will we.

“He’s been outstanding for two years,” coach Tim Devericks said. “He’s a great kid, a great leader and I’m super proud of him.”

“He’s a fantastic athlete, a great quarterback and I can definitely see him on the next level doing good things,” Dudley quarterback Hendon Hooker said.

“At 5-11, Davie QB Chris Reynolds isn’t the best college prospect in the state. But he might be the most dynamic prep player,” tweeted Salisbury Post reporter Mike London.

“As I’ve said all year, Davie QB Chris Reynolds was spectacular,” Chris Hughes of wrote in a post. “He’s a gamer, he competes incredibly hard and has amazing talent. I think he may go down as a top-five player in War Eagles history.”

Davie’s 12-2 run can’t be attributed two just two or three players. The camaraderie, teamwork and unselfishness exhibited each week was one of the things that made this team special. But the linebacker duo of senior James Boyle and junior Cody Hendrix will live in Davie lore.

They approached each play as if that play was the biggest play there has ever been. Their stats going into the Dudley game: Boyle entered with a season-record 194 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, five sacks, nine pass breakups and nine forced fumbles (he forced a 10th fumble on the second play of the game). He broke the record for career tackles.

Hendrix came in with 171 tackles, 30 tackles for loss (the most in 10 years, dating to Chantz Grannaman’s 36 in 2006), eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

“It ranks up there,” linebackers coach Dave Hunt said when asked where the tandem ranks in his long career. “I would say they’re rated the top linebacking duo in our conference, and they’re one of the best pairs at inside linebacker that I’ve had in my (39-year) career. They’re great kids and that’s the thing you enjoy more than wins and losses anymore. It’s being around great kids. All the linebackers – not just James and Cody – are just super kids (including Broc Barnette, Jack Little, Kinston Whitener, Matthew Lipnicki and JV-callups Matthew King and Logan Dingler).”

It appears that Boyle is going to end up playing next year at Davidson.

“He’s a brilliant kid,” Hunt said. “He’s got his choice anywhere he wants to go to school. I think he’s going to pick Davidson. He has a tremendous motor. He doesn’t take a play off. He’s going full speed and he’s real perceptive. He sees things as they’re happening, knows what to do and how to make the play against it. Davidson will give him an aid package and I told him: ‘Free is free. I can afford free.’”

Hunt said of Hendrix: “If anything happens to James, Cody will step right in the play-calling and so forth and won’t miss much. Cody is a little quicker than James. He will probably make more ‘big’ plays and he has become really good as well.”

Like Reynolds, the only knock on Hendrix is size.

“For the big boys, he’s too short,” Hunt said. “I mean the days of Sam Mills (who at 5-9 played linebacker for New Orleans and Carolina after coming out of Montclair State) getting a ride anywhere are just about gone. You don’t have to tell anybody that Sam Mills was a real effective 5-8 linebacker. Cody is right at 6-feet and they generally want them at 6-3.”

Notes: Cooper Wall has had an unbelievable career – with a year to go. Two of Davie’s six 60-catch seasons belong to the junior. Wall is the only one to reach 60 twice. … Hunt said junior outside linebacker Broc Barnette, who was third on the team in tackles, is a bona fide college prospect. “Simply because he’s already 6-3 and he can run,” he said. “I’ve had some great kids that couldn’t get a look anywhere or wound up D-II or D-III because they don’t fit the template.”