Davie 34, Mooresville 13

Published 9:04 am Friday, September 1, 2017

Don’t count out Davie’s football just yet. The War Eagles got off the canvas in head-turning fashion last night against visiting Mooresville, breaking into the win column with a decisive 34-13 victory.
Davie’s offense remains a work in progress – it took strides with the return of Mason Wilson – but the defense was stout even with several guys out with injuries and special teams dominated throughout as Davie improved to 1-2 in nonconference play. Mooresville fell to 1-1 as the teams met for the first time in 11 years.
Cody Hendrix, who was involved in seemingly every tackle, popped quarterback Hunter Deberardino as he released the ball and Wilson, who was making his senior season debut as a two-way player, intercepted the long pass at the Davie 41. Three plays later Wilson was making a 33-yard reception on a deep ball from Josh Hall. The big play led to a 3-yard TD by Peyton Hampton, who scored two rushing touchdowns after Davie failed to score on the ground in losses to Page and North Davidson.
Broc Barnette was a big factor in Davie’s first win since the second round of the 4A playoffs in ‘16. Lazarus Hayes broke into the free and appeared on his way for a touchdown, but Barnette ran him down at the Davie 3. After the 79-yard gain, Mooresville had three negative runs in a row and Davie got a stop on a fourth-and-goal run from the 9. Kinston Whitener and Hendrix had tackles for loss on first and third down, respectively.
Two minutes later, Barnette intercepted a third-down pass, reversed field and had an incredible 47-yard score until a block-in-the-back penalty brought it back to the Mooresville 18. Then Jaleel Johnson picked off Hall in the end zone to keep it 7-0.
No problem. Four plays later, Whitener blocked a Mooresville punt and Jalen Redmond got a scoop-and-score from the 8. Skyler Schoppe’s point after made it 14-0 late in the first quarter.
With 7:41 left in the second quarter, the Mooresville punter dropped the snap, disrupting the play’s timing, and Barnette blocked the punt to give Davie the ball at the Mooresville 11. Hampton scored on third down from the 3. Josh Robinson crossed the goal line for two points to make it 22-0.
Moments later, it was Jack Reynolds’ turn to make a big play, the freshman punt returner shaking and baking his way for a 52-yard TD. It was 28-0 at the half.
Mooresville was finally able to put a nice drive together, a 78-yard drive trimming the margin to 28-6.
Ben Summers’ coffin-corner punt set up the next Davie score. He executed a 34-yard pitching wedge and Mitchell Ijames downed the ball at the Mooresville 1. On third down, Ijames jumped a hitch route and returned the pick 9 yards for a TD that made it 34-6.
Mooresville scored on a 7-yard pick-6 to make it 34-13, but only 8:11 remained and it was all but over.
Davie was outperformed in major statistics – eight first downs to 14 by the Blue Devils, 73 rushing yards to 192 by the Devils and 151 total yards to 224 by the visitors – but the War Eagles made up for it by holding Mooresville to 2 for 14 on third-down conversions and getting three interceptions, the same number of passes that Deberardino completed.
Wilson was an instant factor, making two catches for 49 yards to account for 32 percent of the offense and playing a confident cornerback on defense.
Hayes (25 carries for 138 rushing yards) and Quamir Conner (15 carries for 72 yards) were effective in the backfield for Mooresville, but they couldn’t offset four disaster plays that cost the Devils 49 yards.
Of Davie’s five TDs, specials teams were responsible for two and the defense scored for the second week in a row.